- The immune system functions to keep the body healthy and strong.
- Your lifestyle has a significant effect on how strong your immune system can be.
- Forming strong relationships with other people can make your immunity stronger.
Following a healthy lifestyle can help improve and strengthen your immunity. The way you eat, exercise, manage your stress and relate with other people affect how your immune system functions.
Here are some of the immune system-boosting ways you can practice.
1. Follow a healthy diet.
Foods that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates can weaken the immune system cells that fight off bacteria. Boost your immune system by eating more brightly colored fruits and vegetables like apples, berries, carrots, citrus fruits, kale, onions, red grapes, spinach, and sweet potatoes. These are loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin C and E, and zinc.
Some studies have also shown that several foods like garlic, chicken soup, and shiitake mushroom can fight viruses and bacteria and improve the immune system.
2. Get enough sleep.
Consistent lack of sleep can result in stress, brain dysfunction, and many serious health conditions. As your immune system weakens, it can make you more susceptible to catching a cold, cough, and other infections. According to some studies, people vaccinated with the flu vaccine and got enough sleep developed stronger protection against it. Researchers reiterate the importance of getting enough sleep, which is 7 to 9 hours for adults, in building a stronger and healthier body.
3. Exercise regularly.
Exercise is proven to help the body in producing feel-good and sleep-inducing chemicals. This makes the body feel refreshed and well-rested resulting in a healthier immune system.
A 30-minute walk done every day can already help your immunity function well.
4. Manage your stress.
While stress is a part of life, chronic stress can lead to more serious problems. If your body is put under too much stress, high levels of stress hormones prevent the immune system from functioning normally. Your body will be then more vulnerable to experience infections and illnesses. You cannot avoid stress altogether, but you can manage it by counseling, meditating, socializing, and working out. One study showed that those who did meditation for about 8 weeks developed more antibodies to a flu vaccine than those who did not meditate, proving that meditation can improve the immune system.
5. Connect with other people.
Forming strong relationships with others can have many beneficial effects. According to experiments, meeting with friends, either a few or in a big group, can help people strengthen their immunity. Also, one research found that lonely first-year students developed a weaker immune response to a flu vaccine than other students who felt connected with others.
6. Laugh often.
Laughter is a really effective medicine. It can lower the levels of stress hormones in the body and increase the number of white blood cells that kill bacteria and viruses invading the body.
An experiment shares that even thinking of funny events can already have a positive effect. In this experiment, men were notified beforehand that they would watch a funny video after 3 days. Afterward, researchers have seen a drop in the stress hormone levels of these men.