How to Improve Your Immune System
The change in seasons means cooler weather, pumpkins, and football. For many of us, it also means running noses, sinus infections, and the start of flu season. Whether you’re trying to stay healthy or recovering from a health condition, your wellness often depends on the strength of your immune system. But what can you do boost your immune system?
Perhaps in the future, we’ll be full of nanobots that protect us from all diseases, like a less creepy version of Star Trek’s Borg. But there’s no need to wait for assimilation. There are plenty of actions we can take today to fight off diseases and infections.
Healthy Choices for Better Wellness
Your immune system – not to mention your entire body – will be happier if you follow these tips:
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Keep your blood pressure under control.
- Eat foods high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
- Stay hydrated.
- Don't smoke.
- If you drink alcohol, please drink only in moderation.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Be sure to get sufficient sleep – follow these tips.
- Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
A few of these steps are easier to follow than others, and it’s tempting to look for shortcuts in the form of vitamins, probiotics, and herbs. But do they actually make a difference?
Research indicates that a lack of certain minerals – zinc, selenium, folic acid, iron, and copper – can lead to a compromised immune system and impaired wellness. Fortunately, it’s easy to get these minerals in your systems by eating the appropriate foods. While you should get your vitamins and minerals from natural foods whenever possible, taking a multivitamin every day will ensure you get the proper amounts.
Probiotics and Herbs
Many people swear that taking probiotics and certain herbs (for example, garlic, ginger, and echinacea) improve wellness and the strength of the immune system. However, the results of scientific research aren’t as clear-cut. Our advice? Be skeptical when it comes to these products. Talk to a nutritionist or other doctor you trust before relying on them.
Mind Over Body?
If you’ve ever gotten sick after dealing with stress or loneliness, it’s probably not a coincidence. Studies have shown that severe stress can weaken the immune system and even lead to other health conditions, such as heart disease. (The impact of clinical depression on wellness is even stronger.) Do what you can to find balance in your life and reduce stress.
The Road to Wellness
If you want to make sure your body is as resistant as possible to diseases and infections, follow the advice here. A healthier immune system is just a few steps away. No nanobots necessary.