Do These 6 Things To Boost Your Immune System

april blog

Your immune system is your body’s version of the military: sworn to defend against all who threaten it, both foreign and domestic…Your immune system protects against disease, infection, and helps you recover after an injury. -Healthline.com

We’ve compiled a list of 6 things you can do to boost your immune system. Read below!

1. Exercise regularly.

There are multiple ways exercise is beneficial, and boosting immunity is just one of them. Check out the infographic from caringambassadors.org below!

According to mayoclinic.org, “The current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans are:

  • 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week
  • 75 minutes of high intensity exercise per week

Dr. Edward Laskowski, co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center, says ‘The great news is that you don’t have to run a marathon to benefit from exercise. Just getting out there and moving more helps. Exercise benefits many things including your cardiovascular system, and it cuts the risk of some cancers.'”

2. Get sleep.

According to The Sleep Foundation, “To stay healthy, especially during the influenza season, get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night. This will help keep your immune system in fighting shape, and also protect you from other health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.”

And here’s exactly how sleep works to help your immune system, “Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response. Cytokines are both produced and released during sleep, causing a double whammy if you skimp on shut-eye.”

3. Wash your hands.

Livescience.com states, “Germs, or microbes, are everywhere. Literally, everywhere. In the air, soil, water and on every surface, including your body. Most microbes are harmless and some are important for human health, like the ones that live in our gut. But there are several germs that cause problems, and these are the ones we prefer not to have on or in our bodies. Our first line of defense against those harmful germs is soap.”

“Germs stick to the oils and grease on our hands (sounds yucky, but it’s totally normal). Water alone won’t remove much of the germs on our hands because water and oil don’t like each other, so they won’t mix. But soap likes both water and oil. That’s because soap molecules are a type of surfactant, which means they have one end that’s water loving, or hydrophilic, and one end that’s oil loving, or hydrophobic.” 

“When you wash your hands with soap, the soap molecules act as a mediator between the water and oil molecules, and bind with both of them at the same time. Then when you rinse everything off, the soap carries away the germs with the water.”

4. Reduce stress.

Clevelandclinic.org states, “Stress occurs when life events surpass your abilities to cope. It causes your body to produce greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”

“In short spurts, cortisol can boost your immunity by limiting inflammation. But over time, your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood. And this opens the door for more inflammation.”

“In addition, stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes — the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses, including the common cold and cold sores.”

“You can take steps to reduce short-term and long-term stress…Two tactics are most effective:

  1. Meditation (also called mindfulness): Meditate for 10 minutes to 15  minutes three or four times weekly to lower your stress. It reduces your cortisol levels and reduces inflammation. Research also shows it helps prevent the breakdown of your chromosomes that leads to cancer and premature aging.
  2. Yoga: Practicing yoga also lowers stress hormone levels and calms your nervous system to reduce inflammation. Deep breathing helps boost your resistance to infection. Inverted poses in yoga help circulate fluid through your lymphatic system, filtering out toxins.”

5. Eat right.

Eatright.org says, “Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune system, which may offer protection from seasonal illness and other health problems. No one food or supplement can prevent illness but you may help support your immune system by including these nutrients in your overall eating plan on a regular basis.”

Protein plays a role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery. Eat a variety of protein foods including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.”

Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Get this vitamin from foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs or foods labeled “vitamin A fortified,” such as milk or some cereals.”

Vitamin C supports the immune system by stimulating the formation of antibodies. Include more sources of this healthy vitamin by choosing citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice or foods fortified with vitamin C, such as some cereals.”

Vitamin E works as an antioxidant and may support immune function. Include vitamin E in your diet with fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils (such as sunflower or safflower oil), hazelnuts and peanut butter.”

Zinc helps the immune system work properly and may help wounds heal. Zinc can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts.”

Other nutrients, including vitamin B6, B12, copper, folate, selenium and iron also may support immune response and play a role in a healthful eating style.”

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Stay Humming and Stay Healthy,

The Humming Hemp Team