Whether the timing is cold and flu season, you’re sick, or you’re interested in taking preventive measures to stay healthy, we are revealing our favorite ways to care for your immune system.
Your immune system is your body’s first protection against sickness. Your immune system consists of cells, tissues, and organs that join forces to challenge infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Although we all gets sick periodically, there are steps we can do regularly to help ensure our immune system stays healthy.
Many of us realize that the food we consume every day impacts our health. From a young age, the message is to don’t forget about your veggies. But what are some of the best foods to eat to encourage a healthy immune system?
Foods high in Vitamin C work toward assisting your body and boosting white blood cells, which help challenge illnesses. These include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kiwi, and papaya. But Vitamin C isn’t just available from fruits! Vegetables, such as red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach, contain Vitamin C.
Vitamin B-6 is a critical nutrient that assists with the creation of new red blood cells. Essentially Vitamin C helps support white blood cells, Vitamin B-6 does the same for red blood cells. A great amount of Vitamin B-6 comes from proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs.
When you’re searching for a tasty, healthy salad, start with a portion of spinach and leafy greens (Vitamin C), incorporate your favorite fruit or vegetable (more Vitamin C!), and finish with a nutritious protein like chicken (Vitamin B-6) and a number of almonds or seeds that bring a healthy fat.
And remind yourself to hydrate! The adult human body has 60% water. In order to obtain optimal hydration, drink 50 percent of your weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should consume 80 ounces of water every day.
Work Your Body
Did you realize that the lymphatic system, which is responsible for getting rid of waste and contaminants in your body, is the one system that doesn’t work without movement? To keep your lymphatic system working, you must move with it. By creating movement, your body allows the flow of white blood cells and antibodies more rapidly, and that can help these cells find and destroy infections more quickly than if you continue to be sedentary.
Not only is keeping lively an important part of a fit body, it’s also vital to your emotional well-being! Stress can impact your health. Research shows that those who go through ongoing stress are more prone to have weakened immune systems, which can result in more common illness. Continual exercise helps balance stress hormones, like cortisol, keeping you happy and healthy!
Don’t feel great? You’re fine to take a break! Please don’t feel it’s necessary to push yourself to work out if you feel unwell or wounded. Paying attention to your body and giving it the time it wants is similarily important.
Get Some Zzzs
After you’ve mapped out your healthy food for the next few days and moved your body with some workouts, it’s time to sleep! Sleep is a process used so your body repairs homeostasis, or chemical balance throughout the body. During sleep, your body is able to adjust your immune system, generate healthy cells, and eliminate damaged cells. A good night’s sleep is critical to your body’s potential to keep healthy.
While sleep requirements change by each person, experts suggest adults get 7-9 hours of sleep during the night. If you have difficulty falling asleep or keeping asleep, try implementing a sleep schedule – all week long. Similar to diet and exercise, a sleep schedule is important to keeping your body happy and healthy.
Eating healthy, nutrient-dense snacks and meal items, moving your body and exercising, and paying attention to your body and giving it proper rest are a few ways to care for and increase your immune system.