Let's face it, the immune system does a remarkable job of defending 🛡️ us against disease-causing microorganisms. We owe it a standing ovation.
But sometimes, even the immune system can't withstand what's thrown at it. This is what's happening when viruses and bacteria 🦠 manage to successfully invade us and make us sick 🤧.
You are probably wondering, what can I do to support my immune system? And if I improve my diet, would it also improve my defense system? We'll tell you everything 👀.
What does having a "strong immune system" mean? 💪🏻
Your immune system is just that: a system that keeps your body working at its best 💯.
Your immune system's main goal is to protect you ⚔️ from microorganisms that want nothing more than to attack our bodies and break them down, making us more vulnerable to disease.
Your immune system is the checkpoint 📍 for what enters and leaves your body. Bacteria have no chance when it's working. If it's not working, the floodgates will open.
Think about the immune system like a band 🎸. You want every instrument and musician in it to give their all for the best performance. You don't want a musician to play twice as fast as usual, or an instrument to make a sound twice as loud as normal. You want each part to function exactly as it should.
Your immune system is the same. Each component of your immune system must function perfectly to protect your body from danger.
The best approach to ensure that this happens is to engage in immune-boosting behaviors ✅.
How to increase immunity 📈
Choose a healthy lifestyle as your first line of protection. The single best measure you can take to naturally keep your immune system working correctly is to follow general good-health standards.
Reduce stress 😟
Your immune system and your body's ability to successfully fight disease might be harmed by stress. Taking steps to manage your stress levels can boost your immune system. Stress-relieving activities include meditation, journaling, and yoga.
Exercise regularly 🏋🏻
Maintaining a regular workout regimen can help you develop strength and endurance. Your immune system can function at its best when your body is strong and healthy.
Take a stroll, join a fitness club, find some pleasant exercises to do, and stick to it. It only takes about 30 minutes ⏱️ per day.
Exercise also serves as a mood and brain 🧠✨ stimulant – a two-for-one deal.
Get enough sleep 😴
Getting a good night's sleep is really all it takes. It's a chance for your body to relax and heal. Sleep is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Aim for 7-9 hours of healthy sleep 💤 each night. Avoiding distractions, going to bed when you're sleepy, and avoiding sugary foods late in the day will help you sleep better.
Eat a balanced diet 🍽️
The immune system army marches on the stomach, just like any other fighting force. Healthy immune system fighters require consistent nutrition 🥦, that’s why you should consume a well-balanced diet.
The following nutrients play a role in the immune system and can be found in a variety of foods:
- Beta Carotene – It is found in plant foods, such as spinach, carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes.
- Vitamin C – Foods rich in vitamin C include berries, melons, bell peppers, and broccoli.
- Vitamin D – It is found in fatty fish and eggs. Milk that is fortified with vitamin D also is the source of this important nutrient.
- Zinc – Zinc tends to be better absorbed from animal sources such as beef and seafood, but also is in vegetarian sources such as nuts and tofu.
- Probiotics – These are “good” bacteria that promote health. They can be found in cultured dairy products, such as yogurt with live cultures.
- Protein – It comes from both animal and plant-based sources, such as milk, yogurt, eggs, beef, chicken, seafood, nuts, seeds, and tofu.
Also, make sure you consume 1.5 to 2 liters of water 💦 per day. Pathogens can easily permeate the body if the mucous membranes aren't protected by a liquid coating. That is why it is critical to drink enough water. If you don't like water, unsweetened tea is a good option.
Note: alcohol deactivates ❌ certain parts of the immune system for at least 24 hours, and nicotine reduces the number of immune cells and antibodies in the blood, so you should try to avoid them.
Promote gut health 🔬
How healthy your gut is tells you almost everything. After all, your digestive tract houses 80% of your immune system 📍, so it's in your best interests to keep it healthy and happy. Keep it under control!
Yogurt, for example, has beneficial bacteria and has health advantages.
Immunity is your body’s defense against foreign organisms. Taking care of yourself will help your immune system take care of you 💜.