How to Boost Your Immune System
The immune system—as we know it—is a complex system that requires harmony and balance to function optimally and keep you feeling your best.
Made up of different organs, proteins, and cells that work together as your internal defense system, your immune system;
- Protects your body from harmful substances, germs, bacteria, and viruses that could potentially cause illness.
- Defends your body from infections.
- Recognizes germs and harmful substances, that it has killed off in the past, so that it can easily destroy them if they enter your body again.
Pretty amazing huh?
HARMONY AND BALANCE
Have you ever heard the quote, "you only get what you put in..."?
When it comes to your immune system, it simply means...
Take care of it and it will take care of you.
If you're eating shit food, not exercising, and plain as day not taking care of yourself, your immune system will also be down in the dumps.
If you want that built-in internal defense system to protect you, it's time you take care of it.
Don't wait until you're feeling like crap to start eating healthy, by then it's too late.
Here are three tips on how to boost your immune system.
TIP 1: MAKE EXERCISE A PRIORITY
Physical exercise isn’t just for building muscle, losing weight, or simply looking good, its benefits go beyond the surface level.
Exercise boosts your immune system and improves your overall well-being.
Exercise improves immune function by boosting overall circulation, making it easier for immune cells to travel throughout your body.
A 30-minute physical exercise every day can stimulate your immune system. That’s why it’s important to stay active and get regular exercise.
HOW DOES EXERCISE BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
When you exercise, you increase the production of white blood cells (WBCs). These are the cells that protect us from disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
As they travel through your body, the WBCs destroy harmful viruses and bacteria.
There are other ways that regular physical exercise can boost immune systems.
- Improves Quality of Sleep
- Aids in Recovery
- Increases Bone Density - Decreases the Risk of Osteoporosis
- Helps Fight off Infection
- Inhibits Stress Hormones
EXERCISES TO BOOST IMMUNITY
If you're living a sedentary life, it's time to get off the couch, get moving, and get healthy.
An active lifestyle and daily exercise is a great way to boost your immune system naturally.
Your body was meant to move! Here are three ways to get moving today:
- Strength Training
- Walking, Hiking, or Jogging
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Keep reading to learn more about these types of exercises and how they support a healthy immune system.
Strength training has many benefits for your physical and mental health.
- Builds Muscular Strength, Endurance, and Lean Muscle Mass
- Boosts Metabolism and Supports Digestive Health
- Improves Blood Flow and Heart Health
- Improves Brain Health and Cognitive Functions
- Boosts Mood and Reduces Feels on Depression and Anxiety
When you're engaged in weightlifting, resistance training, or strength training as we're referring to it now, your body is working against gravity to move the weight.
These movements increase your blood flow and improve your circulation which helps to transport healthy white blood cells throughout your body.
Improved circulation helps to detoxify your body by removing waste that has been created by different organs.
If you haven't been strength training, it's a good day to start.
WALKING, HIKING, OR JOGGING
It's time to get outdoors.
According to Stanford News, researchers found that a 90-minute walk outdoors decreased activity in the part of the brain that is linked to depressions.
Makes sense right? We're not born to be trapped inside all day looking at screen after screen.
Taking a walk outside instead lowers depression. According to a study, a 90-minute walk outdoors decreases activity in the part of the brain linked to depression.
HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)
HIIT involves performing an exercise as hard as possible for 20 to 60 seconds and then resting for the same amount of time. This jacks the heart rate faster and higher. This strenuous exercise lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes.
According to another study, a 30-second sprint on a bike can increase the production of the human growth hormone by 450%. This hormone is responsible for the repair of muscle and brain tissues. It also aids in fat loss and boosts metabolism.
TIP 2: EAT THE RAINBOW AND THEN SOME
Harvard University has discovered that a healthy diet boosts your immune system.
Which foods should you include in your diet?
WHOLE FOODS, FRUITS, AND VEGETABLES
The best diets are high in fresh, unprocessed foods such as:
- Whole grains
Fresh fruits and vegetables are richer in vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin E than canned and processed ones.
You want to be careful with fruit juices and canned fruits as they can be quite high in sugar.
Moreover, you should limit dietary sugar and fat and instead include various vitamins, especially vitamin C and vitamin E, and minerals in your daily diet. This will help your body in creating more effective WBCs and also keep your skin healthy.
Whole foods such as fruits, yogurts, grains, and vegetables have special fiber. They may also contain beneficial microbes known to support healthy gut bacteria.
