BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY!
Health headlines are frequently flooded with findings on the latest miracle product to boost immunity. With the constant flux in information, which claims can we truly trust?
Rather than following the trends, follow a healthy lifestyle
. Here are five natural ways to strengthen our immune system to stay healthy.
Chronic stress may influence immune function
, potentially making us more susceptible to illness and disease. The effects of stress on immunity may accumulate over time. Thus, daily stress management is an important tool to add to our kit for immunity.
is one stress-reduction technique that may improve emotional well being and overall physical health.
Activity is closely related to immunity
. Physical activity functions as a natural cleansing process for the body by flushing out bacteria from the lungs and airways. However, increasing duration or intensity of exercise is not necessarily better for individuals who already have a regular workout routine because heavy, long-term exercise (e.g. marathon running and competitive athletics) may actually compromise immunity. For ideal immune functioning, exercise regularly at a moderate level or simply maintain an active lifestyle.
GET OUTDOOR & SMELL THE ROSES
A perfect place to practice an active lifestyle is the great outdoors. Research shows
that spending time in nature may protect us against depression, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancer among other diseases, and these protections are speculated to be influenced by nature’s impact on immunity. In addition to relaxing us, nature exposes us to a myriad of immune-boosting properties, such as vitamin D from sunlight and anti-microbials from plants.
A sizeable number of key ingredients in drugs
developed today are either isolated from plants or replicated from chemicals in plants. Thus, being outdoors brings us home to the millions of immune-boosting chemicals that we may attempt to replace in the form of pills.
AVOID FALSE CLAIMS
As it stands, there is limited regulation
in marketing and producing “immune-boosting” herbs, supplements, or other pills. For the majority of supplements that are sold, there is weak or limited evidence
behind the effectiveness of the properties that they promise. Rather than take these compounds in the form of a pill, it is often more beneficial to go with our gut and go to the source. Select a diet full of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and other compounds that build immunity without boasting bolded claims.
REST NIGHTLY & SLEEP WELL
Sleep is fundamental to our natural immunity
. Inadequate sleep is associated with a long list of physical health problems associated with immunity. In particular, sleep deprivation suppresses immune function, making us more susceptible to colds, flus, and bacterial infections. Researchers recommend
around 7 hours of sleep per night for best protection from disease.
For improved immunity, stick with natural, lifestyle ways to enhance overall health, such as stress reduction, physical activity, and sleep, rather than seeking out “immune boosters” in the form of pills.