How I Gave My Immune System a Boost
Did you know your immune system plays a great role in determining how often you become sick? People with a weak or compromised immune system are more susceptible to all kinds of illnesses. This can often have a domino effect. Each time a person catches another virus or illness, they become weaker and more prone to other ailments. Fortunately there are some steps you can take to boost your immune system and improve your overall health. People with a healthy immune system can often avoid contagious diseases even when they are exposed to them on a regular basis. The following are some tips I have found to be beneficial in boosting the immune system and preventing frequent illnesses.
A healthy diet is one of the best ways to promote or improve your immune system. Most people know about the health benefits of Vitamin C but there are a number of other foods you should consume that are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin B6, and zinc. Vitamin B6 is especially helpful because it aids in the production of antibodies which are known to ward off infections. Try incorporating some of the following foods into your diet, they taste great and have many health benefits: apricots, cherries, cranberries, red peppers, carrots, bananas, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, kidney beans, strawberries, grapefruit, oranges, almonds, and pecans. There are a number of juices you can drink besides orange juice that are high in Vitamin C. For a change of pace, try grapefruit, cranberry, or tomato juice instead. There are also a number of herbs and spices that contain antioxidants. Oregano, cinnamon, and clove are all common herbs and spices that can be used to boost your immune system.
Although this may seem like common sense, many people do not wash their hands frequently enough. Many germs are transmitted through skin contact. If your hands are not clean and you rub your eyes or touch your mouth while eating, you could be exposing yourself to a host of germs. Be sure to wash your hands vigorously after using the restroom and when working outdoors. Even more important, you should wash your hands immediately before eating.
Proper rest is important in maintaining a healthy immune system. While not everyone requires the same amount of sleep, you should aim to sleep about the same amount of time each night. Be setting a regular sleep schedule, you will fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
While sun exposure has some health benefits, too much sun without adequate protection can cause the immune system to become suppressed. If you frequently spend time outdoors, be sure to use a sunscreen with at least an SPF protection of 15. People who suffer from herpes cold sores often will experience an outbreak after spending time in the sun without using the proper amount of sunscreen.
Lastly, you should try to lead a lifestyle that is as stress free as possible. While it's not realistic to expect to eliminate all types of stress, by keeping our stress levels under control we can reduce the risk of illnesses. When we become overstressed, our bodies produce too much of the hormone called cortisol. This can cause other unwanted changes in the body and make us more susceptible to a number of autoimmune disorders.
Although we cannot completely rid ourselves of colds, the flu, and other common ailments, we can limit the number of occurrences we experience. By eating a healthy diet and controlling stress levels, we can help strengthen our immune system. By maintaining a healthy immune system, we can experience an improvement in our overall health and wellness.