Our immune system plays a key role in protecting us from environmental assaults and defending us against disease-causing microorganisms. As a result, it’s important to keep a strong and balanced immune system.
Follow these 11 scientifically proven steps to boost your immune system.
11 Proven Ways to Boost Your Immune System
1) Drink Enough Water
One of the easiest things you can do to strengthen your immune system is to drink adequate amount of water.
Water oxygenates your blood and flushes toxins, which means all of your body’s systems will function properly. So carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go and make sure you drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day.
Can you train your brain to boost your immune system? If you practice mindfulness meditation regularly, you’ll be happy to know that there is mounting evidence showing that mindfulness has a positive impact on our immune system.
According to a study conducted at University of Wisconsin, our minds can cut chances of catching a cold by 40 to 50%.
In the study, 51 people who used mindfulness techniques logged 13 fewer illnesses and 51 fewer sick days than a control group during one cold-and-flu season, probably because meditation reduces physical effects of stress that weaken the immune system.
So apart of alleviating stress and aiding relaxation, meditation can also boost our immune system. If you need help finding simple meditation techniques, check out our meditation archives where you can find tons of articles on different meditation techniques.
Also read: How to Meditate Daily [Infographic]
3) Quit Smoking
Want your immune system to get an instant boost? Quit smoking. Among several things, tobacco can weaken the immune system and increase risk of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer.
One research study found that cigarette smoking causes alterations in the immune system in smokers. Live a healthy life by quitting this disgusting, life-threatening habit once and for all.
4) Eat More Garlic
Garlic contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. Eating garlic can boost the number of virus-fighting T-cells in your bloodstream.
Nutrition scientists from the University of Florida reported in the journal Clinical Nutrition in 2012 that taking aged garlic extract reduced cold and flu symptoms and that the symptoms went away faster in those who took the garlic extract than among those who didn’t.
In order to boost your immune system, add crushed garlic to your cooking several times a week.
Also read: 10 Powerful Health Benefits of Garlic
5) Get Enough Sleep
Your immune system needs rest in order to keep you healthy. Sleep deprivation causes stress and weakens the immune system severely. According to research, sleep loss can have a detrimental effect on immune functions. As such, getting 6-8 hours of proper sleep is important to boost your immune system.
Also read: 3 Simple Breathing Exercises to Sleep Better
6) Cut Back on Sugar
Sugar has a toxic effect on our body. From increasing chances of heart disease to diabetes, the sweet stuff affects our body in all sorts of ways. Therefore it’s key to consume sugary foods in moderation.
Your immune system stays depressed for several hours after you eat or drink sugar. After people in a study at Loma Linda University consumed six tablespoons of sugar, their infection-fighting white blood cells lost the ability to fight bacteria and viruses.
The more we sweat, the more toxins we release. And what’s the best way to sweat? Running, cycling, exercise, yoga – all of these are effective ways to stay healthy.
People who exercise five or more days a week spend 43% fewer days with upper-respiratory infections, according to an Appalachian State University study. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise daily.
8) Use Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years to stay healthy, and now this traditional wisdom is being backed by science.
Cooking with herbs and spices like ginger, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, lemon grass, oregano, and bay leaf can really help boost your immune system and stay in good health.
Also read: 4 Popular Ayurvedic Herbs and their Health Benefits
9) Get Some Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important to strengthen our immune system. If you live in sunny areas, then the best thing you can do is to take a walk early in the morning. Since vitamin D is stored in the body for a long time, occasional walks of 10-30 minutes can do the trick. You can even take Vitamin D supplements.
Also read: 3 Simple (and Proven) Ways to Get More Vitamin D
10) Get Plenty of Vitamin C
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best sources of Vitamin C, which help strengthen your immune system.
Great food sources of vitamin C include orange, kiwi fruit, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, and dark leafy greens.
11) Try Probiotics
Not all bacteria is bad. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are good for your digestive system. Probiotics are called the “good” bacteria because they keep your gut healthy. Probiotics boost the immune system because they prevent allergies and colds.
Probiotics are naturally found in your body, but you can also find them in some foods and supplements. Probiotic foods include yogurt, miso soup, soft cheeses, etc.
Now that you know the ways to boost your immune system, it’s time to make some dietary and lifestyle changes.
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