As a whole, the human immune system does an amazing job of defending against disease-causing microorganisms. Sometimes, however, the immune system fails and you get sick.
In case you didn’t realize it – our world is pretty filthy and teeming with bacteria and microorganisms. You can yucky germs on your bed, your cell phone, on your TV set, and of course in your bathroom. You may think that keeping your home as sterile as possible will prevent illness. But this actually works against you. Studies have shown that excessive cleanliness and sterile environments has led to soaring rates of allergies.
Research has indicated that the more sterile the environment, the higher the child’s risk of getting allergies or developing an immune problem in his or her lifetime. Exposure to bacteria in childhood is an important part of building a healthy immune system.
You and your children will get sick in your lifetime. The immune system is complex, and researchers still don’t full understand the intricacies and interconnectedness of the human immune system. What we do know is that the immune system requires balance and harmony to function well.
So to strengthen the immune system and help it function better, you can adopt healthy living strategies. The immune system, like other parts of your body, functions better when it’s not being attacked by environmental assaults – like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or lots of stress.
Check out the following 8 strategies to boost the immune system, and hopefully protect your family from germs.
1. Reduce Stress. Too much stress isn’t good for your health. Studies have shown that it can actually weaken your immune system. To boost the immune system, you’ll want to reduce stress in any way you can. Avoid stress triggers, if possible. Consider meditating, yoga, or exercise to lower your stress level.
2. Adopt a Pet. Dog’s are a man’s best friend for good reason. Dogs, cats, and other pest offer us companionship, exercise, and good health. Plus, studies have shown that owning a pet can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improve heart heat. One research study even showed that owning a dog can help boost the immune system and reduce the risk of allergies in kids.
3. Be optimistic. Having a positive attitude can give your immune system a healthy boost. One study found that when law students were happier and more optimistic, their immune system was stronger. To boost your immune system, make sure that you savor the things that make you happy, finding the positive in negative situations, and don’t dwell on what you can’t control.
4. Eat a healthy diet. The immune system needs good, regular nourishment to work properly. This is why people who live in poverty and suffer from malnourishment tend to be more vulnerable to infectious diseases.
To boost your immune system, make sure that you eat a diet that is rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin B2 and B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and zinc. You’ll want to eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables in many different colors – like leafy green vegetables (spinach, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts), green peppers, oranges, apples, papaya, watermelon, carrots, cantaloupe.
5. Take a multivitamin. To ensure that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs, and to enhance your immune system, you’ll want to take a daily multivitamin.
6. Exercise every day. An easy way to improve the immune system is to exercise on a regular basis. Getting regular exercise into your lifestyle can reduce stress and lower your risk of diseases – such as heart disease and cancer. Exercising also boosts the immune system and makes you feel better.
You don’t have to exercise every day, but you can strengthen your immune system with moderate exercise several days a week. Consider a brisk walk, swimming, yoga, bicycling, or playing golf.
7. Get enough sleep. You need to get a full night’s sleep whenever possible. Without adequate sleep, your immune system won’t have the resources it requires to fight off sickness. Most adults need roughly seven to nine hours of sleep every night. This may be hard to get with kids, but just try to sleep as much as you can. Sleep will definitely boost the immune system.
8. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol is part of our society. We drink when we socialize – whether it’s a celebration of some kind or a social gathering. However, drinking too much can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. Smoking also weakens the immune system. Even occasional smokers are at risk. Not drinking or smoking is an easy way to boost the immune system.
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