Immune strength is something that’s on everyone’s mind right now.
We often hear about the importance of having a strong immune system to fight off infections like bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which might sound like occasional jobs for the immune system. When really, our immune system is made up of cells and organs that work together everyday to protect the body from cell variations and invaders that show up on a regular basis.
Since this is such a vital part of keeping the body healthy and running efficiently, it’s important to support your immune function, and also stay out of it’s way, so your body can keep everything running optimally.
Here are 5 simple steps you can take to support your immune system:
Wash your hands often.
This might seem like a small step however, prevention plays an important role in fighting any virus or disease. If these things don’t make it into the body, your defences don’t have to fight them. Washing your hands several times a day with soap and water is an important part of protecting your health. When choosing a soap, look for a natural hand soap that contains no chemicals. You don’t need an antibacterial soap to do the job. In fact, antibacterial soaps might not be as helpful to your health as you’d think. Make sure you follow proper hand washing recommendations and thoroughly rub your hands, wrists and between your fingers for at least 20 seconds several times a day.
Get your vitamins – especially C and D.
These vitamins are crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system. There are many food sources of vitamin C including bell peppers, citrus fruits and brightly coloured vegetables. Vitamin D is a little harder to get from your diet, but can be taken in supplement form, or absorbed through the skin from sunshine.
Make sure you sleep at least 7 hours each night.
Sleep is an underestimated resource for the health of your body and immune system. Yet, it’s one of the best ways to keep your body strong and healthy. To ensure a good night’s rest, avoid caffeine past noon and alcohol before going to bed to make sure your body is able to rest properly.
Practice daily physical activity.
There are so many fun ways to be active. Play a sport, take your dog for a walk, swim, or go on a hike with your family. In addition to helping you stay in shape, physical activity is a healthy way for the body to release pent up energy and stress, which will keep your immune system strong.
Love your gut.
Did you know that over 70% of your immune cells are concentrated in and around your gut? It’s true. Keeping your intestines healthy is one of the best things you can do to support your immune function. You can do this through eating a balanced diet with plenty of fibre and plant-based foods. To go one step further, take probiotics and/or eat fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt or drink low-sugar kombucha to maintain your intestinal flora.
Practice these 5 tips to supercharge your immune system and keep your body healthy on a regular basis. Whether you’re focused on immune health, or on overall health, your body will thank you.