Whether it is cold and flu season, you’re feeling a little under the weather, or you’re thinking of taking preventive measures to keep healthy, we are providing our favorite ways to care for your immune system.
Your immune system is your body’s first defense against disease. A body’s immune system contains cells, tissues, and organs that work together to challenge infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Although we all gets sick from time to time, there are things we can do often to help keep our immune system healthy.
Many of us realize that the meals we eat every day plays a part in our health. From a young age, we’re told to don’t forget about your veggies. But what are examples of the best foods to eat to promote ensure our immune systems remain healthy?
Foods elevated in Vitamin C work toward sustaining your body and improving white blood cells, which help fight diseases. These include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kiwi, and papaya. But Vitamin C isn’t solely found in fruits! Vegetables, like red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach, are packed with Vitamin C.
Vitamin B-6 is a vital essential that assists with the development of additional red blood cells. So while Vitamin C helps support white blood cells, Vitamin B-6 works to help with red blood cells. A good amount of Vitamin B-6 comes from proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs.
If you’re looking for a yummy, nourishing salad, kick it off with a portion of spinach and leafy greens (Vitamin C), include your chosen fruit or vegetable (more Vitamin C!), and end with a nutritious protein like chicken (Vitamin B-6) and a few almonds or seeds that bring a healthy fat.
And remember to drink water! The adult human body is 60% water. To get optimal hydration, drink 50 percent of your weight in ounces. For example, if your weight is 160 pounds, you should have 80 ounces of water each day.
Move Your Body
Did you know that the lymphatic system, which is responsible for eliminating waste and toxins throughout your body, is the sole system that won’t function without movement? To aide in your lymphatic system processing, you must move too. When performing an activity, your body circulates white blood cells and antibodies quicker, which can help the cells find and fight infections more quickly than if you keep sedentary.
Not only is keeping lively an important part of a healthy body, activity is also essential to your mental health! Stress plays a role in your well-being. Research shows that those who face recurrent stress are more prone to have compromised immune systems, which may result in more frequent illness. Ongoing exercise aids in helping to balance stress hormones, like cortisol, resulting in you pleased and healthy!
Don’t feel great? You are welcome to enjoy a day off! There is no reason to push yourself to work out if you feel sick or wounded. Heeding to your body and providing it the time it requires is similarily important.
Get Some Zzzs
Now that you’ve thought about your healthy food for the week and moved your body with some activity, it’s time to sleep! Sleep is a process used so your body repairs homeostasis, or chemical balance within the body. While sleeping, your body can control your immune system, produce healthy cells, and eliminate damaged cells. A good night’s sleep is critical to your body’s potential to stay healthy.
Even though sleep requirements vary by person, experts propose adults reach 7-9 hours of sleep during the night. If you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, try sticking to a sleep schedule – that includes on Saturday and Sunday. Just like diet and exercise, a sleep routine is critical to keeping your body happy and healthy.
Eating wholesome, nutrient-dense snacks and meal items, getting physical movement in, and paying attention to your body and providing it appropriate rest are all ways to support and improve your immune system.