Health

Boosting Your Immune System

Boosting your immune system isn’t important just because it happens to be “cold and flu season.”

It’s critical that you take the same precautions year-round, to prevent illness, improve your overall health and longevity.Click here for more information

Fortunately, there are many effective ways to enhance immunity and improve your well-being as a whole. Here are a few of them:

You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of probiotics, especially if you’re taking certain medications.

Probiotics replace the good bacteria that were lost or damaged in your body, enhancing your immunity so you can fight infection better. While there are probiotic pills out there, you can get these healthy bacteria by simply eating the right foods.

Naturally, live bacteria needs the right nutrientsto thrive, so make sure you “feed it” with probiotic-containing foods.

Many fruits and vegetables are natural sources of probiotics, but if you focus on bananas, berries, onions, artichokes, leeks, garlic, dark greens, flax, oatmeal, honey and whole grains, you’ll never go wrong.

Depending on where you live, you may or may not be cooking for yourself, but don’t let that get in your way.

Getting the right types of nutrients is not that difficult. Fill your plate primarily with fruits and vegetables and then add in lean meats, beans, low-fat dairy and whole grains.

These are all the vitamins and antioxidants necessary to keep your immune system strong and kicking.

Focus on the colors of your fruits and vegetables as well, since they signify the various compounds in the food. You can also speak to your doctor to help you decide if you need to replace any nutrients lacking in your diet with vitamin/mineral supplements, especially Vitamin D.

Sleep is a vital ingredient for rejuvenation and strengthening the immune system.

The natural hormone, melatonin, is responsible for making us feel drowsy and experiencing a restful sleep. Also, while you sleep, melatonin supports the immune system and heals the body.

Some of us “older folk” may have more difficulty sleeping for a variety of reasons, such as not getting enough exercise, increased stress levels, anxiety and certain prescribed medication. And then there’s my upstairs neighbor…but we won’t get into that!

Taking sleep medication may seem to be the easy fix, but ultimately, it’s not retraining your body to fall asleep and stay asleep. The best approach is to find what may be causing you to stay up at night and find a solution (that does not include physical harm…) such as working exercise into your day, writing in a journal to relieve stress, and speaking to your doctor about natural supplements which aid in sleep.

If you’re not used to exercising, don’t let out the groans just yet. Exercise is a wonderful way to boost your immune system, improve your mood, and, as an added benefit, makes you look better…which is a boost to anyone’s life.

Exercise releases chemicals in the brain that make us feel happier, reducing stress and anxiety. In addition, it motivates the antibodies in our white blood cells to move faster and attack illness sooner.

30 minutes of exercise a day is enough to boost your immunity, but overdoing it can actually suppress it. So, again, speak to your physician about what your body is able to handle, and start small by walking with a friend for 10 minutes a few times a day or joining a low-impact exercise program.

Every single little thing you do to increase your daily activity level will make a difference.

And, after all, making a difference in your own life sets you up for having better health, a positive attitude and more time for the people and things you truly love.

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