Whether it is cold and flu season, you’re feeling a little under the weather, or you’re interested in taking preventive measures to keep healthy, we are sharing our favorite suggestions to support your immune system.
Your immune system is your body’s first protection against disease. Your immune system contains cells, tissues, and organs that work together to challenge infections produced by bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Although every individual gets sick periodically, there are action items we can do frequently to help keep our immune system healthy.
You likely know that the food we consume every day impacts our health. Starting as little kids, our parents tell us to eat our vegetables. But what are ideas of the best foods to eat to encourage ensure our immune systems remain healthy?
Foods strong in Vitamin C help to sustaining your body and improving white blood cells, which help challenge infections. These include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kiwi, and papaya. But Vitamin C isn’t solely found in fruits! Vegetables, like red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach, have Vitamin C.
Vitamin B-6 is a main nutrient that helps with the creation of new red blood cells. Essentially Vitamin C helps boost white blood cells, Vitamin B-6 does the same for red blood cells. A large amount of Vitamin B-6 is found in proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs.
If you’re scouring for a delicious, healthy salad, kick it off with a base of spinach and leafy greens (Vitamin C), add your chosen fruit or vegetable (get that Vitamin C!), and finish with a nutritious protein like chicken (Vitamin B-6) and some almonds or seeds to provide a healthy fat.
And remind yourself to hydrate! The adult human body contains 60% water. For ideal hydration, drink 50 percent of your weight in ounces. To give you an idea, at 160 pounds, you want to have 80 ounces of water every day.
Build Your Body
Did you realize that the lymphatic system, which is the system for eliminating waste and toxins throughout your body, is the sole system that won’t function without movement? To aide in your lymphatic system moving, you have to move as well. When you’re active, your body allows the flow of white blood cells and antibodies quicker, this can help the cells identify and fight infections more rapidly than if you keep sedentary.
Not only is keeping lively a large factor of a fit body, it’s also vital to your happiness! Stress plays a role in your well-being. Research shows that those who experience ongoing stress are more prone to have unstable immune systems, which could result in more frequent illness. Regular exercise assists to stabilize stress hormones, for example cortisol, keeping you pleased and healthy!
Don’t feel great? You are welcome to have a day off! Please don’t feel it’s necessary to push yourself to move around too much if you’re ill or hurt. Paying attention to your body and allowing it the time it requires is just as important.
Get Your Zzzs
Now that you’ve thought about your nutritious food for the week and moved your body with some exercise, it’s time to rest! Sleep is the way your body reestablishes homeostasis, or chemical balance within the body. During sleep, your body is able to control your immune system, generate healthy cells, and get rid of damaged cells. Sleep is central to your body’s potential to remain healthy.
While sleep needs change by each person, experts counsel adults allow 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you have difficulty falling asleep or keeping asleep, try incorporating a sleep schedule – even during the weekend. Not unlike diet and exercise, a sleep habit is key to having a happy and healthy body.
Eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods, moving your body and exercising, and listening to your body and giving it adequate rest are several ways to support and increase your immune system.