Even with the mild winter, colds and flu are making the rounds. This year we have the added concern about covid-19 and the resulting pandemic. Boosting our immune system to combat illness feels more important than ever. There is a direct correlation between a healthy life style and immunity, so a key component to maintaining our health is… self-care of course!
Feed your immunity. Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong. If you’re looking for ways to prevent illness, your first step should be a visit to your local grocery store. Plan your meals to include these 15 powerful immune system boosters.Variety is the key to proper nutrition. Pay attention to serving sizes and recommended daily intake so that you don’t get too much of a single vitamin and too little of others.
• Bell peppers
• Green tea
• Sunflower seeds
Sweat it out. To be immunologically fit, you need to be physically fit. The National Health Service says adults should be physically active in some way every day, and do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (hiking, gardening, cycling) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (running, swimming fast, an aerobics class).
De-stress. Stress hormones such as cortisol can compromise immune function. Practicing relaxation techniques such a deep breathing and meditation provide important health benefits including increased immunity, lower blood pressure, and emotional balance.
Catch some Zzz’s. Sleeping less than 7 hours a night not only makes you tired, it can make you sick. Insufficient sleep has been linked to an increased risk of illness because it impairs the disease-fighting ability of a type of lymphocyte called T cells.
Go with the “Flow”. Engage in activities that induce your flow state; the feeling you have when you are completely engaged and time seems to fly by. Finding these activities and giving them the appropriate value in your life infuses you with well-being and promotes health.
Keep a glass half full outlook. Do people who see the glass half-full also enjoy better health than gloomy types who see it half-empty? According to a series of studies from the U.S. and Europe, the answer is yes. At any one time there is a mix of good and not so good things happening in our lives. Focusing on the positive aspects and living in a place of gratitude helps people ward off disease and recover more quickly if we do fall ill.
Stay connected. We are by nature social creatures and therefore we need positive relationships in our lives. Feeling that you’re part of a community is a hefty immune system boost. Research shows that genes impacted by social connection also code for immune function and inflammation.
Prevention is key. Even people who are normally healthy may consider doing a few things to boost their immune system for additional protection. We will continue to research and share wellness strategies and we welcome ideas from our community as well. We are in this together.