According to a recent study, gut bacteria help in boosting your immunity.
Generally, your diet should include more whole foods than processed ones. Whole foods contain more fiber and essential nutrients than the parts of the foods.
USE SUPERFOODS TO BOOST IMMUNE FUNCTION
In addition to the above foods, including the following foods in your diet will enhance your immune system:
If you consume garlic regularly—whether raw or cooked—you decrease your chances of catching a seasonal common cold.
Elderberry contains vitamin A and vitamin C, which are vital for immune health. Ginger and Turmeric
Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance known for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Similarly, turmeric and ginger have antioxidant properties that can help reduce inflammation, reducing the risk and symptoms of various illnesses.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar, commonly known as ACV, has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that can kill off harmful bacteria that enter the body. Antioxidant-rich, ACV gets rid of free radicals to keep your immune system strong and minimize your risk of viral infections.
HOW TO USE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
- Take a spoonful of ACV in the morning before caffeine or meals.
- Dillute 1-2 tbs of apple cider vinegar in 8-10 ounces of water. Drink the vinegar solution before meals.
- There are many ready-to-drink ACV beverages available in your local grocery stores.
TIP 3: USE ADAPTOGENS FOR OPTIMAL IMMUNE FUNCTIONS
Adding adaptogens to your daily routine can help to:
- Improve Immune Functions
- Support Brain Health and Improve Cognitive Functions
- Boost Energy and Battle Fatigue
Medicinal mushrooms have been used in Eastern medicine for centuries due to their powerful effects and benefits.
Maitake supports heart health, immune support, blood regulation, and has anti-cancer properties.
Lion's Mane supports your brain and immune health while improving mood, cognitive functions, and blood flow.
Nutrient-dense Chaga is rich in antioxidants to lower blood pressure, improve immune responses, and is known to have anti-cancer properties.
Cordyceps fight inflammation, improve athletic performance, and supports heart health.
Together, the powerful ingredients improve mental function, battle fatigue, and boost your immune system to help you train longer and recover faster.
Rich in vitamin D, Maitake mushrooms have many overall health benefits.
They contain bioactive polysaccharides that have antitumor and immune-protecting properties. Other benefits include:
Maitake mushrooms contain beta glucan that helps reduce cholesterol and improve overall cardiovascular health and artery functionality. This helps lower your risk of developing heart disease.
In addition, they have polysaccharides that help reduce bad cholesterol without affecting good cholesterol levels.
Maitake mushrooms boost the production of protein mediators and secreted proteins, leading to a robust immune system.
Maitake mushrooms target and destroy cancer cells. They can also combine with vitamin C to treat cancer.
Maitake mushrooms can help lower blood glucose levels. They also activate insulin receptors and reduce insulin resistance. This can help in diabetes management.
LION'S MANE BENEFITS
These mushrooms can help with various health problems.
Some of them include:
- Parkinson disease
- High cholesterol
- Alzheimer’s disease
In addition, Lion's Mane mushrooms support brain health by improving concentration and memory, improves mood, supports the circulatory system by improving blood flow, and improves your body's natural immunity.
Chaga mushrooms have ample benefits and are nutrient-dense to strengthen your immune system.
Chaga mushrooms contain the following essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins:
- Amino acids
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B complex
Packed with antioxidants, Chaga can help to reverse signs of aging and slow the process altogether.
The mushrooms may inhibit the growth of some cancer cells, thereby helping to prevent and fight cancer.
LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
Antioxidants help to lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
ENHANCES IMMUNE RESPONSE
Chaga mushrooms regulate the production of immune system messengers known as cytokines.
These help cells to communicate better with one another, thereby supporting the immune system.
CORDYCEP EXTRACT BENEFITS
One of the most well-known medicinal mushrooms and for good reason, Cordyceps have ample benefits.
IMPROVES ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Cordyceps increase your body’s production of ATP which is essential to delivery energy to your muscles.
This production of ATP boosts energy in the muscle to improve athletic performance.
Cordyceps have been shown to help slow the growth of tumors.
MANAGES TYPE 2 DIABETES
Cordyceps have a special type of sugar that helps manage symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
BOOSTS HEART HEALTH
Cordyceps improves symptoms of arrhythmia, a condition where the heartbeat is irregular, too fast, or too slow.
Cordyceps can help fight inflammation in your body by suppressing the special proteins responsible for it.