Habits to boost your immune system
There are many ways you can support your immune system.
With fall almost over and winter just around the corner, you may have come to the incorrect conclusion that your chances of getting sick are much higher than in warmer weather.
However, illnesses can occur at any time if you don’t take proper care of yourself.
There are many ways you can support your immune system. Here are some tips on how to take care of yourself:
Laughter can boost your immune system along with your mood. Laughing increases the levels of antibodies in the blood and the levels of white blood cells that attack and kill bacteria and viruses. It also increases the number of antibodies in the mucus produced in the nose and airways, the entry points for many germs.
Drink enough water
Drinking water can greatly help your immune system, as it can help your kidneys remove toxins from the body effectively.
However, not only increasing your water intake can boost your body’s immunity, you should always incorporate other habits that will help you get a better immune system.
Opt for unsaturated vegetable fats instead of saturated fats from animal foods, which reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria. And avoid trans fats, manufactured fats labeled “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”. They are often found in processed foods and baked goods because they can interfere with the immune system.
Just 10 teaspoons of sugar, the amount in two 12-ounce cans of soda or carbonated lemonade, affects the ability of white blood cells to inactivate or kill bacteria. Instead, opt for a natural sweetener, such as one made from the stevia plant , which boosts the immune system. Try to limit calorie-free alternatives such as aspartame.
Quality time with your pet
In 2013, the American Heart Association released a scientific statement explaining how owning a dog can reduce a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
In addition, a 2004 study that evaluated the effect petting a dog might have on the immune system of college students concluded that petting a dog might have a beneficial impact on a person’s immune system and overall health.
Consuming citrus fruits
Vitamin C, found in high concentrations in oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit, increases the activity of phagocytes (cells that engulf and digest bacteria) in the blood. The body cannot store vitamin C, so you need to consume some every day to boost the immune system.
Your immune system responds to exercise by producing more blood cells that attack invasive bacteria. And the more regularly you exercise, the more lasting the changes will be. Research in the United States shows that people who exercise moderately five to six days a week get fewer colds and sore throats than people who do not.
Getting enough sleep
Approximately two-thirds of adults worldwide do not get enough sleep, and the World Health Organization recommends that the average person should get about eight hours of sleep per night. Neuroscientist Matthew Walker warns that lack of sleep could put you at risk for illness, ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases.
Cover yourself well
You are more likely to get an infection if you, especially your extremities, are cold. In one study, 90 people kept their feet in a basin of cold water for 20 minutes and the same number put their feet in an empty basin for a similar length of time. Five days later, 20 percent of people with cold feet had developed colds compared to 9 percent of people whose feet were kept warm.
Garlic and onions in soups, stews and other dishes are sources of potent antiviral substances that can increase your resistance to infection. A number of vegetables can help you fight infections, including carrots and sweet potatoes. Both are rich in beta-carotene, which has an anti-inflammatory action and increases the rate at which white blood cells are produced. Other vegetables that may help are bell peppers, which minimize nasal mucus; shiitake mushrooms, which help white blood cell production; and ginger, which counteracts inflammation.