Its winter and with the old weather comes cold and flu season. Add to that Covid 19, so keeping your immune system functioning at its best is crucial. The healthier your habits, the healthier your immune system. While our immune system has evolved to be extremely resilient there is a lot you can do to help it along.
Be Active as often as possible. Exercise boosts immunity by mobilizing your infection fighting cells. A heart pumping 30+ minute workout three or more days a week is key but shorter bursts are good too as long as you move your body regularly. Moving your body regularly can reduce your risk of respiratory distress which is lung damage that be a result of Covid 19 complications or Bronchitis.
Make time to Meditate or do Yoga. Stress not only puts you in a bad mood it also interferes with your immune system. When you get worked up your body reacts with inflammation. Chronically high inflammation disrupts your immune system and weakens the body’s ability to fight off pathogens. Yoga and meditation are especially powerful in mitigating your body’s reaction to stress by helping you relax and decrease inflammation levels. The more regularly you practice the bigger the impact. Aim for 15 to 20 minutes a day.
Vitamin D. Research shows that vitamin D is crucial to immunity. When taken daily, it has been shown that 400 IU/day of vitamin D can help protect your body from respiratory infections. Also focus on eating D-rich foods like oily fish, D-fortified milk and cereals.
Eat Lots of Berries. Polyphenols which give fruit their colors reduce risk for infection. Aim for 1 cup of blueberries a day or three servings of fruit.
Keep your Gut healthy. If your gut isn’t healthy it has a severe negative impact on your immune system. An overall healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and some healthy fats is rich in antioxidants, ideal for the immune system. On top of a healthy diet you need probiotics from fermented foods to promote a strong population of good bacteria such as yogurt and sauerkraut and lots of fiber rich whole grains and beans.
Stick to a Routine. Immune cells follow an internal clock and work best when not disrupted. Try to do the same activities at the same time every day. This keeps the circadian rhythm stable which is important for a strong immune system.
Sleep. Sleep is when all the body’s systems, including the immune system, restore and replenish themselves so they can function their best. Each person needs is individual but experts suggest aiming for 7 ½ to 8 hours.
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