Our natural defences are an incredible ally in the battle against diseases and the bodyâ€™s immune system can be strengthened and boosted in a number of ways so that you can enjoy the greatest level of natural protection possible and enjoy a healthier life as a result.
So what are the main areas that we can work on to strengthen and boost our immune system?
Fruits and Vegetables
Not exactly groundbreaking advice but an absolutely rock solid starting point if you are serious about boosting and maintaining your immune system. The general advice is to consume a quantity equivalent to 5 cups of fruit and vegetables per day and although almost any kind is good for you there are some that are richer in vitamins A, C and E, and give you the best boost from your intake. Vitamin A is found in carrots, leafy greens and sweet potatoes and helps your white blood cells fight off infections.
Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges and bell peppers and broccoli contain Vitamin C which works to improve your absorption of iron. Vitamin E is prominent in nuts and seeds and this vitamin is particularly effective in combating flu and respiratory infections. A good balance of all these sources of vitamins will greatly improve your defense system and if there are certain food preferences that you have, then try to mix and match your favourites to achieve the same benefits.
A simple exercise routine on a daily basis is a great way of boosting your defenses and it will make you feel more energized as well. You do not have to make time to go to the gym to benefit from exercise and by just walking or even cycling for about 20-30 minutes in total every day will not just get you a bit fitter but there are other benefits too.
Exercise gets your antibodies and white blood cells moving more quickly around your body and raising your heartbeat also has the effect of triggering the release of hormones that allow your body to detect early signs of illness, but too vigorous a workout can have an adverse effect so keep it moderate and regular rather than intense.
There is no magic ingredient or specific food that will allow your body to resist a flu virus but certain nutrients such as protein greatly improve your chances of fending off the effects of bacteria trying to invade your body and also fight against viruses and general germs that can affect us all. Good sources of protein are lean beef and pork, beans and pulses and also seafood such as crab and oyster.
We all have a different tolerance level to alcohol and there is certainly evidence that moderate consumption of red wine can even have some positive benefits. The key is moderate consumption as excessive drinking has the effect of suppressing your immune system. Recent research showed that the effects of drinking too much alcohol is actually toxic to your dendritic cells which play a vital role in protecting your body from invading microbes. So that heavy night of drinking is not just going to give you a hangover but it also exposes you to getting more colds and flu.
Reducing your stress levels is beneficial on many levels so this particular advice is basically a no brainer when you consider the advantages of limiting the amount of stress that you are exposed to. Find a way to relax such as walking the dog, reading a book or even doing some yoga. Whatever works for you will have the benefit of avoiding damage to your white blood cells brought about by stress.
Check out your Vitamin Levels
The important one to get checked out for maintaining your overall health is Vitamin D as this is the forgotten or neglected soldier in your army of vitamins that you are fighting against illness and disease with. Many of us are deficient in Vitamin D which we mainly get from the sun and not really from food sources, so getting a supplement after getting your levels checked will be another great help in boosting your immune system.