5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
If you’re looking for ways to boost your immune system, there’s good news. While there’s not one specific set of magical tips and tricks that will help your body fight off illness and stay healthy, there are core lifestyle choices you can make that will bring countless benefits.
Eat Nutrient Rich Foods
A balanced diet is vital to living a healthy life and should include a variety of nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and three servings of dairy each day. Making sure you get enough vitamin D in your diet is essential, as it’s been marked as a nutrient of concern by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Eating vitamin D rich foods like fish, eggs, and milk is a great way to boost your immune system.
Exercise is a pillar of healthy living and will bring you benefits in many areas, including a healthier immune system. Research suggests that moderate exercise can boost the effectiveness of vaccines and reduce inflammation. Remember to take care of your body after exercise as well by including a post-recovery drink like chocolate milk, especially after strenuous exercise.
Getting enough sleep is another key part of living a healthy lifestyle. Having a regular sleep schedule can boost your immune system and can even help a weak system recover to better fight an illness.
If you are having trouble sleeping, try a few of these useful tips. Limit your exposure before bed to blue light emitted from computer screens. Sleep in a dark room and go to bed at the same time every night. Having a soothing drink like milk or tea before bed can help ease you to sleep.
While hydration doesn’t technically protect you from germs or viruses, it is essential to overall health and avoiding illness. Dehydration can impact your mood, focus, digestion, bodily functions, and physical performance which can stress your immune system. You don’t have to limit yourself to hydrating with just water. Fruits and vegetables with high water content can help you stay hydrated and some studies show that alternatives to water, including milk which is 90% water, are also highly effective hydrators. How much you need to stay hydrated varies by individual based on things like weight, age, climate and level of physical activity.
Oftentimes we focus exclusively on physical health and not on holistic health. Finding healthy ways to handle stress is vital for your immune system. Prolonged stress imbalances immune cell function and promotes inflammation. Help manage your stress with exercise, journaling, yoga, reading, or other mindful activities. Take time to enjoy soothing or nostalgic foods like soups, milk or teas.