Whether the timing is cold and flu season, you’re feeling a little under the weather, or you’re thinking of taking preventive measures to stay healthy, we are revealing our favorite ways to care for your immune system.
Your immune system is your body’s first protection against sickness. Your immune system consists of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to fight infections instigated by bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Although everyone gets sick from time to time, there are things we can do often to help keep our immune system healthy.
You likely know that what we eat every day affects our health. Starting as little kids, the message is to eat our vegetables. But what are examples of the best foods to eat to promote a healthy immune system?
Foods elevated in Vitamin C work toward supporting your body and improving white blood cells, which help battle diseases. These include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kiwi, and papaya. However Vitamin C isn’t just sourced from fruits! Vegetables, like red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach, have Vitamin C.
Vitamin B-6 is a crucial player that aids with the formation of new red blood cells. Essentially Vitamin C helps support white blood cells, Vitamin B-6 works to help with red blood cells. A large source of Vitamin B-6 can be located in proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs.
If you’re looking for a delicious, nutrient-packed salad, kick it off with a selection of spinach and leafy greens (Vitamin C), include your preferred fruit or vegetable (more Vitamin C!), and end with a healthy protein like chicken (Vitamin B-6) and a few almonds or seeds to provide a healthy fat.
And don’t forget to keep drinking water! The adult human body contains 60% water. To get optimal hydration, drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, at 160 pounds, you want to consume 80 ounces of water every day.
Work Your Body
Did you realize that your lymphatic system, which is the system for getting rid of waste and contaminants within your body, is the sole system that can’t do its job without movement? To aide in your lymphatic system moving, you must move with it. When performing an activity, your body distributes white blood cells and antibodies faster, this can help the cells identify and fight infections quicker than if you continue to be sedentary.
Not only is staying on the go a critical piece of a healthy body, activity is also helpful to your emotional well-being! Stress can impact your well-being. Research shows that those who experience regular stress are more liable to have unstable immune systems, which could result in more recurrent illness. Ongoing exercise assists to balance stress hormones, like cortisol, resulting in you pleased and healthy!
Don’t feel great? It’s okay to need a break! Please don’t feel it’s necessary to push yourself to move around too much if you’re sick or injured. Listening to your body and allowing it the rest it requires is similarily important.
Get Some Zzzs
Once you’ve you’ve meal prepped your healthy food for the week and moved your body with some activity, it’s time to snooze! Sleep is a process used so your body reestablishes homeostasis, or chemical balance throughout the body. During the sleep stage, your body has the opportunity to regulate your immune system, produce healthy cells, and get rid of damaged cells. Rest is critical to your body’s likelihood to remain healthy.
Despite the fact that sleep requirements change by individuals, experts recommend adults allow 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you have issues falling asleep or keeping asleep, try incorporating a sleep schedule – that includes on Saturday and Sunday. Not unlike diet and exercise, a sleep routine is beneficial to having a happy and healthy body.
Eating wholesome, nutrient-dense snacks and meal items, moving your body and exercising, and observing your body and offering it adequate rest are a handful ways to care for and improve your immune system.