How to Boost Your Immune System with Food, Sleep, and Exercisereilly@smartboost.com
Your immune system is your body’s defense system against infection and diseases. When working properly, the immune system protects you from harmful pathogens and antigens by identifying and destroying foreign cells such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins. A healthy immune system is the best natural shield against illness, and you can boost your immune system with food, sleep, and exercise.
Here’s how small lifestyle and dietary changes can strengthen your natural defenses.
How Your Immune System Works
Your immune system is a complex network of organs, cells, and proteins that work together to identify and destroy foreign cells. These are the key players in your immunity:
- Lymphatic System: a network of tubes throughout your body made up of glands and vessels responsible for cleansing the body of toxins, waste, and foreign invaders.
- White Blood Cells: immune cells that destroy microbes (germs)
- Antibodies: protein cells that identify and mark microbes for white blood cells to destroy.
- Bone Marrow: the spongy tissue in your bones that produces red and white blood cells.
- Spleen: an organ that filters blood to remove microbes and produces antibodies.
Making healthy lifestyle and dietary changes that strengthen these key players is the quickest way to bolster your immunity. You can effectively boost your immune system with food, exercise, and sleep because they all contribute to cell production, tissue health, and homeostasis within the body.
Boost Your Immune System with Food
Your body needs fuel to perform its biological processes. It creates this fuel from the food you eat. That’s why eating a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, and whole foods is critical to your immune health. Consuming the recommended daily amount of nutrients and vitamins will give your immune system the resources it needs to function properly and fight off infections and diseases.
There are a few essential vitamins and nutrients that you can incorporate into your diet to boost your immune system with food:
All of your body’s cells and tissues are made up of proteins, making it an essential macronutrient in your diet. We all know that protein is great for building muscle mass, but did you know it’s a key component of bone health? Because your bones are responsible for producing white and red blood cells, a protein-rich diet can support your immune system. Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, yogurt, milk, eggs, nuts, and seeds are good sources of protein.
Vitamins & Minerals
Your immune system also relies on vitamins and minerals to function correctly. Vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to boosting your immunity because it stimulates the production of antibodies. Citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin C.
Zinc is another essential mineral because it supports immune cell formation and communication. Zinc can is found in lean meats, seafood, milk, and whole-grain foods. Other vitamins and minerals that strengthen your immune system include iron, folate, and Vitamins A, B6, D, and E.
Antioxidants support the immune system by killing free radicals – unstable molecules that are triggered by various external stressors. Free radicals are detrimental to our immune system because they destroy cells, enzymes, and DNA in the body and create oxidative stress. When you get a healthy dose of antioxidants in your diet, your immune system can focus on destroying foreign antigens instead of having to attack these free radicals. Foods rich in antioxidants include blueberries, kale, dark chocolate, and nuts.
Fats can help boost the immune system by reducing inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infection and injury. When triggered, it causes the body to send immune cells to the inflamed area, which reduces the effectiveness of your immune system. Eating anti-inflammatory foods helps take the pressure off your immune system so that it can respond to immediate threats. Salmon, avocado, nuts, and cooking oil are all anti-inflammatory foods loaded with omegas and fatty acids that will help boost your immune system.
Regular exercise can Strengthen Your Immunity
We all know that exercise can help you achieve a healthy heart, fit physique, and even improve your mental health, but did you know an active lifestyle can also strengthen your immune system?
Regular exercise is an excellent way to promote a healthy immune system functioning. By increasing blood flow, exercising helps your immune cells circulate through your body more quickly, making them more readily available to fight off antigens. One study found that moderate aerobic exercise can improve immune cell circulation for up to three hours after your workout.
Exercise also helps reduce inflammation, which, as we know, limits stress on the immune system.
For the best results, make sure to practice at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as swimming, running, or cycling daily.
Quality Sleep for a Healthy Immune System
Sleep plays a massive role in your immune health because it’s when your body is able to do the most uninterrupted regenerating and healing. Studies show that when you’re sleeping, your body produces two key immune cells called cytokines and T cells. These cells are responsible for reducing inflammation and regulating immune response.
A lack of sleep can cause a deficiency in these immune cells, which puts you at a higher risk of infections and inflammation. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults don’t get the recommended amount of sleep they need. Several natural remedies support quality sleep, such as essential oils. Our Calm Essential Oil Blend helps relieve stress and promotes restful sleep, giving your immune system time to recover and protect you properly.
Naturally Boost Your Immune System
Learning how to boost your immune system with food, sleep, and exercise can keep you healthy and happy, something we’re all striving for during these times. Healthy lifestyle and dietary choices are small changes that can make a huge difference in your immune health. Natural products are another easy way to improve your health by alleviating the need for your immune system to fight harmful toxins. Browse our natural products to learn more about how herbal extracts can benefit your health.