Our immune system is on our minds often these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With flu season on the horizon, some of us are guilty of taking our bodies for granted. So, because of current events, you might be looking for ways to put yourself in the best position possible. There are several methods you can try that can strengthen your immune system and are all intertwined in some fashion. Continue reading to learn how to boost your immune system ahead by making some of these lifestyle changes.
Wash Your Hands
The easiest way to fight off germs and put your immune system in a good place is to wash your hands. This is the best line of defense whenever you go to the bathroom, touch raw foods, and more. To properly wash your hands, make sure you use soap, warm water, and do it for at least 20 seconds. It can be easy for us to touch our hands throughout the day without even realizing, and this is an easy way for you to contact an infection. The more you wash your hands, the less chance you will have at getting sick.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The next best thing you can do for your immune system is to make sure you are getting plenty of nutrients and antioxidants. Incorporate plenty of whole plant foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean protein, and healthy fats. Some other foods that can help include garlic and prebiotics. Your diet is all about the foods you stay away from, as well such as those with added sugars. Getting enough nutrients and antioxidants in your body can go a long way in giving your body what it needs to fight off a sickness.
If you feel you are lacking in some areas of your diet, then you should consider taking some supplements. While this should be a secondary option to getting a healthy diet, supplements such as the following can help:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
If you are thinking about taking supplements, it’s one of the many reasons why it’s best to speak with a doctor and find what will work best for you based on the deficiencies you may have in your diet.
Be Physically Active
The next thing you can do to take matters into your own hands for a better immune system is to be physically active. Regular exercise is known to have many benefits, and assisting your immune system is one of them. One reason why is that exercise can improve your overall circulation, which helps your immune cells and other molecules fight off any threats that may come to your body. Coupling 30 minutes of exercise with a healthy diet can also help you maintain an ideal body weight, which is also the key to having a healthy immune system.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is something many take for granted and getting enough of it can have long-term effects on your health. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night will give your body the rest it needs to fight off an illness. So, if you find yourself having issues sleeping, find the root of your problem and fix it. This could be anything from mattress problems to being exposed to blue light before bed.
Stress is another major factor that can impact stress is a negative way. The good news is there are many ways you can reduce the stress that might be happening in your everyday life, including some that we’ve already mentioned like exercise. You can also manage stress with yoga and meditation. Do your best to identify stress and find a healthy outlet to deal with it because it can have a negative impact on your immune system if you let it consume you.
One unhealthy way to deal with stress is by drinking alcohol, which in turn can be bad for your immune system. The main reason is that alcohol can impair immune cells and fine hairs in the lungs that play an important role in keeping pathogens out of the airway. So, do your best to be conscious of your alcohol intake because it can harm your immune system.
Another bad habit that can cause some harm to your immune system is smoking tobacco. There are many negative effects that come with smoking which do damage to your immune system. When you smoke, you are more prone to infections such as pneumonia or the flu, and you have an increased chance of having an illness that is more severe and lasts longer, and which decreased your levels of antioxidants. If you are a frequently smoking, you are putting your body at a disadvantage to fight off infections.
Being well hydrated is important for your immune health because it keeps you from being dehydrated. Being dehydrated can cause many health complications, such as issues with digestion, heart, and kidney function, headaches, and more. Because of this, you can be more susceptible to other illnesses. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and check your urine to see if it’s clear, which means you are well-hydrated.
Use Essential Oils
Another tip on how to boost your immune system is to try essential oils. Trying essential oils such as eucalyptus and tea tree can be effective because they have properties that can protect you from viruses. As far as how you should inhale them, you should use an oil diffuser in your home or apply a lotion. Essential oils can also be helpful in your fight against infections because they can reduce your stress and improve your sleep.
Consult With a Doctor
The best thing you can do before you try any of these methods is to speak with a doctor for expert advice. We are all different and you might be more prone to certain infections more than others. For instance, seeing a sinus doctor in Houston might be the best route for you, and our Allergy and ENT Associates locations can help you. While your body is at risk to infections, the good news is you have the ability to put yourself in the best health possible to prevent any complications moving forward.