On the market nowadays are many expensive remedies that we are told will boost our immune system and keep us strong and healthy, There are however a few priceless ways that we can do this ourselves without having to break the bank.
Our immune system is our bodies natural defence mechanism that is triggered when trying to fight off diseases that try to enter the body, or when trying to fight diseases that develop from within the body like cancer. We have 2 types of immune system, our innate immune system, which is a broad spectrum response and our adaptive immune system which is a more specific response.
Here are 6 simple changes within our lifestyle that we can all implement into our daily routine to help improve our bodies ability to fight disease. Being consistent with them will give us a much greater chance of fighting disease:
1) Eating 5-8 portions of fruit and vegetables daily - these help increase your vitamin, mineral and fibre intake, which in turn helps with things such as; Fighting infections, improving gut health, improving teeth and bone health, helping your nerves work effectively, increase energy, regulate hormone balance/production, help muscles contract, maintain fluid balance, control blood pressure and even help your blood function/clot effectively.
2) Exercise often (cardiovascular and weight training) - Exercise can increase the circulation of immune cells in your body, this helps your body prepare effectively for a future infection by detecting it earlier. As well as this, the brief rise in body temperature during exercise may prevent bacteria from growing (This is similar to what happens when you have a fever as bacteria doesn't like being above 37º).
3) Limit stress (body and mind) - Stress occurs when life events surpass your abilities to cope. Stress is sometimes a motivator that helps you rise to an occasion, but at other times, it’s simply overwhelming. Stress causes your body to produce greater levels of the hormone cortisol. Over time cortisol can decrease the body’s lymphocytes (white blood cells that help fight off infection). The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses.
4) Get 30-45 mins of daily fresh air and sunlight (if possible) - Sunlight helps modulate and increase the body’s immune response as well as reduce inflammation and stress levels.
5) Sleep 7-9 hours per night - During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Cytokines act like small messengers that can tell the rest of the body when its being attacked. Cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines and give an infection a better chance of reproducing.
6) Stay hydrated - Drinking water can help improve the overall immunity of your body by helping your body naturally eliminate the bacteria and toxins that cause infection.
When you look at these factors you may think that they look simple and easy to do however if you could look back at your last 100 days, how many of those could you say you implemented? Even 3 out of 6 per day on a consistent basis would help you see improvements with how many days a year you feel unwell, improvements in your energy levels as well as living a much healthier active lifestyle.