Your immune system is like the wizard behind the curtain. It works to protect you from illnesses and diseases at all hours of the day and night. When you do fall sick, your immune system fights restlessly to help you recover from the virus or cold that’s gotten the best of you.
A properly functioning immune system helps you go about daily life as you come into contact with different germs and bacteria. Without a healthy immune system, you would be susceptible to infections and diseases more easily, especially as you age. Luckily, there are ways you can strengthen your immune system to help protect yourself from illnesses.
How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally
Besides vaccines and medications, there are natural ways to boost your immune system and stay healthy. These include:
- Getting Enough Sleep. This is one of the easiest ways you can actively boost your immune health. Getting an adequate amount of sleep can help strengthen your natural immunity. Adults should aim to get between six and eight hours of sleep each night. You may need to sleep more when you’re feeling sick to allow your immune system to better fight off illnesses.
- Engaging in Moderate Exercise. Moderate exercise is a key component to a healthy, robust immune system. Exercise can help reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regenerate regularly. Moderate exercise can be as simple as walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming. Staying active during the week can boost your immune health and keep you on your feet for longer.
- Staying Hydrated. When you’re dehydrated, your body has a harder time eliminating toxins and other bacteria, leaving you vulnerable to illnesses you otherwise may have been safe from. You should drink at least 8 glasses of water daily to keep yourself hydrated and keep your immunity up.
- Managing Your Stress. It’s imperative that you manage your stress and anxiety if you want to have a healthy immune system. Long-term stress can lead to inflammation in the body, as well as imbalances in immune cell function. Try meditating, exercising, journaling and other mindful practices to help reduce the amount of stress in your life.
- Wash Your Hands Often. Washing your hands is a great and easy way to help your immune system stay at the top of its game. You are constantly surrounded by germs, so it’s important to wash your hands after being in public. To completely kill the bacteria that causes infections, make sure you are washing your hands correctly. Proper handwashing requires that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, and dry them immediately after.
5 Foods to Boost Your Immune System
A great way to boost your immune system is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. The following five foods can help ensure you are getting the proper vitamins and nutrients needed to boost your immunity.
- Citrus Fruits. Fruits like lemons, limes, oranges and tangerines are high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C works to increase production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Your body needs daily doses of Vitamin C to remain healthy.
- Kiwi. These fruits are naturally full of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K and vitamin C. The combination of these nutrients keeps your body functioning properly and helps you stay healthy.
- Chicken Noodle Soup. This is a great staple food item to consume when you’re feeling sick. Chicken noodle soup can improve symptoms of a cold and help protect you from getting sick in the first place. Chicken is high in vitamin B-6, which is vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells in your body.
- Green Tea. Green tea is packed with antioxidants, which have been known to help enhance your immune function and prevent cell damage. Green tea also contains epigallocatechin gallate (ECCG), which can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage.
- Yogurt. This is a great source of vitamin D, which helps to regulate the immune system and boost your body’s natural defenses against diseases. Try to purchase plain yogurts that have “live and active cultures” on the label, as these cultures may stimulate your immune system.
- Spinach. This is a great source of vitamin C and is packed with numerous antioxidants, including beta carotene. Beta carotene can help increase the infection fighting ability in your immune system.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle at Fellowship Senior Living
At Fellowship Senior Living, we know that true wellness goes beyond just the physical or emotional self; it encompasses the whole person. Our approach to helping seniors live their best lives includes the seven dimensions of wellness: physical, social, vocational, spiritual, intellectual, environmental and emotional. These seven dimensions are exemplified in our BRAVO Wellness program and incorporated into many of the activities and events offered here.
Our BRAVO Wellness program places you at the center of your very own unique customized program. The program is designed between you and your personal coach and is geared at engaging you in each dimension of wellness at a pace that is suited to you.
For more information on our BRAVO Wellness program and to find out how we can help you maintain a healthy and fulfilling life in retirement, please contact us today at 908-580-3840.