The immune system is your body’s natural defense mechanism and offers protection all year round. When it’s strong it helps keep you healthy.
Like other systems in the body, as you get older your immune function declines. That means you need to be even more diligent about supporting and strengthening your immune system.
Not eating healthy, being sedentary, not getting enough sleep, and being under chronic stress can all contribute to a weak immune system. When your immune system is depleted, you get sick.
Adopting healthy living habits can help improve and support your immune system. Several natural ways you can support your immune system:
Proper nutrition is essential for your immune system to work well. The foods you eat may help you avoid or potentially reverse certain diseases.
Did you know that 70 - 80% of your immune system resides in your gut? Help keep your gut healthy by getting plenty of fiber. Foods high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It’s important to eat a wide variety as each contains different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
What specific foods can help strengthen your immune system?
- Kale and Spinach
- Blueberries and Blackberries
- Citrus Fruits
- Red Bell Peppers and Chili Peppers
- Almonds, Walnuts and Sunflower Seeds
- Turmeric and Ginger
Additional Dietary Considerations:
~ Broccoli sprouts contain sulfurophanes which activate the immune system.
~ Drink lots of fresh, pure water. Every day you should consume in ounces an amount equal to half your body weight in pounds. (Ex. If you weigh 150lbs drink 75oz of water).
~ Cut down on or eliminate sodium, refined sugar, refined flour, dairy products, food additives, preservatives, and colorings, and alcohol.
Leading a sedentary, inactive lifestyle can contribute to a weak immune system. When your immune system is depleted bacteria, viruses, or toxins can overwhelm your body and lead to illness.
Exercise may promote good circulation, allowing cells and substances of the immune system to do a more efficient job, may contribute to better functioning white blood cells which fight infections, and may positively affect the brain by promoting a sense of well-being.
The goal is to get your heart rate up, performing moderate to vigorous activity, at least three times a week for 30-60 minutes. This can be accomplished with something as simple as going for a brisk walk. Repetition is key as the benefits of a workout will go away over time. Exercising only occasionally is not going to have an impact on your immune system.
Other activities to consider: Running, Cycling, and the Elliptical machine.
Strength training also appears to help support the immune system. For optimal health incorporate both into your weekly fitness routine. Strength, resistance training, is beneficial as you age as it helps with mobility and bone mass.
The body uses sleep as a way to heal itself. Sleep may help reduce oxidative stress, which then stops cells from weakening.
Regular bouts with insomnia may leave you vulnerable to illnesses, including colds, flu, and other infections. Long term, poor sleep also has been shown to increase the risk of other health problems, including obesity and diabetes.
When your body is under constant stress, you’re more vulnerable to a number of minor illnesses and major diseases. Some stress is normal but too much stress is not good for your health and can weaken the immune system. Adopt a meditation, deep breathing or EFT, tapping, practice.
In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management, essential oils and supplements can be an integral part of a holistic approach to supporting the immune system.
To learn more about essential oils, how they work, why they’re so amazing, and why quality matters click HERE. Or click the button below to connect with me.
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Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.