Can You Naturally Boost Immunity?
Even outside of winter months, when the cold and flu viruses can be particularly rough, avoiding getting sick is important. Behavior like frequent handwashing can help minimize transmission but can’t entirely prevent an individual from becoming ill from a pathogen. For complete protection, people need a healthy immune system. But aside from getting recommended vaccinations, there are other ways for people to boost immunity naturally.
1. Don’t skimp on sleep
Not getting enough sleep can make the next day difficult to manage. Routinely getting inadequate sleep can also lower immunity. One study followed 164 adults to determine a correlation between sleep and immunity whichfound that adults sleeping less than 6 hours were more likely to catch colds as compared to individuals who slept longer. Adults should aim to sleep for at least 7 hours while teens should get 8-10 hours and younger children should get 14 hours of sleep.
2. Eat a nutrient-rich diet
Certain nutrients and minerals are known for helping to naturally boost immunity. And while people can rely on supplements, experts always recommend that individuals opt for eating nutrient-rich food first. Although most individuals focus on vitamin C or zinc, don’t forget to incorporate foods that contain antioxidants. Antioxidants can help reduce inflammation. Meanwhile, foods rich in probiotics are also ideal for supporting a healthy gut microbiome, preventing pathogens from gaining a foothold in the digestive tract. Remember that probiotics can be found in fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir.
3. Minimize stressors
Stress may be a part of life, but excessive and sustained stress can become a burden on the immune system. Research has shown that long-term stress can increase inflammation and imbalance in immune cell function. Additionally, chronic stress can contribute to other health-related issues like heart disease or high blood pressure. In some cases, people with extensive stress may experience frequent infections. Work to reduce stress if possible by identifying the causes and determining the best management methods.
Better immunity for better health
Daily behaviors, diet, and even mental health can all play a part in how effectively an individual’s immune system can respond when an illness occurs. Taking a holistic approach to immunity can boost overall health and translate to fewer sick days. Along with routine medical checkups and getting recommended vaccines, people concerned about other methods for naturally boosting immunity should speak with a physician.