Photo by Patrick Malleret
In these uncertain times, we are all greatly concerned about our health. We are taking precautions and we want to make sure that we look after our wellbeing so that we do not get any serious illness.
There are many factors in maintaining good health. Among these are maintaining a strong immune system. So how do you work on your immune support?
This detailed guide will show you how to improve your immune system so that you do not have to worry about becoming ill!
The Immune Support Guide
Follow these tips and you are sure to boost your immune system. We also highly suggest that you share this article with your friends and family. Looking after your immune system is crucial and is sadly, often ignored.
Make sure you look after your immune health and teach others how to increase immunity.
Now let us jump into the 11 tips for immune support. We will first focus on generic habits and “to-do’s” to improve and maintain a strong immune system.
1. Avoid Bad Health Habits
This should come as no surprise. The reason an immune system can be weak in the first place is because of bad health habits.
In general, you should avoid smoking tobacco (or any other substance), avoid hard drugs, and drink a moderate amount of alcohol or abstain altogether.
If you do not sleep adequately then this needs to change. You need to make sure you have uninterrupted rest and that you do not unnecessarily stay up if you are feeling tired. Poor sleep habits will damage your immune system.
You also need to eat a healthy diet—which we will cover in more detail later on in this article.
Furthermore, you must maintain a healthy weight. Do not obsess over gaining weight or losing weight. You must know what is right for your sex, age, and height.
You also need to practice good hygiene. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water. Eat food that is made with proper hygienic practices—make sure meats are cooked thoroughly, etc.
Finally, you need to minimize your stress levels. You have to be honest with yourself and know what your stress levels and how often (and how easily) you get stressed. If you cannot destress automatically, do not feel shy in seeking guidance.
2. Do Not Take Shortcuts
There are shortcuts to increasing your immunity. And we are telling you not to take these shortcuts.
Artificially injecting additional immune cells into your body is something we do not advise. Many athletes may engage in doping which pumps extra blood into their systems. This can increase their athletic performance. Unfortunately, it also increases the risk of stroke.
Moral of the story? Do not take shortcuts. We want you to boost your immunity the right way. If you take the shortcuts, it will cause greater problems, and your immune system will not be able to help you!
As we discussed in the first tip, having a poor diet is one of the many bad habits that is harming your immune system.
So what are the fundamentals of maintaining a healthy diet?
Firstly, you must make sure you do not have any micronutrient deficiencies. You should not have deficiencies of iron, zinc, copper, folic acid, Vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E—among many other deficiencies that you should not have.
It is best to ask your nutritionist if you have any deficiencies and how you can alleviate them.
These micronutrients can be found in various foods. However, if you are unable to consume such foods there is always the option to take supplements.
There are plenty of great supplements for vitamin deficiencies and other minerals.
There are plenty of great supplements for improving immune support.
Supplement usage has grown in popularity over the past few years. Particularly with our current fitness craze, we see fitness supplements selling in droves.
Your overall immunity can also be greatly improved through supplements. We always recommend speaking to a nutritionist beforehand and you can always ask our staff for more information about our supplements.
Supplements can also be used to help with some of the other ailments and deficiencies that may lead to a weaker immune system.
So if you have difficulty sleeping well, you should see if a supplement can help you. If you need some help with losing weight you will find a supplement to aid with this.
You should consider using supplements in helping you improve your health habits to improve your immunity.
As we discussed in the first tip, a lack of regular physical exercise is what is leading to harming your immune system.
Remember that exercising alone will not improve your immune system. It is imperative that you combine exercise with a good diet and other good habits (such as sleeping, stress reduction.)
So how do you improve your exercise routine?
Make sure you exercise regularly. You do not need to participate in a sport but it does not hurt to go to the gym a few times a week. Making smarter choices like going for a daily walk or run should be on your agenda.
Something as simple as taking the stairs over an elevator or walking/cycling to your destination instead of driving can make a huge difference.
You can also add exercise supplements to your list when you begin to exercise regularly. Weightlifting and attempts to gain muscle should be supplemented with protein supplements. If you are serious about gaining muscle mass, creatine may be in the equation.
Overall, you want to make sure that you are as active as you can be. Being physically lazy will be a strain on your immune system.
Again, we will ask you to be honest with yourself: do you take your hygiene habits seriously?
Sadly, we often do not take our hygiene seriously unless there is a pandemic or another contagious serious illness in the air. But poor hygienic habits are what weaken our immune systems and make us more susceptible to serious illnesses including viruses.
Particularly with viruses, such as the coronavirus, poor hygiene habits will lead to an individual acquiring the virus. Such viruses are transmitted through droplet transmission. As a result, washing hands, sneezing and coughing into tissue are the best practices.
Make sure you are always cleansed. You should always thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. You should bathe your body and wash your hair regularly.
Specific Tips to Follow
For our remaining 5 tips, we are going to outline specific tips to follow. These are particular supplements, foods, and practices that will help you boost your immune system to prevent any health issues.
As you will see, these revolve around eating the right diet as well as having an intake of supplements – which we see as especially important for improving your immune system.
7. Eat These Foods (For Vitamin Intake)
We have mentioned the importance of diet. And though we suggest always consulting with your dietician, these foods have been shown to have immune-boosting features.
Specifically, they increase your vitamin intake. Vitamin intake is crucial for fighting against harmful pathogens that may come your way.
Poultry is a great option for improving immunity with chicken soup being a go-to food for when one is sick. Poultry is high in Vitamin B6 which we mentioned earlier in this article. Vitamin B6 is not only an essential micronutrient, as we have discussed, but it is crucial in forming new red blood cells.
Chicken soup is also high in Vitamins A, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Antioxidants which are crucial to maintaining a strong immune system.
We strongly suggest preparing your own chicken soup. This way you are in charge of the ingredients and can avoid any unhealthy ingredients found in store-bought chicken soup.
Next, we recommend you consume Almonds. Almonds in only a half-cup serving can give you all of the daily Vitamin E dosages that you would need. If you do not like eating almonds directly, you can always use almonds as a cooking supplement.
Fruits are always recommended and we want you to consume Citrus Fruits. Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C. This is another essential micronutrient. It acts as an antioxidant that fights against free radicals that can damage your immune system.
8. Eat These Foods (For Directly Boosting Immunity)
And for strengthening your immune system directly, there are also foods that you should consume. These are supplementary foods that you would add to your meals.
You probably already cook with garlic. It is a staple ingredient found in many cuisines all over the world. If you do not, then it is time to start.
Garlic has been found to enhance your immune system. It does this by stimulating certain cells such as natural killer cells. Natural killer cells play a key role in fighting against virally infected cells.
Additionally, garlic can activate macrophages. These are a type of white blood cell that is known to ‘eat’ cellular debris, foreign substances, and even cancer cells.
We also recommend mushrooms. Mushrooms, like the other foods mentioned, are high in Vitamin B6. But they also are high in polysaccharides.
Polysaccharides help activates macrophages, monocytes, and dendritic cells among other cells in the immune system. The latter of these cells are built to fight off germs.
While all mushrooms are great, we strongly recommend Shiitake mushrooms. These are high in Vitamin D (as well as B), and also have seven of the eight essential amino acids that humans should have.
As a final note on diet, we advise that you incorporate greens into your diet. A plant-based diet is always important for a strong immune system.
A plant-based diet is always a good idea and among the many advantages of eating greens is high fiber. The high fiber is good for the microbiome. The microbiome is a collection of microbes and is important for our digestive systems.
Greens can also fight against oxidative damage.
10. Vitamin Supplements to Your Diet
As we have discussed thoroughly in this article, a regular dosage of vitamins is crucial to boosting your immunity.
While food should be your primary source of vitamins, you may need to “fill in the gaps” using supplements. In fact, we highly recommend that you take supplements as you may not always have access to the foods you need for your vitamin needs.
You should ask your doctor what vitamins you have a deficiency in and purchase the vitamin supplements to correspond with them. Additionally, you should also consider purchasing multivitamins to take regularly.
11. Vitamin D
Finally, we want you to give extra importance to your Vitamin D intake. Vitamin D is most easily absorbed through exposure to the sun. But whether or not you spend much of your time under the sun’s rays, it is likely that you do not get a sufficient intake of Vitamin D.
We have mentioned the foods that contain Vitamin D. And as we have said, food is the best source of vitamins, but we strongly suggest complementing this with supplements as well.
Vitamin D is necessary for regulating two important minerals found in your body: calcium and phosphorus. Calcium is a necessary mineral for bone strength as well as for dental strength. Additionally, it can help fight against colon cancer can reduce the risk of obesity (remember, weight loss is crucial for strong immunity.)
Phosphorus is interrelated with calcium as it also is needed for bone strength.
As you can see, Vitamin D is a crucial micronutrient. Do consider taking Vitamin D supplements along with your diet.
Boost Your Immune System
Now that you know about the fundamentals of immune support, it is time to take the steps to improve your immune system.
One final suggestion is to use these tips as a checklist. Come back to this article regularly and see if you are following these tips. Are you exercising regularly? How is your diet? Are you practicing good hygiene?
And have you incorporated supplements into your routine?
Be sure to reach out to us to learn more about the vitamins and other supplements that can help you maintain your wellbeing.