Whether it’s cold and flu season, you’re sick, or you’re interested in taking preventive measures to remain healthy, we are sharing our favorite ways to support your immune system.
Your immune system is your body’s first protection against illness. Your immune system contains cells, tissues, and organs that join forces to fight infections instigated by bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Although everyone gets sick periodically, there are steps we can do often to help improve our immune system to keep us healthy.
Many of us realize that what we eat every day affects our health. From a young age, we’re told to don’t forget about your veggies. But what are ideas of the best foods to eat to help ensure our immune systems remain healthy?
Foods elevated in Vitamin C work toward supporting your body and increasing white blood cells, which help challenge illnesses. Foods high in Vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kiwi, and papaya. However Vitamin C isn’t just available from fruits! Vegetables, like red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach, have Vitamin C.
Vitamin B-6 is a critical essential that assists with the development of more red blood cells. So while Vitamin C helps increase white blood cells, Vitamin B-6 does the same for red blood cells. A great source of Vitamin B-6 can be located in proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs.
While you’re searching for a tasty, healthy salad, start with a base of spinach and leafy greens (Vitamin C), incorporate your preferred fruit or vegetable (get that Vitamin C!), and finish with a wholesome protein like chicken (Vitamin B-6) and some almonds or seeds for a healthy fat.
And don’t forget to drink water! The adult human body contains 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 daily.
Move Your Body
Did you realize that a body’s lymphatic system, which is in charge of eliminating waste and toxins within your body, is the one system that won’t function without movement? To help support your lymphatic system working, you must move with it. By creating movement, your body allows the flow of white blood cells and antibodies faster, this can help these cells find and combat infections quicker than if you keep sedentary.
Not only is remaining active a large factor of a strong body, it’s also vital to your mental health! Stress plays a role in your health. Research shows that people who face regular stress are more likely to have unstable immune systems, which may bring about more frequent illness. Routine exercise helps steady stress hormones, such as cortisol, resulting in you happy and healthy!
Don’t feel great? You are welcome to enjoy a rest day! There is no reason to push yourself to work out if you feel unwell or hurt. Heeding to your body and giving it the rest it wants is just as important.
Get Your Zzzs
Once you’ve you’ve mapped out your nutritious food for the next few days and moved your body with some exercise, it’s time to rest! Sleep is the way your body restores homeostasis, also known as chemical balance throughout the body. During sleep, your body has the opportunity to control your immune system, make healthy cells, and eliminate damaged cells. Rest is essential to your body’s likelihood to stay healthy.
While sleep needs differ by each person, experts advise adults allow 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you have trouble falling asleep or keeping asleep, try incorporating a sleep schedule – even during the weekend. Just like diet and exercise, a sleep schedule is critical to having a happy and healthy body.
Eating healthy, nutrient-dense meals, getting physical movement in, and paying attention to your body and offering it adequate rest are several ways to care for and boost your immune system.