Boost Your Immune System
Lifestyle can affect how well your immune system protects you from germs, viruses and chronic illness. You may wonder why you are sick more or less often than your partner or co-worker. You may also wonder why one person coughing and sneezing on an airplane gets the passenger to his right sick but not the one to his left. The answer is that not all immune systems function alike. Infections and virus are inevitable, but there are ways to give your immune system a boost!
You’re more likely to catch a cold or other infection when you’re not getting enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of stress hormone, more inflammation in your body and a depressed immune system.
Moderate exercise releases tension and stress. Exercise can also boost your body’s feel good chemicals and help you sleep better. Both will give your immune system a boost.
Healthy eating plays a huge role in immune function. Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect can lasts for a few hours giving bacteria a chance to attack. Eat more fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc. Choose a wide variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables like berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots….eat the rainbow. Garlic is also great for your immune system, it can help fight viruses and bacteria as does old fashioned chicken soup!
Stress also plays a big part in depressing your immune system. We all have stress in one form or another, it’s a part of day to day life. When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands produce adrenaline and cortisol. While acute stress pumps up the immune system for the moment, chronic stress exposes your body to a steady stream of stress hormones that suppress the immune system making you vulnerable to a host of health issues. Try to laugh more during the course of the day. Laughing reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body and boosts a type of white blood cell that fights infection. 🙂
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