On average, we come into contact with more than 60,000 different types of germs on a daily basis. This is unavoidable if you want to leave your house! Germs and other bacteria can live in the air and on any of the surfaces you touch throughout the day.
This is why having a strong immune system is important if you are going to stay healthy. This is your first line of defense for fighting bacteria and viruses. Your immune system recognizes these threats and works to get them out of your body.
With a healthy immune system, only 1-2% of the germs you encounter on a daily basis have the potential to make you ill. This means your immune system is key to better health. So how can you boost yours?
Read on to find out great ways to boost your immune response and support your health.
Maintain a Healthy and Balanced Diet
There are a lot of things your body needs to stay healthy, which is why your diet matters. Nourishing your body properly will ensure your immune system stays in full working order.
Some of the key nutrients your immune system needs include:
- Vitamin B6 (which you can find in chicken, tuna, bananas, salmon, potato skins, and green vegetables)
- Vitamin C (which you can find in citrus fruits, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli)
- Vitamin E (which you can find in almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, sunflower or safflower oil, and peanut butter)
Keeping up your regular intake of these vitamins will help your immune system fight infections. As with the rest of your diet, it is important to take these in balanced quantities.
If you are struggling to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need in your diet, you might also want to consider taking supplements. For example, vegetarians and vegans often take iron supplements to support their non-meat diets. However, your body absorbs nutrients quicker from dietary sources so these are your best bet if you can find them.
Exercise on a Regular Basis
Exercise is often seen as part of looking after your body’s muscles and helping to keep you in shape. Some people also use it to reduce stress. However, regular exercise can also do your immune system the world of good.
When you exercise, your heart rate increases and this improves your body’s blood circulation. This means that the immune cells in your blood can travel around your body more easily. So they will reach a bacterial infection or viral infection much quicker.
As a result of this, infections are dealt with quicker when you exercise on a regular basis. This also means that they have less time to take hold of your body, making them easier to fight.
Ideally, you should aim to exercise for 30 minutes every day. This doesn’t have to be an intense workout every time. Going for a gentle walk is a great way to keep your body active and take time out from your busy day.
Water also has a huge impact on how quickly your immune cells travel around your body.
This is because the fluid (or lymph) that they travel in is mainly made up of water. As you become dehydrated, this fluid moves more slowly, which means it takes longer for your immune cells to reach infections.
Often, we focus on hydrating when we are exercising or during the summer months when it’s hot. However, hydration should be part of your daily life.
On average, men should drink 3.7 liters of water a day and women should drink 2.7 liters. This may vary depending on your size but it should be enough to keep you well hydrated.
Get Enough Sleep
More often than not, we think of sleep as something we do so that we feel energized and able to focus. But your body also needs rest to function properly. Fighting infections takes energy, which it won’t have if you’re sleep-deprived.
On top of this, the molecules that you need to fight infections are only produced while you are asleep. Regularly missing out on sleep can leave you feeling run down and vulnerable to bacteria or viruses.
Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Babies and children need more than this as their bodies are still developing.
Minimize Sources of Stress
Stress is a silent but powerful force in most of our lives and it can come from anywhere. Unfortunately, avoiding stress entirely can feel like an impossible task. However, you can manage your stress levels.
This is incredibly important if you are going to protect your immune system. In extreme cases, your body may react to stress by initiating a stress response.
This signals a physical change in your body, which suppresses your immune system. As a result, you are left vulnerable to infections and illnesses.
There are plenty of different things you can try to help you manage your stress levels, such as:
- Taking a break in nature
- Practicing deep breathing
- Practicing mindfulness
Finding the right way to de-stress might take some time. But it is worth finding out what works in order to keep your immune system in good shape.
Keep These Tips for Better Health in Mind
Looking after your immune system is vital for better health. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do every day to support yours. So what are you waiting for?
If you want to know about the best vitamin supplements for your immune system available at the moment, get in touch today. We’re here to help!