Your immune system is responsible for fighting off colds, flus, bacteria, viruses, and even cancer. Keeping your immune system in top fighting order is crucial to your overall health and wellbeing. A weak immune system can make you susceptible to illness and disease. Below are some helpful tips in keeping your immune system strong and healthy.
A healthy Mediterranean-style, anti-inflammatory diet, provides plenty of nutrients, phytochemicals and fiber. This helps to support nutrient synergy and also helps feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Stress increases inflammation and affects your microbiome. Anti-stress activities such as deep breathing, yoga, exercise, meditation, reading, as well as learning coping skills through counseling can all help maintain better immune function.
Many of us cope with stress by “stress eating“. Stress eating can increase the overall stress in your body, causing a negative feedback loop. Learning how to manage your stress in a healthy way can not only help your immune system, but help with weight loss and weight management.
Exercise is important for your physical and mental health, as well as immune function. Skeletal muscle movement releases myokines, which are immuno-protective. Try to get 30-45 minutes of exercise 3-5 days per week. Scheduling it out in your calendar can help you make sure you get it in, especially if you are super busy.
7-8 hours of sleep nightly is crucial to healthy immune function. Poor sleep has been linked to many health issues such as
- Increased hunger and appetite
- Impaired impulse control
- Lowered immune system
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased inflammation
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Poor hormone production
If you have difficulty with sleep try turning off electronics and taking melatonin 30-60 minutes before bed.
Vitamins A, C, D, and Zinc are nutrients essential for immunocompetence and difficult to get in adequate amounts through the diet. In addition, quercetin, also has antioxidant and healthy inflammation supporting properties. NAC is a helpful glutathione precursor to help replenish this important master antioxidant. Supporting your microbiome with probiotics, prebiotics, and polyphenolic compounds such as green tea extract is more important to immune health than we realized before.
Believe it or not, healthy posture is important to a healthy immune system. Poor posture will put undue stress on your body. Any stress, whether physical, emotional, or chemical, will cause inflammation in the body. Too much inflammation in the body can weaken the immune system. So yes, Grandma was right. You need to sit up and stand up straight! If you notice any postural weakness while looking in the mirror, reach out to your local chiropractor.