Our immune systems have a thankless job—they work to keep us free from disease and illness, but we only seem to notice them when we get sick. But how can we keep our immune systems …
4 Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System
Our immune systems have a thankless job—they work to keep us free from disease and illness, but we only seem to notice them when we get sick. But how can we keep our immune systems in ideal shape, even when they seem to be acting silently?
Though scientific evidence suggests that there are few direct actions we can take to “boost” the immune system, practicing healthy habits can ensure that it consistently functions at a high level. Here are a few ways to put that theory into practice—and these practices carry other benefits, too!
- Cut Out the Bad
The best way to begin improving your immune system’s function is to eliminate habits that negatively impact your overall health—and may also limit the effectiveness of your immune system. For example, do your best to abstain from cigarette smoking, and drink alcohol only in moderation. Manage stress levels with an eye on reducing persistent stressors. Also, try to avoid overexerting yourself or exposing your body to unsafe environments without taking proper precautions.
- Stick to a Balanced and Nutritious Diet
You can keep your immune system in tip-top shape by following the same basic dietary guidelines that support overall health and help to fight disease. For the most part, build your diet around unprocessed plant-based foods—it’s even better if you can prepare them yourself!
Make sure to include several servings of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet; manage your intake of dietary fiber (consuming over 20 grams per day is recommended for most adults); avoid sugary snacks, foods high in trans fats, and refined carbohydrates; and make sure to drink plenty of water.
If you find yourself struggling to adjust your nutritional habits as part of a healthy lifestyle, make an appointment with one of PMR’s registered dietitians or licensed nutritional counselors today—we’re here and ready to help!
- Get Enough Sleep
In order to do its job, the human body requires adequate daily rest. That applies as much to your immune system as it does to any other part of the body—catching those Z’s is crucially important, and when we sacrifice sleep, we sacrifice a lot of other things, too.
We understand that hectic lifestyles, family pressures, and long work hours can often get in the way of a good night’s sleep (at least seven hours is recommended for most adults). But if you can make getting enough sleep a priority, you may be surprised by how much more easily the rest of your life falls into place—especially when you don’t have a pesky cold to deal with this year.
- Steer Clear of Quick Fixes
Despite the many claims that you’re sure to encounter online and in advertisements, there’s no magic pill, simple “trick,” or painless lifestyle change that can instantly boost your immune system. Likewise, everyone is susceptible to disease, and most of us will get sick from time to time, no matter how healthy we are.
The immune system is complex, and those who study it admit that there remains much to learn and to discover. But developing good habits and practicing self-care will you get much farther than any detox or speedy solution.
For more information on the immune system and what you can do to support it, give the experts at PMR a call today!