Your immune system is a biological wonder. It is an intricate network of biological processes that helps to protect you from illness and diseases. And so naturally, ensuring our immune system is in good shape is a vital part of our health.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, there is still a lot to be discovered about the intricacies of our immune response. Its complexity makes it difficult for health experts to confirm whether or not you can directly influence your immune system.
However, most health professionals agree that a healthy lifestyle won’t hurt your immune response and in some cases can give our natural immunity a helping hand. So, here are five natural ways you can boost your immune system.
- Healthy Diet
Diet is a huge factor when it comes to your overall health. A significant deficiency in a range of vitamins and minerals like zinc, selenium, iron, copper and folic acid may lead to serious health issues. This includes heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer. In terms of immunity, there is evidence that a deficiency in micronutrients alters the overall immune response of animals. However, it is important to note that this study did not directly assess the effects of micronutrient deficiencies on the human immune system.
Regardless, it’s best to eat a well-rounded diet and get all the nutrients that you need. This means eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Eating a healthy diet also ensures that you’re not gaining excessive weight, which comes with a host of other health problems on its own.
Additionally, you should keep your digestive tract as healthy as possible. By keeping a healthy amount of bacteria in your gut, you’re ensuring that harmful pathogens aren’t breaking through via your digestive system.
There are many natural products that can help you improve your gut health. For example, Kapai Puku is a natural product that is approved by certified nutritionists. It is a delicious seed mix that promotes a healthy digestive balance.
- Exercising Regularly
Daily exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity helps you manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It helps with blood circulation, lowering your risk of developing coronary artery disease and other cardiovascular issues.
Of course, physical activity is also an essential part of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Yes, a healthy diet on its own can help you lose excess weight, given that you’re on a calorie deficit. However, a good diet along with regular exercise can increase your metabolic rate, helping you burn even more calories. This will improve your cardiovascular health and, in turn, help keep your immune system healthy.
- Staying Hydrated
Dehydration can cause a host of health issues from minor headaches all the way to kidney problems. Additionally, it can affect how your heart and digestive system functions.
As such, it’s important to stay hydrated as much as possible. This means consuming a healthy amount of water especially in hotter climates. There are also plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain natural water. Such foods can help you stay hydrated throughout the day without having to heavily rely on your water bottle. Water-rich foods include watermelons, berries, oranges, lettuce, spinach and more.
Staying hydrated also means reducing your consumption of dehydrating substances like sugar and alcohol. You should limit your consumption of sodas, artificial fruit juices, cookies, cakes and other sweets. When it comes to alcohol, it’s best to keep it at a minimum. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, you should limit your alcohol intake to no more than four standard drinks in one day and no more than 10 standard drinks in one week.
While it may not directly ‘boost’ your immunity, hydration maintains your overall health and thus protects you from certain diseases.
It’s important to remember that sleep is your body’s way of repairing itself. If you don’t sleep properly, you won’t have the chance to correct any imbalances in your body. In fact, many studies have found that low-quality sleep may cause someone to become more vulnerable to certain illnesses.
To get better sleep, try to avoid digital screens a few hours before you go to bed. You can use this time to do some reading, meditating or journaling. Also, it’s not recommended to exert yourself close to bedtime as increased-energy levels will make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
Low-quality sleep can also affect other parts of your lifestyle. Due to decreased energy-levels, you might start to rely on unhealthy energy drinks and not exercise as much. This can hurt your overall well-being and therefore affect your immune system. Additionally, a lack of sleep prevents your body from managing unpleasant thoughts and emotions. This could affect your mood during the day and cause even more stress at school or at work.
As a general rule, adults should get at least seven hours of sleep while teenagers should get around 10 hours.
- Minimising Stress
In recent years, the public is becoming increasingly educated on the importance of mental health. There are plenty of studies that show the negative effects of excessive stress on our health and therefore our immune response.
As a result, it’s important to minimise stress as much as possible. You can do this by implementing the tips mentioned above. This includes exercising and eating a healthy diet. Additionally, you can try meditation techniques, picking up a new hobby, regularly socialising and just spending quality time with family.
Keep in mind that you can’t fully eliminate stress from your life. In fact, a little bit of stress is actually quite healthy. However, too much of it can cause more damage than you might think.
Leading a healthy lifestyle will help you maintain your immune system. Nowadays, a lot of us want a fast-track to a healthier body. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. But, luckily, we do know of a few tried-and-true methods that can help us maintain a healthy immune system in the long term. Diet, exercise and a healthy mind can help us fight off illnesses and diseases.