There are many different factors that contribute to how effectively your immune system will function. Your diet, your lifestyle and the amount of stress in your life are all key - and it can sometimes feel difficult to have control of these things.
With a busy schedule and endless tasks to complete, it can often feel as though you do not have the time to prioritise your own health and wellbeing. However, finding the time to do so is essential if you are to avoid getting sick and having your energy levels depleted.
If you are looking for natural ways to boost your immune system then you have come to the right place! Today we are going to share some simple tips that you can easily incorporate into your life in order to better protect against ill-health!
The Importance of the Gut
The effectiveness of your immune system largely depends on the health of your gut. If your digestive tract is not well, and the health of your microbiome is not great, then you will likely experience ill health regularly as a result of this.
Supporting Digestive Health
Having an ample amount of good bacteria in the gut is arguably the best way to keep it healthy! This is something that you can achieve by paying close attention to your diet, but is also something you can enhance by taking a probiotic that contains a selection of bacteria.
When you are seeking the best probiotic supplement to take, it is worth looking for one that has over 40 billion colonies within and has more than seven strains of different bacteria. If you are currently experiencing a mild health condition, such as cold or flu, then it’s better to increase your intake by as much as double the regular dose.
Adding a variety of fermented foods to your daily diet is a great natural way to support the health of your digestive system, and therefore also improve the function of your immune system. You can ferment your own foods at home easily by obtaining some jars and checking online for some simple recipes! Kefir, kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut are fun and tasty options to get you started.
In certain circumstances pharmaceutical medication is unavoidable, but these pills can actually compromise the health of your gut. Even more worrying is that it can take up to six months for your microbiome to recover after certain medications, such as antibiotics.
Antibiotics are also found in meat products and can still cause damage to the digestive health of those who consume them. For this reason it is best to either avoid meat entirely or opt for organic versions of the meats that you eat regularly.
In addition to taking a probiotic supplement it may also be beneficial to take a zinc supplement and a vitamin D supplement.
Zinc is fantastic for the immune system and is also great for combatting free radicals in the body. You should aim to consume up to 30mg a day.
Foods that are high in zinc include:
Vitamin D can be obtained through the sun and also through fortified foods. If you are mot spending much time in the sun, or eating enough of the right foods, then you are likely to become deficient in vitamin D. This vitamin plays an important role in the function of the immune system and supplements are a good choice for many people.
Exercise and De-Stress
Keeping stress at bay is also important and this is something that exercise can be extremely helpful with.
When you exercise regularly your cardiovascular health will be improved, your mood will be better and more consistent, and your weight will also be easier to manage and maintain. It has also been shown that moderate exercise can improve how antibodies react to and mitigate the threat of infection. Be careful not to overdo it in the gym though as excessive exercise is linked to chronic inflammation - which is neither good for the immune system or the rest of the body! You may find that you become more prone to illness or experience an injury as a result of over-exercising.
Cortisol is released into the body when we are stressed out, and this can impact immune system function. Cortisol is known to interfere with how the white blood cells in the body do their job. These are the cells that are tasked with protecting the body against harmful bacteria and infections, so it is important thay they function as best they can.
Prevention Before Cure
Your immune system health, and in turn your overall health, should always be a priority. It is much better to avoid becoming sick then it is to try and heal your body once an adverse health condition presents itself. So, try to add in a lot more of the good stuff that we have mentioned in this article, supplement when you feel it is necessary, be sure to try and keep your stress levels to a minimum and exercise regularly!