How Can You Boost Your Immune System?
Our bodies are incredibly smart, automatic machines. We’re designed to be healthy and defend ourselves against infection, but several of the trappings of daily life conspire against us to make us sick. White blood cells, natural killer cells, T cells, and others are always at work to keep you safe, but there are several things you can do to augment your immune system.
Eating to Boost the Immune System
Vitamin C is an antioxidant all-star! But do you understand why? It works by boosting your white blood cells and antibodies to prevent viruses from taking over. Eat your citrus fruits and zest the peels. Berries, such as strawberries and raspberries, and broccoli, spinach, and bell peppers are also great sources of vitamin C.
Do you love carrots? The beta carotene in carrots is an antioxidant precursor to vitamin A that boosts your natural killer and fighter cells thereby strengthening your body’s immunity. Other orange foods such as sweet potato and cantaloupe are also great for beta carotene.
Boost your immune system by getting lots of garlic in your system. The more the better! Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, also promote white blood cell activity. And these are only just some of the foods that your Helthe Connect provider might discuss with you - there is a whole rainbow of food out there that boosts your immune system.
Supplements to Support Your System
Several of our providers are well-versed in supplements. Whether you speak to a nutritionist, naturopath, TCM practitioner, or any one of a host of other Helthe Connect providers, you can get on the right track to find out what your body might be telling you that it’s lacking.
Some of you may have heard, for example, that Vitamin E is an antioxidant that stimulates our immune cells, but most people have generally just heard of this in the context of face creams that fight aging. Did you know that you can fight the aging from within as well? Avocados, some seeds and grains, and certain oils have valuable vitamin E in them, but probably not enough to get the recommended amount of vitamin E through diet, so you might still need to consider adding a supplement.
Sometimes, you’ll get almost enough of your micronutrients through your diet but still need a little top up. Some of the recommended top-ups might include vitamins A, B2, and B6, which also have roles in supporting the immune system.
Try taking echinacea. Although the science verdict is still out on the effectiveness of echinacea, millions of people worldwide swear by the efficacy to this plant to boost the immune system.
Live It Up!
Other tips for daily life include:
- Don’t over do it with the hand sanitizer. Using too much hand sanitizer can actually wear down and harm your immune system. Wash your hands with regular (non-antibacterial) soap and water.
- Allow your kids to get dirty, pet a friendly dog, or play with a toy that has fallen on the floor. Just wash their hands with regular soap.
- Reducing your stress is crucial, because chronic stress leads to increased blood cortisol levels, which depress your immune system.
- Enjoy the sun to get the vitamin D that is crucial not only for bones, but for your immune system.
- Get enough sleep! Your body needs a good 7-8 hours of rest and regeneration at night. Your body actually releases protective immune system proteins called cytokines while you sleep, so you can better deal with the stress of the next day!
We at Helthe Connect recognize that supporting your immune system is not a one-answer-fits-all scenario. Researchers are still trying to understand the complexity of the immune system and how various drugs, herbs, and supplements affect its processes. That’s why were proud to engage with providers across the wellness spectrum to help you achieve your best health.
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