Seems like this is the time of year when we hear more talk about our immune system. While the weather is getting cold, we try our best not to “catch” one. Maintaining immune system health is an important element in the body’s well-being. The immune system is responsible for protecting the body from infections and for healing injuries. Every day our bodies are under attack by pathogens and dangerous microbes that infest our surroundings with an unseen, unfelt, yet undeniable health threat. Our body’s built-in immune system protects us whenever possible, but it’s under constant attack from poor nutrition, stress, pollution, and fatigue.The immune system protects the body from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other harmful organisms. At times of the year when you’re more likely to be slowed down by immune challenges, it’s more important than ever to keep your immune system up to speed.
So what are some of the things we can do to keep our immune system strong?
Eat a balanced diet. Fill your meals and snacks with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and a little meat or fish if you so desire. These foods are packed with nutrients that strengthen the immune system. Eat more fresh, whole foods and fewer packaged and processed foods, and foods high in fat.
Get adequate sleep. Studies have demonstrated that people who have not gotten enough sleep (or enough good-quality sleep) are more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus than people who have gotten enough shut-eye. One reason for this is that when you sleep, your immune system releases substances that increase your body’s ability to fight infection. For most people, seven to nine hours of sleep per night is optimal.
Exercise moderately. About 30 minutes a day of moderately strenuous exercise, such as brisk walking, has many positive effects on your health and well-being. Among other things, it can increase energy, help to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol readings.
Don’t smoke. Smoking depresses the immune system by affecting the antibodies that protect against foreign invaders like viruses. Quitting smoking usually reverses this process.
Avoid excess alcohol. Taking in too much alcohol (more than one or two drinks) on a regular basis reduces the production and effectiveness of the cells the immune system sends out to fight infection. Excess alcohol also impairs the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and reduces the flow of oxygen to vital organs.
Take a quality multivitamin. A basic, daily multivitamin/mineral supplement can help support your immune system.
Reduce and manage your stress level. Prolonged or chronic stress seems to make some people more likely to become sick. To counteract chronic stress, see what you can change in your life to reduce your stress level, practice relaxation techniques and seek social support from family and friends.
Drink plenty of water. Adequate hydration helps your body in many ways, including digestion and the flushing of toxins. Plain water is all you need, so drink up!
One of the products I suggest having on hand, especially this time of year, is called Defend and Resist. I take it at the first sign of a runny nose, or a scratchy throat, and most times I am able to avoid getting sick all together. It basically supercharges your immune system when you start to feel the need.
Scientific studies suggest that, along with a healthy diet and getting enough rest, consuming certain herbal ingredients can help you be prepared for the moment when you first feel the need to bolster your immune system. Defend & Resist Complex can help your body respond to seasonal challenges by giving your immune system what it needs to stay strong, with a unique formula based on standardized extracts of herbs. Defend and Resist contains echinacea to stimulate the body’s natural resistance, black elderberry helps maintain a healthy immune response, larch tree enhances immune support, and a daily intake of zinc is also important in maintaining a healthy immune system.
- Stay in Balance to Boost Your Immune System (joyofspa.com)