Your immune system is your body’s defence mechanism; it does a vital job in protecting you against harmful and foreign elements. As your body gets exposed to more pathogens, your immune system develops antibodies, meaning it gets stronger with age. However, the demands of the modern lifestyle might be compromising your immune system’s ability to respond and neutralise threats.
Fortunately, there are simple ways that can boost your immune system, your health, and your overall quality of living and I’ve listed some of the best ones below.
Use the Right Dietary Supplements
A lack of adequate nutrition is one of the main contributors to a weak immune system. If you eat mostly processed food, this could lead to a deficiency in one or more of the vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy immune system. In order words, if your diet doesn’t provide adequate levels of vitamins and minerals, your immune system may not be operating at its best. In this case, using supplements to boost immune system can be beneficial.
What supplements should I take to boost my immune system, you may ask? For starters, zinc supplements are known to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold, especially if taken soon after the onset of illness. Regular intake of vitamin C (250mg/day to 1g/day) can be extremely helpful if you participate in intense physical exercise or are routinely exposed to constant cold environments.
However, it’s important that you understand that although opting for supplements to boost immune system does work, they can’t make up for an unhealthy lifestyle and poor diet. If you find yourself regularly fighting illness, consider the other areas of your life such as eating well, sleeping well, exercising, and more.
A number of studies have proved that our immune systems are directly connected to our sleep cycles. Certain microbe-fighting hormones and proteins are only produced during sleep. So, any amount of sleep deprivation can affect our immune system. This means if you sleep only a few hours per night, you’re more likely to get sick. For a fully-functioning immune system, 7 to 8 hours of sleeping per night is enough. Sleeping too much isn’t good for your immune system either. In fact, oversleeping has been said to lead to inflammation.
Garlic is well known for its healing properties. It has antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral capabilities and is considered effective in fighting illnesses from the common cold to influenza (the flu) and even cancer. The sulfuric compound allicin is the active ingredient responsible for the garlic’s incredible abilities to fight infections, both internally and externally.
To enjoy these benefits, experts suggest eating garlic raw. This is because bodily enzymes can sometimes deactivate the allicin if garlic is ingested in capsule form. The recommended dose is one glove of garlic a day to take advantage of its immune system boosting properties.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea has great powerful medicinal capabilities that can combat the flu or lower the risk of cancer. Catechin, a plant-based antioxidant called a polyphenol, is what gives green tea its extraordinary inflammatory capabilities. Consuming green tea regularly can prevent damage from free radicals and aid in the prevention of autoimmune disorders.
This explains why green tea is favoured over black tea or oolong. It’s recommended to drink between 3 to 5 cups of green tea a day to ingest between 240 and 320 milligrams of polyphenols daily.
Boil Your Vegetables
It has been proven that consuming raw vegetable doesn’t always yield the best nutritional benefits. Although it’s true that the cooking process can reduce the minerals and vitamins in vegetables, in many cases it actually makes them more effective. How is that so?
Heat breaks down the rigid vegetable cell wall, thus helping to improve the body’s absorption capabilities, which increases the amounts of received nutrients. Cooked carrots, for example, has been found to have higher levels of beta-carotene than uncooked ones. Make sure to include plenty of green and leafy vegetables into your diet, which have been linked to directly aiding the immune system’s function.
Exercise for At Least 30 Minutes
Intense cardio isn’t necessary to benefit the immune system. According to experts, the simple act of walking can increase the number of white blood cells in the body. Moderate exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes is sufficient. Note that too much exercise can actually be harmful. More than 90 minutes of intense physical activity temporarily weakens the immune system, making you more perceptible to illness after strenuous physical exertion.
Rely on Citrus Fruits
When you are threatened with an illness, it’s important that you help your body naturally produce the white blood cells it needs to defend itself. Vitamin C is crucial in this process, and citrus fruits of all kinds are packed with vitamin C. Starting your day with a glass of orange or grapefruit juice is a great way to help boost your immune system daily. If you show signs of vitamin C deficiency, try using immune system supplements containing vitamin C.