Want to protect yourself from colds and flus this winter? By taking steps to boost your immune system, you could reduce the risk of catching these bugs. Here are five ways in which you can boost your immune system and fight off illness.
Get your fix of vitamins
Vitamins are essential for keeping up our immune system. You can get these into your body by taking supplements as found at sites like Supplement First. Alternatively, you can try and eat certain foods containing these vitamins. Vitamin C is by far the most important vitamin when it comes to boosting immunity to viruses – this can be found in foods such as oranges, lemons, broccoli, sprouts and strawberries. Vitamin B6 is another vital vitamin that’s important for the production of white blood cells – this can be found in many foods including whole grains, meat and soya beans.
Exercise is believed to also play a very important part in fighting off illnesses. It can firstly help to flush out bacteria from the lungs and airways. It also causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells (our bodies natural defence against bacteria and viruses). Any exercise will have this effect, so long as it gets you out of breath. Avoid over-exercising as this could wear your body down and have the opposite effect.
Get enough sleep
Ideally, we should all be getting seven to nine hours sleep per night. This can have a positive impact on the activity of immune cells, helping us to fight off illnesses more effectively. Make sure that you’re going to bed at a reasonable time so that you’re getting a good night’s sleep. If you struggle to get to sleep, it could be worth reading some of these tips at the National Sleep Foundation site.
Be careful of your alcohol intake
Drinking too much alcohol can blunt the immune system. It’s for this reason that many people develop colds after a heavy night of binge drinking. Meanwhile, excessive drinking over a long period can cause more long-term harm to the immune system, even causing it to turn against its own tissue. The occasional drink won’t do any harm, but you should avoid drinking excessively if you want to keep your immune system up.
Quit smokingSmoking is another bad habit that can damage the immune system. Smokers often have a greater susceptibility to infections and the risk of developing auto-immune diseases is much higher. This is due to the tobacco and chemicals that are found in cigarettes, which damage cells in the body. Quitting smoking could help your immune system to recover as well as reducing the risk of numerous other health problems.
This is a collaborative post.