We all know the importance of taking care of our mind and physical body, but have you ever considered how your immune system takes part in that? Maintaining a healthy immune system is at the core of living a long, healthy and happy life!
The immune system is a system, not a single entity. For it to function well, it requires balance and harmony. Following general good-health guidelines will allow your immune system to stay strong and healthy, even as you age.
Reducing your stress levels is key to keeping your immune system running smoothly. Chronic stress suppresses the immune response of the body by releasing the hormone cortisol. Cortisol reduces the antibody secretory IgA, which lines the gut and respiratory tract. This antibody is our first line of defense against pathogens, so increased cortisol levels can be harmful to our immunity. Keeping your stress levels in check is not always easy, so it’s important to try different activities to see what works for you. Some great ways of managing stress are practicing yoga, meditation, or deep breathing regularly.
A healthy diet filled with lots of vegetables is also a great way to naturally maintain a healthy body! Veggies, fruits, seeds and nuts are loaded with nutrients that are great for our immune system, and should be consumed on a daily basis. Something you might not know is that our liver ensures the body’s natural detoxification, so it is extremely important we take care of it! For a healthy liver, vegetables like kale, broccoli and cabbage should be included in your regular diet. Check out our Juicing Blog for some inspo on easily getting those fruits and veggies in you!
Taking supplements and natural herbs may also help boost your immune system’s capabilities. Herbs like AHCC, Echinacea, Elderberry, Andrographis and Astragalus can help reduce the duration and severity of illness. Vitamin C is one of the most common immune system boosters. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because your body doesn’t produce or store it. Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. If you don’t get any in your diet, then you can find supplements online or at your health store. Vitamin E is also great for your immune system. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection.
Finally, getting enough sleep each night is a really essential part of leading a healthy lifestyle and allowing your body to fight off illness. Lack of sleep can cause the inflammatory immune response to activate, reducing the activity of T cells in the body. This can weaken your immune system and response to vaccines. Try to sleep for 7 to 8 hours every night to keep your body and immune system nice and strong!
We hope these tips were helpful, or at least a good reminder to take care of yourself. The most important thing is to make sure you are letting your body rest, and that you are fueling it with good nutrients! We would love to hear what other suggestions you have for building a stronger immune system. Comment them down below!