8 Lifestyle Changes to Build the Immune-System

April 06, 2020

8 Lifestyle Changes to Build the Immune-System

Previously, we discussed food that improves our immune system. Although food plays a big part, it takes an entire lifestyle to improve one’s immune system completely.

Below are some tips you can do to protect ourselves from sickness!

1. Get enough sleep regularly.
Sleep and our body’s. immunity are closely correlated.

In fact, inadequate or poor quality of sleep has been linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness in various studies.

It can make us prone to catching colds and other viruses and developing infections. Getting adequate rest strengthens our natural immunity. For this reason, we tend to sleep more when sick because our bodies build our immune system to fight the illness.

We should aim to get 7 or more hours of sleep each night, while teens need 8–10 hours and young children and infants up to 14 hours a. d ay.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, limit stimuli like your screen time for an hour before bedtime. Aside from keeping you alert,  the blue light from gadgets disrupts our circadian rhythm (our body’s natural wake-sleep cycle).

Avoid unnecessary use of pills when possible, if you need help.,  try all-natural options like our Sleepy Slumber tea.

2. Eat more whole plant foods.
Aside from the obvious vitamins and minerals, whole plant foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits and legumes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can help your system resist harmful pathogens.

Antioxidants combat free radicals, which can cause inflammation when they build up in your body in high levels. Chronic inflammation has been linked to numerous health issues like cancer, heart disease, andAlzheimer’s.

Also, the fiber in plant-based food feeds your gut microbiome. A robust gut microbiome can improve your immunity and help keep pathogens from entering your body through the digestive tract.

3. Eat more healthy fats
Healthy fats are also amazing for decreasing inflammation, therefore boosting your body’s immune response to pathogens. Example of healthy fats are those found in olive oil, avocado and salmon.

Low-level inflammation is a normal response of our body to stress or injury, but chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system.

4. Eat more fermented foods or food rich in probiotic
Fermented food are rich in beneficial bacteria called probiotics, which populate your digestive tract. Studies suggest that a flourishing network of gut bacteria can help your immune cells differentiate between normal, healthy cells and harmful invader organisms.

These food items include kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir.

5. Avoid or limit added sugars
Not only does curbing your sugar intake decrease inflammation, it also aids weight loss, thus reducing your risk of chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

New studies suggest that refined carbs and added sugar may contribute disproportionately to overweight and obesity. Studies show that obesity may increase your risk of getting sick.

6. Engage in moderate exercise
Moderate exercise can give your immune system a boost. Make sure not too overdo it though, as prolonged intense exercise can suppress your immune system.

Studies show that even a single session of moderate exercise can boost the effectiveness of vaccines in people with compromised immune systems. Moreover, regular, moderate exercise may reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regenerate in a regular manner.

Examples of moderate exercise \ steady bicycling, jogging, swimming, brisk walking and light hiking. Most people should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

7. Stay hydrated
Water doesn’t necessarily protect you from germs and viruses, but AVOIDING dehydration is important to your overall health.

Dehydration can cause loss of focus, headaches, poor digestion, and can affect heart and kidney function. These complications can in turn cause you to be susceptible to illness.

To prevent dehydration, you drink enough to make your urine pale yellow.

As a general rule, drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you’re no longer feel thirsty. You may need more fluids if you live in a hot climate or have more activity.

Older adults need to drink regularly even if they do not feel thirsty because as we age, our body becomes poor in signaling us when it’s thirsty.

8. Manage your stress levels
Relieving yourself from any form of anxiety and stress is a major key to immune health.

Prolonged stress promotes inflammation and causes an imbalance of immune cell function. Studies show, long-term psychological stress can suppress the immune response in children.

Find activities that relieve stress like exercise, journaling, yoga, and other mindfulness practices. Speaking to a licensed counselor/therapist may also be beneficial.

Although our healthcare workers are amazing, the true “front liners” to fighting sickness is your immune system and to support this, a lifestyle change is very important.

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