7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
One of the primary causes of dying of "old age" is illness. An ineffective immune system makes it much more likely that someone will die of pneumonia, Covid-19, or even cancer.
Use these strategies.
While this is more common in the elderly, even younger people can suffer from an immune system insufficiency. Your immune system keeps you alive every day by fighting off disease-causing bacteria and viruses. It also kills cancer cells.
Use these strategies to boost your immune system and optimize your chances for a long and healthy life.
Eat nutritious foods. Along with getting enough sleep, this is probably the most important tip on this list. Eating healthier is the most powerful way to be healthier.
Your body is constantly creating new cells that are part of the immune process. Providing those mechanisms with the right building blocks is one of the effective ways you can boost your immune system.
If you're not a fan of fruits and vegetables, take a multi-vitamin each day, though there's no substitute for Mother Nature.
Exercise. A healthy body leads to a strong immune system. Scientists believe that a strong circulatory system can help to support your body's immune response.
A healthy body weight, normal blood pressure, and overall cardiovascular health minimize the stress on the body which can reduce the likelihood of getting sick.
Relax. Stress is hard on every part of the body, including your immune system. You've probably noticed that you're more likely to get sick when you're chronically stressed. Minimize the amount of stress you're exposed to and find healthy ways of dealing with stress when it can't be avoided.
Get plenty of Vitamin C. The biochemistry is complicated, but among other functions, Vitamin C improves the structure of the skin to keep out pathogens. It also accumulates in immune cells and regenerates their oxidative ability which is one of the mechanisms used to kill pathogenic cells.
Fast. As we age, our stem cells tend to become dormant. Stem cells are the cells that produce cells. The stem cells that support the immune cells can be awakened from dormancy by fasting.
Some studies suggest that three days without food is enough to trigger this effect. Others are showing 4 - 5 days. Intermittent fasting is the current trend. Studies in all of these areas are inconclusive at this time, though this is an age-old process that many swear by. Consult your physician before you embark on this strategy.
Fasting stimulates the body to remove older, damaged cells and the stem cells to produce new cells, including those related to the immune system.
There are also diets that successfully mimic fasting sufficiently to show the same results. Again, consult your physician and dietitian.
Avoid smoking. Smoking has several negative effects on the immune system. One of these is the effect of nicotine. Nicotine suppresses the immune system and suppresses the inflammatory response which is an important part of the immune response.
Sleep. Not getting enough sleep is a great stressor on the body. The science is quite clear that 7 - 9 hours of sleep is optimal for the vast majority of adults. If you don't have time for at least seven hours of sleep each night, it might be time to make some changes.
You might not think about your immune system a lot, but it's working hard for you every day. You're exposed to roughly 60,000 types of germs a day. That's types, not the total amount. Even in a clean setting, your body is exposed to millions of pathogens each day.
Giving your immune system some consideration can do wonders for your health and longevity. Eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep!
Dr. Thomas R. Schneider