Whether the timing is cold and flu season, you’re sick, or you’re planning on taking preventive measures to stay healthy, we are sharing our favorite tips to help your immune system.
Your immune system is your body’s first defense against sickness. A body’s immune system contains cells, tissues, and organs that collaborate to fight infections instigated by bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Although every individual gets sick periodically, there are action items we can do frequently to help improve our immune system to keep us healthy.
Many of us realize that the meals we eat every day affects our health. Starting as little kids, the message is to make sure to eat your vegetables. But what are some of the best foods to eat to encourage assist our immune system?
Foods high in Vitamin C work toward assisting your body and improving white blood cells, which help challenge illnesses. Foods high in Vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kiwi, and papaya. However Vitamin C isn’t only available from fruits! Vegetables, like red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach, have Vitamin C.
Vitamin B-6 is a key essential that helps with the development of more red blood cells. So while Vitamin C helps support white blood cells, Vitamin B-6 does the same for red blood cells. A great source of Vitamin B-6 is found in proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs.
If you’re looking for a yummy, healthy salad, begin with a portion of spinach and leafy greens (Vitamin C), include your preferred fruit or vegetable (get that Vitamin C!), and top with a nutritious protein like chicken (Vitamin B-6) and several almonds or seeds for a healthy fat.
And don’t forget to drink water! The adult human body is 60% water. To get the best hydration, drink your weight divided by two in ounces. For example, if your weight is 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water every day.
Move Your Body
Did you know that the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing waste and pollutants within your body, is the sole system that won’t function without movement? To keep your lymphatic system working, you have to move too. When you’re active, your body circulates white blood cells and antibodies quicker, and that can help these cells find and fight infections more rapidly than if you stay sedentary.
Not only is staying active a critical piece of a healthy body, it’s also crucial to your mental health! Stress plays a role in your emotional condition. Research shows that individuals who face recurrent stress are more probable to have unstable immune systems, which can bring about more common illness. Regular exercise aids in helping to steady stress hormones, for example cortisol, resulting in you pleased and healthy!
Not feeling well? It’s okay to take a day off! Please don’t feel it’s necessary to push yourself to move around too much if you feel unwell or injured. Heeding to your body and giving it the downtime it needs is similarily important.
Get Some Zzzs
Now that you’ve meal prepped your healthy food for the upcoming meals and moved your body with some exercise, it’s time to rest! Sleep is how your body restores homeostasis, otherwise referred to as chemical balance within the body. During sleep, your body has the opportunity to control your immune system, produce healthy cells, and remove damaged cells. A good night’s sleep is key to your body’s potential to stay healthy.
While sleep requirements change by person, experts propose adults get 7-9 hours of sleep during the night. If you have trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep, try adhering to a sleep schedule – all week long. Similar to diet and exercise, a sleep schedule is critical to a body that is healthy and happy.
Eating nourishing, nutrient-dense meals, getting physical movement in, and paying attention to your body and giving it appropriate rest are several ways to help and improve your immune system.