Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies. If you want to stay away from influenza and prevent the winter cold, try incorporating into your daily routine these simple and effective things to optimize your immune system.
- Drink Plenty of Water
The simplest and most easy thing that you can do to strengthen your immunity and take it to the next level is to drink a good amount of water every day. Water allows your kidneys to remove toxins from your body. It allows your cells to take in nutrients, and it also allows them to expel waste products. If you don’t drink enough water, toxins will build up, weakening your immune system.
- Include Probiotics in your Diet
Studies indicate supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Fermented milk products have also been shown to reduce respiratory infections in adults and kids.
When you’ve got a good mix of bacteria in your body, you have a built-in support system for your immunity. In terms of the gut specifically, several strains of beneficial bacteria work to strengthen your gut barrier, keeping toxins and harmful bacteria in the gut until they can be safely eliminated, rather than letting them get loose into your bloodstream. They also increase the levels of antibodies in your bloodstream, produce molecules that take out unwanted bacteria, and even help ensure that your gut and immune cells can communicate properly.
- Use ACV to Boost Immunity
There are a number of properties in Apple Cider Vinegar that can aid the immune system in one way or another. ACV contains potent malic acid. This is a strong antiviral and one reason why many people who drink ACV daily feel their immunity is boosted as they do not experience as many colds or other viral infections.
It also contains probiotic microorganisms. As your gut flora is imperative to maintaining a healthy immune system, using apple cider vinegar to promote the growth of good bacteria could just improve your overall immunity.
Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes all of which are beneficial to the body.
- Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have a lot more to offer the immune system than just their vitamins and minerals. The phytonutrients, antioxidants, fibers, oils and acids in fruits and vegetables, which are responsible for their various flavors and colors, are also responsible for their many health, healing and immune- modulating properties. These bioactive compounds are used by the body to directly combat inflammation and infections and support detoxification and immune cell function through a multitude of mechanisms.
- Use Leafy Green vegetables
Cancer is one of the ultimate immune disorders as cancerous cells need to evade multiple immune defenses and checkpoints in order to become malignant and spread. Regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower have beneficial effects on several types of cancer through their powerful anti-carcinogenic agents such as sulforaphane, isothiocyanates and indoles.
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale are rich in vitamin A, vitamins C, chlorophyll, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which have immune-stimulatory and immune-protective effects while the sulfur-rich molecules in garlic known as allyl compounds work on numerous immune pathways by being antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti-carcinogenic.
- Consume Good Fats
A moderate intake of healthy fats, such as nuts, olive oil, fish oil, coconut oil and avocados, can supply a good source of vitamin E, which may help minimize your risk of influenza and respiratory infections. The omega 3 fatty acids obtained from the fish oil are also considered crucial for good health as it may help to boost the immune system by enhancing the functioning of immune cells, according to new research.
Researchers from Michigan State University and East Carolina University found that feeding fish oil high in the omega-3 fatty acid compound DHA (docosahexaenoicacid) seemed to boost activity of a white blood cell called a B cell, a vital part of the body’s immune response.
- Get Enough Sleep and Manage Stress
Sleep is the first and foremost thing that you must consider improving if aiming to gear up your immune system. Sleep is pivotal for actively functioning immune system, as sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the production of a special hormone cortisol, which suppresses immune function.
- Catch Some Fresh Air and Sun Rays
We’ve all heard that fresh air is good for you, but it turns out that scientific research actually backs up this common knowledge. Spending time outside, increases the diversity of your microbiome by exposing you to new types of bacteria that you might not encounter in your normal day to day routine. Encountering new types of bacteria is essential as it sets your microbiome up to support your immune system.
Being exposed to different substances outside also helps get your immune system used to reacting appropriately, sparing you from seasonal issues related to pollen or other irritants, and as an added benefit, spending time outdoors in the fresh air typically means that you’re getting a little more exposure to sunlight, which helps increase the amount of immune-modulating vitamin D your body produces. Low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection. A 2010 study showed that 1200 IU a day of supplemental vitamin D reduced the risk of influenza A.
- Exercise Regularly
If you’re looking for a safe way to prevent colds, regular exercise may be the ticket. And you don’t have to run a marathon, either. Moderate activity is all you need. Exercise improves your overall fitness, which can help boost your immune system, the body’s defense against infections.