The human body’s ability to defend itself against harmful bacteria and microorganisms is a thing to behold. With a healthy immune system, it can protect people from germs, illnesses, and viruses. However, unhealthy lifestyle habits can compromise a person’s ability to ward off an attack.
To ensure a healthy immune system, develop these healthy habits to help keep it working at optimal levels:
Adopt a healthy diet: Immune system cells that fight bacteria can be negatively impacted by a diet high in sugar. Even two to three sugary drinks are enough to have effects on these cells that last for a few hours. Of course, a healthy diet is rich in fruits and vegetables providing nutrients like beta-carotene, zinc, and vitamins E and C.
Supplement the diet: Some people don’t get enough nutrients through diet alone. It happens. If that’s the case, reach for a multivitamin to give the immune system a boost. Make sure it contains Vitamin C, which is considered as one of the most effective supplements in preventing illness. Vitamin C also can be easily added to the diet through fruits, including grapefruits, oranges, and strawberries. Broccoli and spinach also contain Vitamin C. Two other vitamins that give the immune system a boost include Vitamin B6, which is available naturally in chicken, salmon and tuna, and Vitamin E, which can be found in nuts and spinach.
Exercise: To assist the immune system in fighting infections, people should aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. People who get regular exercise are less likely to end up getting a cold than people who do not. This doesn’t mean everyone should be running 5 miles a day. A simple walk should be enough to reach the desired effect.
Sleep: Not getting enough sleep can also lead to catching a cold or other illness. Lack of sleep can cause stress hormone levels to spike, and more inflammation in the body. Studies have even found that the flu vaccine provides stronger protection against infection in people who get enough sleep than in those who don’t.
Stress levels: When a person is under stress for a long period of time, they are more prone to sickness such as a cold or something more serious, studies show. When a person is constantly stressed, the body is more vulnerable to immune system-suppressing stress hormones. Some ways to manage stress are through meditation and exercise which both help people sleep better. So, working to lower stress levels kills two birds with one stone on the way to a healthy immune system.