Health is not something that happens accidentally to some people and not to others, (and this is true in most of the cases). If you are frequently catching a cold or flu, that is not just bad luck working against you, but perhaps the lack of certain nutrients in your diet, insufficient sleep and other lifestyle factors. All of this contributes to making your immunity weak and unable to fulfill its basic function – protecting your body against various attacks from viruses, fungi and bacteria. You can help your immune system get back on its feet with some completely natural solutions.
According to one 2012 study, severe sleep deprivation can trigger the same response of the immune system shown during prolonged exposure to stress. Namely, the lack of sleep causes loss of white blood cells, which is a clear indicative of a suppressed immune system. Sleep does not only influence whether or not you will come down with flu, but also how your body will fight it. So, make sure you get the necessary 7 to 10 hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping there are many natural ways to fall asleep faster and sleep better.
There are still no concrete evidence on how exercising regularly affects the immune system, but being that some of the proven benefits of physical activity are keeping the bones strong and decreasing chances of developing heart disease, we can assume that it helps. Some of the theories that link exercise and immunity claim that physical activity flushes bacteria out of the lungs and airways, speeds up the flow of white blood cells, and slows down the release of stress hormones.
Get Rid of Bad Habits
Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, but at the same time it diminishes the sleep quality by disturbing the sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation is not the only health-related problem caused by alcohol. Alcohol abuse can lead to immunodeficiency. Moderate consumption of alcohol (1 glass for women, 2 for men) cannot do you harm, though. Smoking also damages the immune system and makes your body more susceptible to infections.
Improve Your Diet
This is the most important step in boosting your body’s defense. The first thing you should do is to stay clear of processed foods and find out the number of calories your body actually needs to maintain the ideal weight, which is a great barrier for virus or bacteria attacks.
- Get plenty of vitamins – Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for boosting your immune system. You can get it from fruits and vegetables such as lemon, grapefruit, peppers, broccoli, etc. Other important vitamins are D, A, E, K and B complex.
- Consume probiotics – Among the components strengthening the immune system a special place belongs to probiotics. By increasing the body’s natural production of antibodies, probiotics are preventing cold. You can get your daily dose of them with yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sour pickles, dark chocolate, etc.
- Eat garlic – If raw garlic can ward off a bunch of vampires, it can also fight some simple flu. Packed with potassium, magnesium and a large number of sulfuric compounds, garlic enhances the number of virus fighting T-cells and fights stress and fatigue.
- Include nuts and seeds in your diet – Nuts are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, selenium and zinc, which makes them superheroes of your immune system strengthening. Black seed (Nigella Sativa), pumpkin seeds and other are also very effective.
- Consider immune-supporting herbs – The name says it all. If you want to give your immune system the needed kick, try Asian ginseng, American ginseng, eleuthero and astragalus.
Natural remedies for the immune system are always better than the ones you can find in a bottle. Besides having a well balanced diet, in order to be healthy, you should pay attention to your very lifestyle.
About the author:
Roxana is a Sydney based travel enthusiast with a passion for writing. She loves fashion and has an eye for anything visually appealing and aesthetically beautiful. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. You can find her articles on HighStyleLife and StyleByAsia.