4 Easy Ways to Keep Your Immune System In Check
Unfortunately, cold and flu season is just around the corner. And while it might seem like there’s nothing you can do to stop the onslaught of sickness, that’s not necessarily true. There are a few simple, easy steps you can take to help keep your immune system in check and hopefully avoid getting yourself or, worse, your family sick.
You’ll see that one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to be aware of your vitamin and essential nutrient intake. And with so many things on your plate each day, it can sometimes be overwhelming to remember to keep a well-balanced diet along with all of your normal family duties. Luckily, there are some ways to help. Let’s discuss!
Don’t Skimp on Your Sleep
This one might seem easy enough, but one of the best things you can do for your health is to get a full eight hours of sleep each night. When you’re well-rested, your body is better able to fight off infection and disease.
So, even if it means going to bed a little earlier than usual, it will be worth it in the long run. And per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and overall health. Insufficient quality sleep can heighten your risk of various diseases and disorders. So, aim to get those zzz’s!
Why do we need sleep? It’s not exactly accurate to simply label sleep as “downtime.” It’s actually the time that your brain prepares to learn, remember, and create. Your immune system actually uses sleep as the time for repair.
There are certain repairing processes that occur mostly at night while we sleep, and if we aren’t getting enough of it, those processes can be disturbed. The bottom line? Find time to get enough rest. Your body needs it!
Water is Your Best Friend: Stay Hydrated!
You’ve probably heard this one more than you’d like to admit, but that’s because it’s true. Drinking enough water each day is extremely vital to maintaining a strong immune system. Water helps to flush out toxins in your body and keeps everything running smoothly.
Many health authorities recommend that adults drink eight glasses of water per day, which equals about two liters. However, with more research and added knowledge about how our body’s processes work, we really only need to drink when our bodies tell us we’re thirsty.
The human body is pretty good at this, so don’t feel the need to constantly chug water to reach a goal. But do make sure you’re getting a good amount, especially if you’re feeling at all under the weather.
Water: what is it good for? Absolutely everything. Water helps your body to regulate its own temperature, keep your joints lubricated, deliver vital nutrients to cells, prevent infections, and helps to keep your vital organs functioning properly.
That’s a lot of heavy lifting for something so simple that we often take for granted. Being well-hydrated also improves cognition, your mood, and even your sleep quality.
Like to Party? Let’s Take the Booze in Moderation
We all like to let loose and have a good time every now and then, but alcohol often has a negative impact on our immune system. When you drink, it impairs your body’s ability to fight off infection.
So, if you’re planning on a night of drinks with friends, just be sure to do so in moderation. The NIH recommends that men have no more than two drinks per day and women have no more than one.
One significant thing to remember about alcohol consumption is that it interrupts a good night’s sleep, and you already know (see above) how important your sleep routine should be. The alcohol may have that soporific effect that can lull you to sleep, but that initial sleepiness can be misleading.
You may fall asleep quickly, but the alcohol in your system ensures that you will not have a quality sleep, and that’s the difference.
But isn’t red wine good for me? In moderation, red wine has been shown to contain antioxidants that can actually help improve your cardiovascular health. However, too much alcohol can actually lead to inflammation and increase your risk of developing various diseases. So, the key here is moderation, as with everything else on this list.
Vitamins C and D
You’ve probably heard that Vitamin C is great for boosting your immune health, and you’re not wrong. Vitamin C helps the body to create white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infection.
You can find Vitamin C in various fruits and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Vitamin D is also excellent for boosting your immune system as it helps the body to fight off infection. Vitamin D is naturally abundant in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, eggs, cheese, and fortified milk.
You can also get your Vitamin D intake from exposure to sunlight. Just make sure you’re not overdoing it, and always wear sunscreen!
While your diet is your primary intake of essential vitamins like C and D (Vitamin D3), sometimes it can be difficult to work these into your diet, especially when you have busy work days and those never-ending family obligations.
Luckily, it’s easy to find vitamin C gummies and vitamin D chewable tablets, and other dietary supplements for those of us who don’t like to swallow pills. Soft, chewy gummies can help to make sure you’re getting the vitamins you need without having to stress too much about it.
And gummy supplements and other immunity vitamins often have no artificial flavors and high average customer ratings, which should also give you some peace of mind.
The Bottom Line
Your immune system is vital to your overall health, so it’s important to do what you can to keep it strong. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to do this. Be sure to drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet, and get enough sleep.
You should also moderate your alcohol intake and make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C and Vitamin D., And if you find it difficult to get these vitamins from your diet, you can always take supplements in the form of gummies or chewable tablets. By following these simple tips, you can help to keep your immune system healthy and strong!