Best Immune System Boosters

June 11, 2020

Prepare to strengthen your immune system
With the recent outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many people are concerned about how to stay healthy and maintain a healthy immune system. Doing so can benefit your body and boost your defenses against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. In the slides below, we’ll cover the top immune boosting tips to help you and your body stay strong and fight off infections.

Is stress bad for you?
Chronic stress suppresses the immune system and increases the risk of several diseases. It raises the levels of hormones called catecholamines. Too much stress can lead to increased levels of suppressive T cells, which suppress the immune system. When this branch of the immune system is compromised, you are more likely to contract viral illnesses, including respiratory illnesses such as colds, flu, and novel coronavirus infections. Stress causes the release of histamine, a molecule involved in allergies. Combat stress with strategies such as deep breathing, meditation, exercise and relaxation.

Does sex boost the immune system?
Regular sexual activity is helpful.
In a study of college students, those who had sex once or twice a week had the highest levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), an immune molecule that helps protect us from diseases like the common cold, in their saliva. Students who had sex once or twice a week had more salivary IgA than those who did not have sex, those who had sex infrequently (less than once a week) or those who were very sexually active (three or more times a week).Enjoying sex up to a few times a week seems to be the sweet spot for promoting optimal IgA levels.

Do pets help with immune system function?
Companion animals are an immunity boon
The study showed that pet owners had lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than those who did not own pets. Pet owners had lower total cholesterol and triglycerides compared to non-pet owners. This may translate into better overall heart health and a lower risk of heart disease. Dog owners may enjoy improved heart health, in part because they are more likely to engage in physical activity, as they walk their dogs regularly. Having a pet during childhood is associated with a reduced susceptibility to allergies.

Do social relationships affect immunity?
Your social network can make you stronger.
There is overwhelming evidence from many studies that loneliness and social isolation are highly detrimental to health. In one study, people with the strongest social ties were more likely to live longer than those with poor social ties. There are many ways to develop and strengthen social ties. Pick up the phone and call a friend regularly. Make plans to get together in person. Volunteer for a cause you believe in. Join a class or group that relates to your interests or hobbies. Stay in touch with old friends and make new ones to strengthen and expand your social circle.

Attitude is everything.
Be positive and boost your immune system
Expect good things, and your immune system will follow suit. A study of law students found that their immune systems are stronger when they feel optimistic. Make optimism work for you. Try to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Practice gratitude by thinking of at least three things you’re grateful for every day. Imagine the best outcome of situations, even if they are difficult. You may not always have control over the events around you, but you can always decide how to respond to them. Respond with a good attitude to increase the chances of an optimal outcome and to strengthen your immune system.

Laugh it up!
A belly laugh is good for you.
Does laughter really boost your immune system? Some studies have shown that it can. In a study of healthy men, watching a funny movie boosted natural killer cell activity, while watching an emotionally neutral movie did not improve immune system function. While more research is needed to establish a conclusive link between laughter and boosting immunity, go ahead and have a good laugh. Belly laughs feel good. They don’t hurt, and they may help boost your immune system and reduce the likelihood of getting sick.

How about antioxidants?
They protect your cells.
Antioxidants are compounds found in colorful fruits and vegetables that protect against free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA and other cellular components. A variety of colorful fruits and vegetables provide the best combination of protective antioxidants to improve overall health and immunity. Eat green leafy vegetables, watermelon, carrots, berries, broccoli, oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe and other brightly colored products to give your cells and immune system all the natural protection they need to function optimally. Homemade chicken broth made with carrots, celery and other vegetables can also be a boon to your immune system.

Is vitamin status important?
Multivitamins may help
Some experts believe that taking a daily multivitamin can help ensure that you meet at least the minimum daily requirements for certain nutrients. Vitamins that are essential for immune function include vitamins A, C, D and E. Zinc, selenium and magnesium are minerals that are needed for the immune system to function optimally. These minerals are also critical to the function of many enzymatic reactions in the body. Your immune system and body cannot function optimally without the basic building blocks needed to function properly.

What about empty calories?
Avoid them.
Processed foods including candy, soda, fast food, and snacks are loaded with empty calories and do not provide your body with vitamins, nutrients, or fiber. They also usually contain chemicals and preservatives that are not good for your body. If you eat processed foods instead of natural, unprocessed foods, your body is depriving itself of the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Eliminate processed foods and eat more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats, and whole grains to allow your body and immune system to function optimally. Optimize your diet to support your health.

Herbs and Supplements Immunity Boosters
healing plant
Several studies have shown that compounds in herbs and supplements can boost the immune system. Garlic, astragalus, milk thistle, ginseng, green tea, black cumin, and licorice are just some of the herbs that have been reported to have immune-boosting properties. Talk to your pharmacist doctor before incorporating herbs and supplements into your regimen. They may cause side effects, especially when used with other herbs, supplements, or medications. Probiotics are beneficial strains of bacteria that have also been described as immune boosters. Look for probiotic supplements that contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics can also help improve digestive health.

Does exercise boost your immune system?
Move your body.
Exercise has many health benefits, including protecting you from heart disease, osteoporosis, and even certain types of cancer. Exercise is also an immune booster. For maximum benefit, try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week. Walking is one of the easiest ways to exercise. If walking doesn’t interest you, try yoga, swimming, biking, or golf. Gardening is also a great way to engage in outdoor activities.

Sleep makes your immune system better.
Make sleep a priority
Several studies have confirmed the link between sleep and a healthy immune system. Most people need 7 to 9 hours to feel fully rested. Being well rested improves white blood cell function, so you’re less likely to get illnesses such as respiratory infections, colds and flu. Adopt good sleep hygiene habits to optimize sleep. This means getting up and going to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends. Avoid substances that can interfere with sleep, such as caffeine and alcohol, in the hours before bedtime. You’re more likely to sleep well if your bedroom is cooler. Establish a relaxing evening routine before bedtime. Enjoy a warm bath, relaxing music or a cup of tea to help you fall asleep more easily.

Is it safe to drink alcohol?
Better to limit alcohol consumption.
Alcohol suppresses the immune system, so it is best consumed in moderation or not at all. Men can drink up to two alcoholic beverages per day. Women should consume no more than one. Whether or not it is safe to consume some alcohol is related to many factors, including overall health, risk factors for disease, and any medications you may be taking. Ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to indulge in alcoholic beverages occasionally and, if so, how much alcohol you can safely consume.

Nicotine has immunosuppressive effects
A dangerous substance.
Smoking and using nicotine is harmful to the immune system. People who use tobacco are also at increased risk of health problems such as lung cancer, asthma, stroke and heart attacks. Any substance that suppresses your immune system is not something you want to use. There are many different strategies that can help you quit smoking. Your doctor may recommend nicotine patches, antidepressants, or other treatments to help you quit smoking. Reach out for help if you need it.

Does washing your hands keep you healthy?
Protect your health with soapy water
Frequent hand washing is a simple and effective way to prevent the spread of respiratory infections such as colds, flu, coronavirus, and diarrheal diseases. Some germs are easily spread from person to person when we touch each other. If you come in contact with germs, it’s easy to transfer them from your hands to your nose, eyes, and mouth. This can make you sick. Wash your hands with soap in running water. Scrub the front and back of your hands and between your fingers. Antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer provide extra protection against microorganisms. When you are unable to use soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.