A strong immune system is your best defense against viruses, infections, flu, and diseases. Unfortunately, there are plenty of factors that affect immune function, from bad eating to stress and medications. For instance, antibiotics kill harmful pathogens as well as good bacteria that support your immune system. They also destroy gut flora, which further reduces your body’s ability to fight diseases. Aside from practicing good hygiene, you can boost immunity by eating certain foods and taking supplements.
Want to find out more? Follow these simple steps to build a stronger immune system:
Step 1: Quit Smoking
Cigarette smoking causes damage to every organ of the body, leaving your immune system vulnerable. It also triggers inflammation in the lungs, digestive system, and heart, increasing your risk of diseases. This habit accelerates aging and contributes to the onset of lung infections, stroke, cancer, and cardiovascular problems. Quitting smoking is one of the easiest, most effective ways to boost your immune system and add years to your life.
Step 2: Consume More Vitamin C
Vitamin C assists with the production of white blood cells, which help fight infections and support immune function. This nutrient also serves as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals and oxidative stress. A diet rich in vitamin C can strengthen your body’s natural defense mechanisms, improve bone health, and slow down aging. Since your body doesn’t produce or store this nutrient, it needs to be obtained from food. To increase your vitamin C intake, eat oranges, lemons, grapefruit, broccoli, bell peppers, kale, and spinach.
Step 3: Harness the Power of Nature
Certain herbs and spices have strong immune-boosting properties. Echinacea contains phytochemicals that inhibit tumor growth and protect against cancer. It also lowers your risk of the common cold by as much as 58 percent. Astralagus reduces the toxicity induced by chemotherapy and immunosuppressant’s. Ginger lowers inflammation, cleanses the lymphatic system, and fights bacterial infections. Other natural immune system boosters include elderberry, turmeric, ginseng, basil, and oregano.
Step 4: Catch Some Rays
Exposure to sunlight causes your skin to produce vitamin D, which lowers your risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis. A study conducted in 2010 found that children who took 1200 IU a day of vitamin D had a reduced risk of influenza A. This nutrient also strengthens your bones and enables your body to produce over 200 antimicrobial peptides. To reap its benefits, spend at least 10 minutes outdoors every day.
Step 5: Eat Immune-Boosting Foods
Citrus fruits, berries, leafy green vegetables, garlic, and other foods display a powerful immune-boosting effect. Consume them regularly to fight diseases and keep your immune system functioning at peak performance. For example, garlic contains allicin, a chemical that kills bacteria and lowers cholesterol levels. Shellfish is rich in selenium, which helps white blood cells produce natural compounds that destroy viruses. Green tea boasts high antioxidant levels, reducing oxidative damage.
Make sure you get plenty of rest and avoid stress. Sleep deprivation affects immune function and weakens your natural defenses. Steer clear of crash diets, which deprive your body of vital nutrients that support immunity. So slowly start to add these things to over time build a titanium immune system!