After the past few years, immunity has become more important to our daily lives than ever before. We’re always looking for ways to boost our immunity and stay healthy, especially now, during flu season.
Luckily, there are many simple changes we can make to boost immune functioning. Here are some daily to-dos for immunity.
Meditation and yoga are proven to be beneficial for improving immunity. In part, this is because these activities decrease stress levels. However, mindfulness improves mood and shifts our overall outlook to a more positive, optimistic one. For example, studies have shown that mindfulness meditations and yoga can reduce inflammation and help to regulate the immune system. Yoga not only releases stress but also is a form of exercise and stretching. It boosts the immune system and encourages lymphatic drainage, which eliminates waste from the body.
Drink Lots of Water
Water keeps all of our organs functioning properly, and the immune system is no exception. Water keeps our blood flowing, and our blood contains all the immune cells that help fight off infections and potential threats to the body. It also helps detoxify the body and flush out any toxins and pathogens. One of the best preventative measures for the flu or lung infections is to stay hydrated, as the water will flush down the mucous in your throat and prevent any bacteria or viruses from entering your lungs.
The gut and immune system are strongly connected. A healthy gut is essential for immune functioning. Probiotics are healthy bacterial cultures found in food, such as yogurt, kimchi, and kefir. You can also buy probiotic supplements. They help restore the healthy bacteria in your gut, which act as a line of defense against invading pathogens. When the gut lining is populated with healthy microflora, it acts as a physical barrier against invading bacteria and viruses. The more good bacteria there is, the less room there is for the bad.
Stress is one of the fastest ways to weaken the immune system. Your stress hormone (cortisol) increases, which suppresses the immune system. To make matters worse, we usually have trouble sleeping when we’re stressed, which further weakens the immune system. Whether it’s at the end of each day or on the weekend, make sure to fit in some “me-time” and allow yourself to relax. Of course, taking care of your mental health will also improve your immunity. Call your friends and family, find hobbies you love and prioritize yourself.
Eat Immune-Boosting Foods
Food contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals that keep our bodies healthy. Many foods boost the immune system through various mechanisms, such as having antimicrobial properties or fighting off free radicals. Fresh garlic is a popular home remedy against the flu and common cold because it is naturally antimicrobial.
Fruits and veggies are rich in antioxidants that fight off disease-causing free radicals. In turn, this reduces inflammation and helps regulate the immune system. Some other immune-boosting foods include spinach, lemon, red bell peppers, and ginger.
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