These effective strategies will help you strengthen your immunity naturally, without taking any medications or nutritional supplements.
Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against illness. If you do get sick, its strength will determine how easily and quickly you recover.
Having a robust, healthy immune system is essential to leading a happy and healthy life with limited disruption from viral and bacterial illnesses.
Various factors can impact your immune system’s health — everything from genetics to where you live can translate to more or less efficient defenses.
Thankfully, you can control many of these factors yourself through entirely natural means.
7 Tips To Strengthen Your Immunity
If you want to improve your immune health without taking medications or supplements, give the following strategies a try:
1. Avoid Excess Sugar
It’s common knowledge that consuming too much sugar is bad for your health. But why?
One factor (among many) is that sugar can reduce your immune system’s efficiency by altering white blood cells that attack bacteria.
To avoid the adverse health effects of sugar, particularly refined sugars, try to reduce or remove processed foods from your diet.
Processed foods (like bagels, pizza, crackers, or popcorn) usually contain hidden sugars, so always read nutrition information before consuming pre-made items.
The best thing you can do to reduce your sugar consumption is switch to home-cooked meals and avoid using additional sugar in your cooking.
2. Eat More Whole Foods
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes can strengthen your immunity and your overall health.
The antioxidants in these foods can help decrease inflammation and lower your susceptibility to illness.
Consuming more fruits and veggies, specifically, foods containing zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E, can automatically improve the function of your immune system.
3. Get Regular Exercise
As your muscles contract from exercise, blood and lymph flow increases, improving the circulation of immune cells. As a result, exercise increases the flow of immune cells and their numbers throughout your body.
To experience this effect, you should aim to engage in regular exercise, including aerobic exercise (walking, running, or cycling), five or more days of the week.
Exercise releases endorphins, improves cardiovascular health, treats depression naturally, and bolsters the immune system.
4. Enjoy Alcohol Responsibly
Drinking alcohol in excess can take a toll on your immune system in surprising ways.
When you consume alcohol, your body prioritizes breaking it down over other functions like fighting illness.
Alcohol can also cause inflammation in the gut and destroy healthy intestinal gut bacteria integral to your immune system.
Lastly, alcohol can throw off your sleep-wake cycle, and quality sleep is a significant contributing factor in immune system health.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is how your body recuperates and replenishes your energy for the next day. Without adequate sleep, your mental and physical condition can quickly become frayed.
Furthermore, lacking sleep makes you more susceptible to illness and can slow down your recovery if you catch a cold.
Make sure that you are getting seven to eight hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep every night. You can do this by adopting healthy sleep habits and optimizing your sleep environment.
Ways to improve your sleep include:
- Eliminating blue light at night;
- Increasing light exposure during the day;
- Developing a consistent sleep schedule;
- Reducing loud noise;
- Adjusting the room temperature;
- Avoiding caffeine consumption in the evening.
Finding the right mattress is also essential to improving the quality and duration of the sleep you get each night. A change of mattress can prove invaluable for your mental, physical, and immune health.
You can read these Nolah mattress reviews to see if an air foam mattress — the latest iteration of body-contouring foam mattresses — can help you get better rest.
6. Wash Your Hands And Practice Good Personal Hygiene
As the adage goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Good hygiene can go a long way in protecting your body from illness.
Hands are continuously active in touching, holding, pressing, and engaging in many other forms of physical contact. These actions leave hands vulnerable to cross-contamination from surfaces and other people.
Your skin and nails help protect you from infection, but if you don’t disinfect your hands regularly, they can transfer germs into your mouth.
For this reason, you need to wash your hands with warm soap and water regularly, especially after using the restroom and before eating.
7. Keep Stress At Bay
Your mind is a powerful thing, but it can negatively affect your body if it’s in a stressed-out state.
Research shows that stress weakens your immune defenses and jeopardizes its ability to fight off antigens. Plus, cortisol, the “stress hormone,” can impede immune functions.
To strengthen your immune system, do what you can to reduce stress by maintaining a work-life balance, exercising, and partaking in enjoyable and creative activities.
Healthy Habits And Immune Function
The tips described above can help you build up and fortify your immune system.
Adopting these healthy habits and practices can help keep diseases at bay and improve your body’s physical and mental performance.
Even without tapping into nutritional supplements or medications, you can strengthen your immunity naturally, contributing to a healthier, happier life.
Get more like this
in your inbox
Sign up for our daily email with fitness and nutrition tips, diets and weight loss programs, health news, and more.