The importance of ensuring that you are boosting your immune system has really increased in the past few years following the pandemic, and it’s no surprise why. Ensuring your immune system stays strong will help to ensure your healthier and happier for longer.
What is your immune system?
The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection. keeps a record of every germ (microbe) it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy the microbe quickly if it enters the body again. Abnormalities of the immune system can lead to allergic diseases, immunodeficiencies and autoimmune disorders.
As long as your immune system is running smoothly, you don’t notice that it’s there. But if it stops working properly – because it’s weak or can’t fight particularly aggressive germs – you get ill. Germs that your body has never encountered before are also likely to make you ill.
The effects of a poor immune system
If you are someone that suffers from a poor immune system then there are several tell tale signs that this is the case. If you are suffering from a poor immune system then we recommend following our steps to help ensure that your boosting your immune system.
- Constant sniffles: Feel like you’ve always got a cold? Well this is a tell tale sign that your body has a poor immune system.
- Frequent infections: If you seem to battle frequent infections, your immune system might be sending you red flags.
- Slow healing wounds: When your body has a wound it enters the healing process. This healing process depends on healthy immune cells. But if your immune system is sluggish, your skin can’t regenerate. Instead, your wounds linger and have a hard time healing.
- Feeling tired all the time: You know that burning the candle at both ends is bound to leave you feeling sluggish. But if you’re getting enough sleep and still suffering from exhaustion, it’s worth considering if your immune system is trying to tell you something.
How to boost your immune system
1. Ensure your eating the right things
Immune-boosting foods are a thing! Ensure that your filling your diet with our list of immune boosting foods below to help boost your immune system.
- Garlic: Allicin, a compound in garlic, is well-known for its ability to boost the immune system. Eat one-half of a raw garlic clove daily. If you can’t stomach raw garlic, the next best thing is to roast it.
- Vitamin C-rich foods: Vitamin C is known to boost immunity. One study found that older adults who ate kiwi every day for a month had a significant decrease in the severity and duration of upper respiratory infection symptoms. Oranges, broccoli and kiwi are all great food choices to get your vitamin C.
- Antioxidants: Stress can lead to lowered immunity and make you more prone to illness. Colorful fruits and vegetables including berries, carrots and spinach have antioxidants that protect you against oxidative stress, which translates to a stronger immune system.
2. Always make sure your well hydrated
Dehydration can have many negative effects on your health and your immune system, and even more so when we are trying to fight an infection. Ensure that you drink plenty of water on a daily basis to keep your body hydrated.
3. Stay active
Regular physical activity is a great way to boost your immune system. Find a hobby which helps you to stay fit, maybe try joining a running group or a yoga club?
If those aren’t for you, then a simple 20-minute walk every day is a great way to help you get some daily exercise.
4. Make sure your getting plenty of sleep
There are many positive effects of sleep on the body, but it’s natural to not sleep well every night, particularly during times of stress and anxiety. That makes it even more essential to prioritise your sleep and put in place good sleep habits, like avoiding caffeine, limiting screen time close to bedtime and keeping anything work-related outside the bedroom
5. Make sure your enjoying the sun
When it comes to combating a cold, Vitamin D is essential in helping to regulate the immune response. During the colder months, many people become deficient in Vitamin D because they stay inside avoiding the weather but you need to make sure you expose yourself to the sun’s UVB rays by going outside for at least 15 minutes per day – even if it’s chilly.
6. Keep your stress levels to a minimum
This is not always easy, but try not to neglect activities that help you feel relaxed like walking in nature, deep-breathing, listening to music, practicing yoga and meditating. Whatever you find most relaxing. Staying in touch with family and friends can really help manage your stress levels too.