3 Easy Ways You Can Boost Immunity
Your immune system protects your body from outside invaders like bacteria, viruses, and other microbes from making you sick. Your immune system is also responsible for cleaning up any cellular debris and damaged proteins. Likewise, when you are injured, the immune system is needed for any healing that takes place.
Is your immune system working at its full capacity? If it is not, what are some easy ways you can boost your immunity?
A healthy immune system needs the right type of fuel. Eating a well-balanced and healthy diet will give your immune system the optimal chances. The typical “western diet” is high in saturated fats, processed foods, added sugars, Omega-6 PUFAs and salt. The same diet is quite low in micronutrients and phytochemicals. This type of diet can induce inflammation and lower immune function.
A diet like the Mediterranean diet that focuses on the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fats is naturally anti-inflammatory. A fundamental principle of this lifestyle is to avoid ultra-processed foods as well; this is vital to becoming healthy and having a strong immune system.
A highly inflammatory diet will lower your immune system’s ability to respond to and deal with foreign invaders because it is constantly focused on the low-grade inflammation in your body. Chronic low-grade inflammation damages cells and makes mitochondria deficient. This impacts the immune system (as well as all other systems). The constant low-grade chronic inflammation will drive all responses to injury or infection toward a highly damaging and self-attacking mode of inflammation. This can be avoided with a good, anti-inflammatory diet.
Herbs And Supplements
Your immune system requires many vitamins and nutrients to function at full power. Since a lot of us are eating a “western diet” we are likely not getting enough vital vitamins and nutrients needed to power our immune system. In fact, the typical American diet consists of 80% processed foods that actually cause damage to the immune system.
You can go into almost any grocery store or pharmacy and buy a supplement or multivitamin labeled with “immune support.” Some common vitamins and minerals you want to supplement are vitamin C, E, A, D, folate (folic acid), iron, and zinc. Additionally, you might want to look into elderberry, echinacea, quercetin, and schisandra.
Exercise is another great way to boost immunity. Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, and controls body weight. Exercise is known to cause a beneficial change in your white blood cells. White blood cells are the immune system’s soldiers that fight off foreign invaders. Exercise also lowers stress levels which in turn lowers certain hormones that are linked to preventing illness. In addition, exercise has well-known benefits for stress reduction, anxiety control and depression modification; all of this will reduce the stress caused by increased cortisol levels associated with these mental health conditions.