It goes without saying that a strong immune system during a pandemic is vitally important. But boosting your body’s defenses shouldn’t be limited to 2020 or 2021. Viruses and bacteria have been around as long as we have – even longer! – and they aren’t going away any time soon. But with the right lifestyle choices, your body can get the power to keep severe illness at bay.
Below are five easy ways to boost your immune system for greater well-being in this year and beyond.
There’s no specific diet that heightens immunity, but any diet rich in vitamins and minerals will give your body a leg up in fighting off illnesses. Focus on getting more fruits and vegetables into your system, while limiting sugars, saturated fats and processed foods. Make your plates colorful! Research also suggests that your gut health plays a big role in immune function, so consider more probiotic foods, such as sour kraut and fermented vegetables, and prebiotic foods, such as onions and garlic.
We all know that water is essential for health, but research suggests that dehydration can hinder immune system function. One example is our salivary function. Our saliva is actually a first line of defense against foreign invaders. Try eating water-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, and drinking around eight glasses of water a day for optimal results.
Stress Less & Sleep More
Stress has been linked to all kinds of health problems, which can zap your immune system and reduce your overall longevity. Stress causes tension and often leads to poorer decision-making, which can contribute to weaker immune systems and illness. Be sure to invest in more therapeutic activities and self care. Meditate, take warm baths, listen to your favorite music, or go on regular walks. Think of the activities that relax and soothe you most and set aside time for them.
Get Out & Socialize
Studies show that people with larger social circles tend to live longer than their shier counterparts. And what happens when we spend more time with friends? We usually laugh more! Laugher is known to moderate stress hormones in the body, which can keep the immune system working at its best. While 2020 may have made socializing more of a challenge, we now have the tools and techniques to do so more safely.
Before making any changes to your diet or overall lifestyle, it’s wise to talk to a licensed healthcare professional or nutrition expert to find out what’s best for you as an individual. While vaccines are not for everyone, they have been shown to be effective against the spread of illnesses, which saves lives. Everyone should do their own research – using credible sources –before making a decision. Every person’s body is different and will respond to diets, treatments and activities in its own unique way.
Thankfully, pandemics are rare and don’t last forever. But our bodies should always be primed and ready for any micro-critters that might try to breech their defenses. With the above tips in mind, you can give your body the power to preserve and protect the strength, balance and well-being you deserve!