If you are going to get in great shape you should pay attention not only to healthy eating and working out, but also the most important “part” of our body – the immune system and your health.
Our immune system is a complex system composed of many interdependent cell types that collectively work to protect our body from viruses, dangerous bacteria and toxins. Every disorder of the immune system will eventually lead to illness and infection – or in other words – inability to live a healthy life and function properly.
And while you can’t completely isolate yourself from viruses and infections, and you will surely get sick sometimes, there are a few things you can do to improve your immune system functionality and strength. Here are some of the best practices to boost your immune system naturally and help your defense systems stay in shape.
1. Lay off the stress
Stress is probably the number one reason for an impaired immune system. Prolonged periods of stress will lead to poor health and a poorly functioning immune system. That’s why it’s very important to find ways to relax and fight stress.
This can be achieved trough exercise, meditation, socializing, doing what makes you happy, like a hobby etc. Here are 10 scientifically proven ways to eliminate stress.
2. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is vital for proper immune system function. Losing just a few hours of sleep can drastically suppress the immune system. If you don’t believe this, try getting just 4-5 hours of sleep one night and see how you feel the next day.
It is during sleep that your immune system is restored and strengthened. Hormones like melatonin and growth hormone are released at night helping in immune system restoration. Adults usually need 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night.
3. Reduce alcohol consumption
Too much alcohol consumption can harm the body’s immune system in two ways.
First, it produces an overall nutritional deficiency, limiting the valuable immune boosting nutrients. Second, alcohol consumed in higher doses can reduce the ability of white cells to kill germs by suppressing their ability to multiply.
Drink alcohol only in moderation.
4. Reduce sugar consumption
Just like alcohol, excessive sugar consumption can suppress the ability of white blood cells to multiply. Eating 100 or more grams of sugar a day for just a few days can have a devastating effect on the immune system. 8 Warning Signs You Are Eating Too Much Sugar.
5. Exercise regularly
Exercise helps you relax and strengthens your immune system. A good combination is a weightlifting workout and cardio workout. Try to work out about 3 times a week.
6. Take vitamin D and essential fatty acids
Many people are deficient in vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids and they both have anti inflammatory and immune system rebuilding properties. Regular consumption of fish oil can replenish both vitamin D and EFA deficiency.
7. Increase vitamin C intake
Good sources of vitamin C include strawberries, citrus products, pineapple, watermelon, broccoli, bell peppers, parsley etc.
8. Eat healthy
To stay healthy, make sure your diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean sources of protein like eggs, fish and steak.
9. Take probiotics
Essential for the normal function of digestion, probiotics can be found in foods such as yogurt, other fermented diary products, and also available in supplement form. A healthy digestive tract helps to keep you healthy. Health and Weight Loss Benefits of Probiotics.
10. Drink plenty of water and tea
Water has many functions in our body like regulating body temperature, helping digestion, transporting nutrients and oxygen to cells, and removing toxins from your body.
Make sure you drink 1.5 to 3 liters of water a day every day. On the other hand, teas like green tea and black tea are packed with antioxidants and are very helpful in keeping the body healthy.