Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

In our daily lives, we are constantly exposed to microorganisms that we swallow or inhale or ones that reside in our mucous membranes and skin. The extent to which these organisms cause disease in our bodies depends on the integrity of our immune system. If you lack a strong immune system, you are at a greater risk of succumbing to diseases and infections.

Here are some natural ways to boost your immunity and prevent diseases:

Eat Healthy Food

Include plenty of healthy fats and vegetables in your diet because these help to keep your blood sugar levels relatively balanced throughout the day. Your body requires energy to make antibodies and dispatch them towards infectious agents. Without sufficient calories in your food intake, your body gives priority to other functions and lets your immune system operate at a shortfall. The nutrients you obtain from vegetables and whole fruits are very effective in preventing diseases. Most vitamins, including vitamin C, have antioxidative qualities and help protect your cells and immune system from damage by toxins that reside in the environment. Also, eating dark-colored produce such as broccoli, berries, and kale is beneficial because they contain polyphenols, flavonoids, and other antioxidants.

Avoid Excessive Stress

Stress causes your adrenal glands to produce excess cortisol and epinephrine. Although acute stress enhances your immune system, long-term duress exacts upon it. For instance, studies indicate that psychological stress increases the risk of catching a common cold and infections from other viruses also. Chronic stress can trigger a hyper-reactive immune system and enhance conditions such as autoimmune disease, asthma, and allergies. So, avoid getting agitated over trivial things such as traffic congestion and bad hair. Scientists recommend stress-relieving activities such as meditation that help to bring forth beneficial changes in your immunity.

According to studies carried out on Dominican youths with HIV, massage was shown to enhance the functioning of the immune system. Also, listening to calm, soothing music can help you recover from the daily stresses and bolster your immune function.

Get Sufficient Sleep

Sleep for whatever duration that helps you to feel refreshed in the morning—whether it is for six hours or ten. Inadequate sleep depresses your immune system making you highly susceptible to upper respiratory infections, colds, and other illnesses. Again, regulate your caffeine intake to a level that will allow you to sleep well.

In a particular study, researchers inoculated the noses of several volunteers with the cold virus. The individuals who were always sleep-deprived were found to be three times more susceptible to a cold than the men and women who slept for eight hours or more.

Make Love More Often

Science reveals that having an intimate sexual relationship is beneficial to the immune system. A 2004 study indicates that the close contact of making love lowers your susceptibility to colds. According to this study, college students who had sex at least once a week had a 30 percent increase in their salivary IgA antibody than their counterparts who had sex less frequently.

Avoid Tobacco

Tobacco smoke promotes inflammation, enhances respiratory mucus, and prevents the cilia (hair-like projections) in the nose from eradicating the mucus. Adults and children exposed to tobacco smoke are more susceptible to respiratory infections such as sinusitis, bronchitis, colds, pneumonia, and middle ear infections.

Ingest Mineral Supplements Wisely

Several studies have linked deficiencies in folic acid, vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E, selenium, and zinc to impaired immune function. However, scientists have not determined the exact quantities of these nutrients required for the optimal functioning of the immune system. So, if you do take these supplements, ingest them in moderation. But, a mixed plant-based diet, and, in some cases, the prudent use of vitamin supplements, are necessary for your immune system.

Get Immunized

Routine vaccinations have played a primary role in reducing, and even almost decimating numerous infectious diseases. Most immunizations are done during childhood. For adults, vaccinations include tetanus boosters, the shingles vaccines for people aged 60 years and older, the yearly influenza vaccine, and the pneumococcus vaccine for individuals aged 65 and older. You can find more information about immunization at the Center for Disease Control.

A robust immune system is your security against disease, so, eat healthy food, avoid excess stress, sleep well, and take the necessary mineral supplements to boost your immunity.

Written in collaboration with Siberian Health.

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