5 Simple Ways to Boost Your Immune System
The immune system is one of the most essential parts of our body. It is extremely important for our survival. Its main role is to defend us against bacteria, viruses, germs and a lot more. Needless to say, a weak immune system leaves us vulnerable to sickness. People who have a weak immune system tend to deal with infections that people with stronger immune systems wouldn’t get. There are a lot of science-backed ways on how to boost our immune system. Here are 5 simple things to do it even while staying at home:
1. Good Sleep - According to the National Sleep Foundation, when you have insufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, it is a type of protein that is necessary to protect us from infection and inflammation. It is recommended to get seven to eight hours of sleep at night to keep our immune system healthy.
2. Vitamin C - Take your vitamins! It is well-known that the intake of Vitamin C aids in improving the functions of our immune system. It helps white blood cells function more effectively. You can improve your immune system’s function by supplementing with vitamin C. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is around 90 mg per day in addition to a diet of fruits and vegetables. Among them are broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes.
3. Exercise - Researches have been linking physical activities and immune functions. A professor in the department of Integrative Immunology Behavior Group at the University of Illinois says that there is enough evidence suggesting that moderate and regular exercises specifically boost the immune system and affect health positively. Practice a habit of good exercise at home by simply doing household chores like cleaning the windows, playing with your kids, raking the leaves, walking the dogs or cleaning your house.
4. Drink Water - Keep hydrated. It does not only help with digestive functions but with boosting immunity as well. Water helps with the production of Lymph - a fluid that contains infection-fighting white blood cells. Health experts recommend 2 liters of water intake daily or 8 glasses with 8 ounces of water each. This is called the 8×8 rule - easy to remember!
5. No to stress - Researches relate stress to the immune system's health. According to experts, when we're stressed, the immune system's ability to fight off against illnesses is reduced. Stress makes our bodies produce more cortisol. Cortisol can boost immunity but over time, having too much in your blood can cause more inflammation. Stress also decreases lymphocytes - white blood cells that help your body fight antigens, which are bacteria, viruses, and other toxins in your body. Low levels of lymphocytes make you more vulnerable to fight off viruses and bacteria. Relieve stress by reducing caffeine intake, laughing, surrounding yourself with friends and family and doing some relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises.