Mindset & Well-Being

What are the Best Ways to Boost the Immune System?

Flu season is upon us, meaning that you might be giving your immune system more thought than usual. Your immune system generally works so well to defend your body against germs and disease that you barely notice it. However, a lapse in this protection can quickly cause concern.

If you’ve spent any time in the past year laid up with the sniffles, you’ve probably wondered what are the best ways to boost the immune system. As with much of your health, the key to a robust immune system is making prevention a priority and treating your body better from the start.

What Weakens Your Immune System?

Your immune system consists of a collection of organs, proteins, white blood cells, hormones, and other natural defenses in your body that work together to fend off foreign invaders so that you don’t get sick.

Lots of conditions can compromise the immune system and prevent it from subduing these threats. As you age, you begin to lose your natural immunity because your body stops producing as many specialized cells to destroy potential pathogens. Likewise, putting your body through unnecessary stress through a poor diet or too little exercise can also create problems for your immunity.

Natural Ways to Boost the Immune System

There’s no reason to wonder anymore about what are the best ways to boost the immune system; this article will dive into the details for you. As you read these tips, however, keep in mind that refortifying your immune system is trickier than it sounds. For one thing, you get your immunity through a cohesive system, not a single organ. This multiplies the factors that affect it and makes it harder to target specific problems.

However, taking steps to live a healthier lifestyle overall can make a dramatic improvement in your immune system, leading to better health and wellness overall. These tips will help you give your natural immunity the upper hand against foreign invaders, ensuring that you spend less time laid up in bed this year.

1. Eat a Healthy Diet

The power of your immune system begins with the stomach, which is why your diet can directly help or hinder it. It’s long been observed that impoverished populations around the world are more likely to succumb to infectious disease, though the specific role that food plays in boosting immunity is less well understood. Regardless, there is substantial evidence that micronutrient deficiencies like zinc, iron, folic acid, and selenium can alter immune responses in test environments, making it clear that keeping your levels high should be a top priority for your health.

The right ratio is to fill at least half of each plate with colorful fruits and vegetables and to supplement these servings with at least 64 ounces of water each day. Mushrooms are especially useful for promoting a healthy immune system because they increase the productivity of your white blood cells, so be sure to add some shiitakes, maitakes, or reishi mushrooms to your diet.

2. Get Lots of Sleep

It’s easier to catch a cold when you’re low on sleep, so fight off fatigue by getting in at least eight hours every night. Studies show that the most well-rested recipients of the flu vaccine are least likely to get sick later in the year, so make getting some shut-eye a priority this season. While scientists aren’t sure what the connection between sleep and a stronger immune system is, not feeling well-rested leads to higher levels of potentially damaging stress hormones that can trigger inflammation.

3. Indulge in a Massage

There’s no reason to feel guilty about getting a massage; doing so on a regular basis can prevent you from fighting off the flu weeks later. Not only do they ease muscle tension, but massages can boost your white blood cell counts and reduce your number of cytokines, a crucial trigger for chronic inflammation.

4. Visit an Outdoor Space

If you’re feeling stressed, taking a time out to walk in the park will do you more good than almost any other activity. The journal Frontiers in Psychology identified over 20 ways that spending time in nature can improve your health, and one of the biggest benefits is the way it reduces your body’s stress hormones that trigger a fight-or-flight response, allowing your immune system the space it needs to repair itself.


5. Be More Social

You might be tempted to turn your stress into extra productivity each day, but research shows that one of the best ways to recover and refresh yourself is by spending time with close friends. It’s a verified fact that people who foster close connections with their friends have stronger immune systems than those who don’t.

Social isolation comes at a steep cause, as there is a direct relationship between your number of interpersonal connections and your risk of getting sick or suffering from premature death. Many studies have verified this fact by showing that people who frequently go to social events like museums, ball games, and concerts tend to live longer than those who spend more time at home.

6. Limit Your Intake of Antibiotics

Antibiotics might be necessary for bolstering up your immune system to fend off dangerous pathogens, but their use is coming at a high cost: antibiotic resistance. Part of the problem is that a misuse of antibiotics can lead to fewer cytokines, hormones responsible for maintaining your immune system functioning. Likewise, taking antibiotics kills both the harmful and helpful bacteria in your body, temporarily suppressing your immune system and making it more likely you will develop strains of resistant bacteria that will make you sicker in the long run.

If you must take antibiotics, it’s important to take them correctly:

– Use antibiotics only on bacterial infections

– Don’t use antibiotics to prevent infections

– Take each antibiotic for the entire time it is prescribed for

– Don’t save or share antibiotics

– Avoid using antibacterial soaps and hand lotions.

7. Laugh Long and Often

Silly as it sounds, a life full of laughter leads to a more robust immune system. Laughing can lower your levels of stress hormones and boost your white blood cell count, helping you physically fight off invasions before they begin. In fact, the benefit is so substantial that studies have found that even anticipating something funny days in advance can lower your stress hormone levels immediately.

8. Stop Smoking

Do you need more proof that smoking is terrible for your health? Then listen to this: cigarette smoke can suppress your immune system. This makes you more vulnerable to seasonal sickness and the growth of cancer cells, and it can also trigger the development of heart disease, thanks to inflammation affecting your arteries. If you want to keep your immune system in better shape, give up the habit for good.

9. Maintain a Positive Attitude

If you spend most of your day noticing the negative, there’s a good chance that your immune system is taking the hit. Studies show that lifelong pessimists tend to die younger than eternal optimists, and they experience more stress and worse health in the process. However, taking steps to change your attitude can provide almost immediate benefits for your health, providing evidence that stress-related damage to your immune system need not be permanent.

If you’re wondering what are the best ways to boost your immune system, switching up your attitude is a smart place to start. Find ways to feel more optimistic about the future, and your white blood cell counts will increase accordingly.

10.Drink More Tea

Tea is full of anti-inflammatory benefits that can boost the functioning of your immune system. Research shows that people who drink five or more cups of black tea a day for two weeks have ten times more virus-fighting compounds in their blood than those who drank a placebo instead. These benefits might be thanks to L-theanine, an amino acid that has proven properties for restoring the immune system. So, down a few cups daily to start experiencing the benefits for yourself.

11.Stay Stress-free

The health of your body is closely connected to the health of your mind, so a stressed-out mental state can quickly lead to a compromised immune system. Stomach pains, hives, and even heart attacks are all connected to elevated stress levels, so do what it takes to keep your levels under control. What’s stressful for you might not bother someone else, so it’s important to understand your triggers and stay on top of them.

12.Get Regular Exercise

Staying active benefits your body in dozens of ways, but one unappreciated factor is that it can help you fight off infectious disease. Some scientists credit this to increased blood flow that lets your white blood cells move more efficiently, but research is still being conducted to determine the facts.

Regardless, a regular fitness routine is one of the best things you can do for your health, so strap on those gym shoes and get moving.

Prevention is Key When It Comes to Your Immune System

More people than ever are wondering what are the best ways to boost the immune system, which has created an industry of less-then-healthy products that promise to enhance your immune system by almost magical proportions. In most cases, these claims are far too good to be believed.

The best way to take care of your immune system is, and always will be, to follow a healthy lifestyle. By following the tips in this article, you will be doing more good for your body’s disease defenses than any pricy product ever could.

If you take care of your immune system, it will take care of you. So, you can stop wondering what are the best ways to boost the immune system and start living your healthiest life now.


Share this article
Article Categories: