Whether it is cold and flu season, you’re not feeling the best, or you’re interested in taking preventive measures to stay healthy, we are providing our favorite tips to care for your immune system.
Your immune system is your body’s first defense against illness. A body’s immune system consists of cells, tissues, and organs that join forces to fight infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Although we all gets sick periodically, there are action items we can do often to help keep our immune system healthy.
Many of us realize that the food we consume every day impacts our health. Starting as little kids, we’re told to eat our vegetables. But what are examples of the best foods to eat to help ensure our immune systems remain healthy?
Foods strong in Vitamin C are great for sustaining your body and improving white blood cells, which help fight infections. Examples are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kiwi, and papaya. However Vitamin C isn’t just available from fruits! Vegetables, such as red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach, are packed with Vitamin C.
Vitamin B-6 is a main nutrient that helps with the establishment of new red blood cells. Essentially Vitamin C helps increase white blood cells, Vitamin B-6 supports red blood cells. A large source of Vitamin B-6 is found in proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs.
If you’re looking for a tasty, nourishing salad, begin with a portion of spinach and leafy greens (Vitamin C), add your preferred fruit or vegetable (let’s get some Vitamin C!), and complete it with a nutritious protein like chicken (Vitamin B-6) and several almonds or seeds that bring a healthy fat.
And don’t forget to keep drinking water! The adult human body contains 60% water. To get optimal hydration, drink half your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, you need to consume 80 ounces of water on a daily basis.
Build Your Body
Did you know that a body’s lymphatic system, which is responsible for eliminating waste and contaminants within your body, is the only system that can’t do its job without movement? To keep your lymphatic system processing, you need to move with it. When you’re active, your body distributes white blood cells and antibodies more rapidly, this can help them identify and destroy infections more rapidly than if you remain inactive.
Not only is staying on the go a critical piece of a healthy body, it’s also essential to your mental health! Stress can impact your emotional condition. Research shows that people who undergo recurrent stress are more prone to have weakened immune systems, which may bring about more common illness. Routine exercise helps stabilize stress hormones, for example cortisol, keeping you content and healthy!
Don’t feel great? You are welcome to have a rest day! Don’t push yourself to exercise if you are feeling sick or injured. Listening to your body and allowing it the downtime it requires is equally important.
Get Plenty of Zzzs
After you’ve mapped out your healthy food for the week and moved your body with some activity, it’s time to sleep! Sleep is the way your body restores homeostasis, or chemical balance within the body. While sleeping, your body has the opportunity to control your immune system, generate healthy cells, and remove damaged cells. Sleep is crucial to your body’s ability to remain healthy.
Even though sleep requirements vary by each person, experts recommend adults reach 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you have issues falling asleep or remaining asleep, try sticking to a sleep schedule – all week long. Similar to diet and exercise, a sleep routine is important to having a happy and healthy body.
Eating wholesome, nutrient-dense snacks and meal items, getting physical movement in, and observing your body and allowing it appropriate rest are all ways to care for and boost your immune system.