3 Daily Habits To Boost Immune Health
As the seasons change, our immune systems let us know. Our immune systems can especially take a hit during winter, when the days grow shorter and seasonal illness runs rampant.
In addition, the time change we have when we “fall back” can interrupt our regular sleep cycles, which impacts our overall health – including our immune health.
Here are 3 daily habits you can use to naturally boost your defenses against illness!
IMPROVE YOUR HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Your immune system is a system, and before you begin forming new habits, you should treat it as such.
There are many things researchers still don’t know about the immune response, but so far the research indicates that like most bodily processes, it’s interconnected with all parts of your health and lifestyle.
Diet, exercise, age, stress, and other factors have been shown to impact immune response. So improving key areas of your health should help bolster your immunity. Here are some ways you can improve your lifestyle:
1. Get the right amount of sleep every day. Your body works to reduce toxins throughout your body and brain as you rest, so getting the right amount of sleep is essential for better immune health.
2. Don’t smoke. Smoking puts stress on your lungs and impacts your cardiovascular system as well. There is an incredible amount of toxins in cigarette smoke: this greatly adds to your chronic inflammation and oxidative stress levels.
Take extra steps to avoid infection, like washing your hands frequently and trying to not touch your face.
3. Exercise regularly. This helps improve your cardiovascular health, floods you with good endorphins, and relieves stress. Exercise has been shown in many studies to improve immune function as well.
4. Take steps to relieve psychological stress. Exercising will help relieve some of your stress, but try to work self-care into your daily routines, like meditation, yoga, or reading before bed.
IMPROVE YOUR DIET
Healthy immune systems need healthy, balanced, and vitamin-rich diets. Research has shown that those who are consistently malnourished, are more vulnerable to infectious diseases.
Malnourishment hides itself well; many cases are simply people with very low levels of certain vitamins and minerals – but they do not appear malnourished at all. The elderly are known for this sort of malnourishment too.
There is some evidence in animal studies that certain vitamin deficiencies, like zinc, iron, folic acid, vitamins c, e, and D3, and more – can alter the immune response. Human studies looking at infection rates in elderly populations after supplementation with vitamin C have shown great success with just this one simple change.
Thankfully, it’s possible to get your necessary and essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals from a well-rounded diet. But if you don’t like eating vegetables often or find it is impossible to eat the recommended 7-8 servings a day, you can fill gaps in your diet with a well-rounded daily multivitamin and appropriate additional supplementation.
SUPPLEMENT WHERE NECESSARY
Ideally, you should be getting all the nutrients your immune system needs to function from your diet. Your body absorbs vitamins better when they’re part of a balanced meal.
But there is no harm in appropriately supplementing for an additional boost – especially during seasons where you might more easily get sick.
For guidance on what kinds of supplements to take, click below to schedule your appointment at our wellness clinic: