By Vanessa B
Our immune system is responsible for fighting infections and keeping us well. Because of that, you should make boosting your immunity one of your top priorities. You can boost your immune system by eating particular foods and developing a number of healthy habits. Do you want to know what they are? If that is the case, then keep on reading!
In this article, you will find a list of healthy habits that will help you boost your immunity, ranging from reducing your alcohol intake and managing your stress levels to staying physically active, among other things.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Did you know that alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and liver cancer? In addition, it is associated with an increased risk of developing several other cancers, such as prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer.
If you drink alcohol, try to limit yourself to just one drink a day, two if you are a man, and avoid the dangerous practice of binge drinking on weekends or special occasions. Other than that, you can try a non-alcoholic beer or virgin cocktails. You should probably avoid alcohol if you have a history of alcoholism or alcohol abuse or if you have a family history of alcoholism. If you are suffering from alcohol or drug abuse, please contact your nearest drug and alcohol rehab centre.
Get Enough Sleep
Poor sleep is associated with an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. It has also been linked to the development of diabetes and mental illness. Sleep provides essential support to your immune system, too. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep on a consistent schedule. Studies have also shown that sleep improves the effectiveness of vaccines, and that there is less efficacy of vaccines in adults who regularly get less than 7 hours of sleep.
To get more quality sleep, you should start avoiding using electronic devices at least an hour before going to bed. In addition to that, you can practice a relaxing routine before bedtime, such as meditation, yoga or reading a book for half an hour.
Stay Physically Active
Staying physically active has been shown to boost your immune system and lower the risk of developing certain diseases. On top of that, it can boost your mood and help with symptoms of anxiety and depression.
These positive effects of exercise are caused by its ability to increase the number and the level of activity of natural killer cells, which play a leading role in protecting your body from diseases and reducing inflammation.
Taking this into account, you should get some form of regular physical activity each day. For example, you can go on a long walk and enjoy the fresh air. You can also join a local group of runners or simply bike to work.
Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
A diet that is rich in vitamins and antioxidants is associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases and cancer. It improves immunity, too! After all, it keeps your cells healthy and strong.
Therefore, you should eat a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Add berries and citrus fruits to your morning smoothie, or make a healthy green juice at home. If you want to take your nutrition intake to the next level, you can try taking supplements that contain vitamins and minerals. For example, Vitamins D, B12, and B6 and zinc are all commonly deficient in adults and important for immune function.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress is one of the factors that can negatively affect your immune system and lead to an increased risk of developing certain diseases. It can also hinder the functioning of your digestive system and cause fatigue.
Ideally, you should identify and resolve the cause of stress in your life. Start by meditating for at least ten minutes every day. You can also take up a hobby that relaxes you or spend time with your friends and family members.Consider counselling or therapy if the stress in your life feels overwhelming or unmanageable.
Wash Your Hands
Hand hygiene is an important part of preventing the spread of germs and bacteria that may harm your health. If you wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer when you are in public places, you can easily remove germs from your hands and reduce your risk of falling sick.
This practice will help protect you from developing infections that could potentially lead to more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Furthermore, it will help protect yourself from catching infectious diseases like influenza.
Ideally, you should wash your hands after using the bathroom, before eating, and after you cough or sneeze. Children should be taught to wash their hands frequently. If you cannot wash your hands right away, you can use hand sanitizer instead. And don’t forget about regularly cleaning your phone! You can use rubbing alcohol or Lysol to sanitise your phone and reduce the spread of germs from your phone to every surface it comes into contact with.
There are many things that you can do to boost your immunity, such as staying physically active and eating a healthy diet. Developing and sticking to such habits might prove to be a bit difficult, but if you stay determined and do your best, you should be able to boost your immune system in no time!
However, if you find yourself falling sick way too often for your liking, you might want to make an appointment with your doctor. It might be a sign of an immunodeficiency disease or a lack of certain vitamins and minerals in your diet.