Whether the timing is cold and flu season, you’re not feeling the best, or you’re planning on taking preventive measures to keep healthy, we are providing our favorite tips to care for your immune system.
Your immune system is your body’s first guard against sickness. A body’s immune system is made up of cells, tissues, and organs that collaborate to fight infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Although everyone gets sick periodically, there are action items we can do frequently to help keep our immune system healthy.
Many of us realize that the food we consume every day plays a part in our health. From a young age, we’re told to eat our vegetables. But what are some of the best foods to eat to promote a healthy immune system?
Foods strong in Vitamin C work toward supporting your body and improving white blood cells, which help fight illnesses. Examples are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kiwi, and papaya. But Vitamin C isn’t solely found in fruits! Vegetables, such as red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach, are packed with Vitamin C.
Vitamin B-6 is a main player that aids with the creation of more red blood cells. Essentially Vitamin C helps boost white blood cells, Vitamin B-6 supports red blood cells. A large supply of Vitamin B-6 is found in proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs.
If you’re scouring for a delicious, nourishing salad, begin with a portion of spinach and leafy greens (Vitamin C), include your chosen fruit or vegetable (let’s get some Vitamin C!), and top with a healthy protein like chicken (Vitamin B-6) and a few almonds or seeds that bring a healthy fat.
And don’t forget to hydrate! The adult human body is 60% water. For the best hydration, drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you need to have 80 ounces of water every day.
Work Your Body
Did you realize that the lymphatic system, which is in charge of removing waste and contaminants in your body, is the one system that doesn’t work without movement? To keep your lymphatic system processing, you have to move too. When you’re active, your body allows the flow of white blood cells and antibodies quicker, and that can help these cells find and fight infections more quickly than if you stay sedentary.
Not only is keeping active an important part of a healthy body, it’s also helpful to your mental health! Stress is a key piece to your emotional condition. Research shows that those who experience repeated stress are more liable to have unstable immune systems, which may cause more recurrent illness. Continual exercise aids in helping to balance stress hormones, like cortisol, keeping you happy and healthy!
Don’t feel great? You are welcome to have a break! There is no reason to push yourself to work out if you’re sick or hurt. Heeding to your body and allowing it the rest it wants is similarily important.
Get Your Zzzs
Once you’ve you’ve mapped out your wholesome food for the week and moved your body with some workouts, it’s time to rest! Sleep is a process used so your body reestablishes homeostasis, otherwise referred to as chemical balance throughout the body. During sleep, your body can adjust your immune system, make healthy cells, and eliminate damaged cells. A good night’s sleep is central to your body’s likelihood to remain healthy.
Despite the fact that sleep requirements change by individuals, experts recommend adults allow 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, try adhering to a sleep schedule – that includes on Saturday and Sunday. Just like diet and exercise, a sleep routine is critical to keeping your body happy and healthy.
Eating healthy, nutrient-dense meals, moving your body and exercising, and listening to your body and allowing it appropriate rest are a handful ways to support and improve your immune system.