It’s more important now than ever before to keep our immune systems strong. The immune system is complex network of cells and proteins that defend the body against infection. With the stressors of everyday life, it can be really challenging to take care of ourselves and to keep our immune system in tip top fighting shape. Here are 7 ways we can help our body fight infection.
1. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables offer a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can strengthen our immune system and keep us healthy. Some of the top-rated immune boosting foods are citrus fruits, red peppers, broccoli, garlic and spinach. Eat a rainbow of in season foods to ensure we get a wide variety of nutrients to stay healthy.
2. Get Plenty of Sleep
A good night of sleep can do wonders for our immune system and our overall mood. During sleep, our bodies produce cells that help fight bacteria and viruses. When we skimp on sleep, the immune system can become weakened leaving us vulnerable to illness. How much sleep do we really need? The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. So, the next time we think about watching one more episode of our favorite series, consider turning off the TV and catching some extra Z’s.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is an important part of boosting our immune system. Our immune system works closely with our lymphatic system to rid the body of toxins and bacteria. When we are hydrated, our blood stream, which is about 90% water, carries nutrients and fluids to our organs for proper function. Our lymphatic system supports our immune system by removing the waste in our bodies. We all know that the more water we drink, the more trips to the bathroom we take. A general guideline is to drink 8-10 glasses of water daily to stay hydrated, and remember that thirst shouldn’t be the only indicatory that its time to drink water.
4. Exercise Moderately Each Day
The key to boosting your immune system with exercise is that it needs to be done consistently. Here’s why. Exercise increases our blood flow and the circulation of white blood cells. White blood cells protect the body against infection and disease. When we exercise, our body produces more white blood cells and helps our immune system fight infection. When we do this regularly, our body is consistently producing white blood cells and boosting immunity.
Another benefit is that when we sweat, our lymphatic system removes toxins as we discussed above. Before jumping into any exercise program, make sure you’ve discussed it with a healthcare professional to determine the right amount of exercise for you. I think you’ll find that if feels good to move our bodies.
Check out the US National Library of Medicine’s article on “Exercise and Immunity”.
5. Get Fresh Air
When I’ve been stuck inside for long periods on time, I feel tired and bored. In most cases, it’s because I need some fresh air and to feel the sunshine on my face. Fresh air boosts our overall health by increasing our oxygen intake which helps white blood cells function to fight against infection and disease. So, take a few minutes each day to go outside and revive yourself.
6. Manage Stress
Stress can have a negative impact on our immune system especially if we are under stress for prolonged periods. When we are in a state of stress, our bodies go into a Fight or Flight mode and cortisol levels increase. High levels of cortisol can increase inflammation in our bodies.
Stress also reduces the number of white blood cells in our body, and we know that white blood cells are the cells that fight bacteria and infection. Some things that I enjoy doing to reduce my stress are exercise, meditation, yoga, getting outside and reading. I encourage you to discover activities that reduce your daily stress and help recharge your body.
7. Use Essential Oils
One of my favorite ways to support my immune system is with doTERRA’s On Guard. Send us a note if you’re interested in learning how to buy doTERRA essential oils at wholesale prices. Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants and are highly concentrated. Essential oils have been used for 1000’s of years around the globe for their health promoting properties.
In the past decade, essential oils have become popular and there are many studies that are being conducted on their efficacy. If you are looking for general information on essential oils, check out the article by Healthline entitled, “What are Essential Oils and Do They Work?”. If you want to read more about the science behind essential oils, I recommend reading the National Library of Medicines study entitled, “Much More Than a Pleasant Scent: A Review on Essential Oils Supporting the Immune System”.
I believe it’s more important now than ever before to take care of ourselves and to help boost our immune systems. Strive to incorporate these 7 tips into your daily routines to feel your best and to stay healthy.
Please remember that it’s important to work with your healthcare professional to create a plan that works best for you and your body.