While we are in the midst of Summer, Winter is right around the corner and with the Coronavirus pandemic evolving, it’s best to start boosting up your body’s immune system now so you’re well prepared for what may be another unpredictable cold and flu season. As the entire world learned last year, immune health is vitally important and we’ve put together a list of eight small changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle to help your body naturally fight off any harmful pathogen or disease causing organism it may encounter.
1. Get quality sleep
Sleep and immunity are so intrinsically linked that sleeping for even six hours a night makes you less likely to catch a cold, as a 2015 study showed. Just like how letting your body rest for longer when you are sick helps you immune system fight through an illness, getting quality and adequate sleep every night can help boost your natural immunity.
2. Add more whole plant foods to your diet
Whole plant foods – fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes – contain a lot of the nutrients and antioxidants your body needs to fight off invading pathogens. The antioxidants these foods provide can help decrease inflammation while the fiber promotes gut health and keeps your gut microbiome healthy.
3. Add more healthy fats to your diet
Foods that contain healthy fats, the ones found in olive oil and salmon, can also decrease inflammation and give your immune system a boost.
4. Add some probiotic support to your diet
The gut’s microbiome was alluded to previously, and probiotics are the best way to keep your gut and digestive track happy and healthy. Like with sleep, gut health and immunity are deeply connected. Eating foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and natto are a great source of these tummy aides but if none of those foods are appealing to you, you can always take a probiotic supplement.
5. Limit how much added sugar you eat
New research suggests that consuming too much added sugar and refined carbs may be contributing to obesity, which in turn increases your chances of getting sick. By limiting how much sugar you’re including in your diet – try to keep it below 5% of your daily calorie intake – you can reduce your chance of getting sick and better achieve any weight loss goals you may have.
While intense, prolonged exercise can have a negative impact on your immunity, engaging in moderate and may reduce inflammation and can assist your immune cells in regeneration. Engaging in moderate exercise may also boost the effectiveness of a vaccine in those with compromised immune systems.
7. Drink plenty of water
Although staying hydrated won’t protect you from germs and other harmful bacteria, it prevents dehydration, which in turn may increase how susceptible you are to an illness.
8. Manage your stress
While it may be easier said than done, reducing your stress and anxiety levels play a key role in your immune health. Long term stress leads to inflammation and imbalances cell function, making your more at risk and suppress immune response. Find what works for you – yoga, exercise, meditation, or anything else stress-relieving – and stick with it.
Taking preventative measures like these to keep you healthy and at a lower risk of contracting an illness. While they may require a slight change in your diet or lifestyle, they’re well worth it = nothing should come second to your personal health.
If you have any questions or are looking for other ways to strengthen your immune system, contact us today and see what our experienced medical professionals can do for you!
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