How to boost your immune system system

Due to the access of quick fixes, miracle pills and the endless amount of information out there, you might take your immune system for granted. Always working in the background of your body is your immune system, fighting off bad bacteria, viruses and other microbes to fend against disease and infection. The immune system consists of organs, cells and tissue that all work together to keep you fighting fit.
 During the flu season you can become very run down, leading to you becoming ill and maybe even hospitalized. You might be at work or at school and realize that there is the odd person who just doesn’t seem to get poorly during this period and you think to yourself “what are they doing that I’m not?” well, they could have good genes but, even if you don’t, there is things that you can do to help keep yourself fighting fit all year!
Before you can start to look for ways to improve your immune system, you need to get rid of the things in your life that weaken it and that’s why we’ve listed four things which you might be doing, that is negatively affecting you.

Things that damage your immune system

Alcohol

Alcohol has Longley been debated on whether it is good or bad for you, with some saying that we should be drinking more and others suggesting that we shouldn’t even take a sip at all! As this argument goes back and forth, it’s pretty much been agreed from both sides of the argument that drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is okay for you. Most people are aware that excessive drinking can damage your liver and negatively affect your cardiovascular system, however, most people are unaware of the effects it can have on your immune system. Drinking alcohol has been seen to effect both your respiration and your gut health.

Alcoholism is a serious matter and should be dealt with in a serious way so, if you feel like you are struggling to stop drinking alcohol, it’s time to get some help, by clicking here you will be directed to the NHS who offer support and guidance on how to overcome the obstacles which you are facing. You can also speak to your GP if you are concerned about any alcoholic behaviors you may have.

Stress

Funnily enough, worrying about getting ill could actually be making you more susceptible to illness, this is due to the fact that chronic stress suppresses the immune response of the body by releasing the hormone cortisol. Cortisol interferes with cells that protect us against infection, leading to the chances of becoming unwell greater. Modern medicine is constantly finding links between mind and body to be substantial and the same goes for stress and immunity. Whether you are stressed at work, school or at home, it is important for you to find ways to manage it.

There’s lots of ways that you can reduce your stress from breathing techniques to muscle relaxation but, one of our favorites is meditating. Meditation was ignored by western medicine for a very long time but, thanks to scientific research on the subject, it has become a widely accepted practice for people to relieve stress. If you would like to learn how to start meditating but, you’re a complete novice don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our beginners guide to mediation which you can read by clicking on this link.

Smoking

We shouldn’t really have to be telling you this but, if you didn’t know already, smoking is highly addictive and very detrimental to your health. What a lot of people don’t know is that smoking can also affect your immunity from colds and the flu. By smoking you are opening yourself up to infections and diseases such as pneumonia and influenza, they also often last longer than it does for a non-smoker, one of the reasons for smoking being a contributor of a compromised immune system is that you lower the amounts of antioxidants in the blood.

Obviously quitting smoking is no easy task and I would love to send you on your way with our blog post on how to break bad habits but, there comes a time where you should seek advice from a professional who can guide you step-by-step to becoming smoke-free. If you would like to quit smoking for good you can click on this link to get the help that you need.

Dirty hands

You may have heard it a lot recently but, it’s so important for you to wash your hands correctly. Although washing your hands doesn’t directly cause a weakened immune system, they are one of the main culprits in spreading bacteria and disease. Think of all the surfaces you have touched in the last five minutes, even the device you are using right now to read this has thousands of germs on it but, in another five or so minutes you will be heading to the kitchen for some food and that’s why you need to wash before you nosh! You should also be doing general hygiene practices like cleaning surfaces and coughing and sneezing into a tissue or at least your inner elbow. When practicing these methods, you’re not just looking out for your own health but, everyone else around you so, make sure you are doing the right thing.

You should be washing your hands with soap and water for roughly 20 to 30 seconds each time, one trick comes from the prime Minister himself, Boris Johnson who says that you should sing happy birthday twice whilst cleaning your hands for it to be effective. Although this might seem a simple task, it’s one that we often get wrong so, click here for the 101 of washing your hands the right way.

Things that boost your immune system

Sleep

When it comes to immunity, getting an adequate amount of sleep is paramount. Not only is the amount of sleep you get important, the quality of sleep that you are getting is also very important to supporting good immune health. Sleep is often put to the back of the line when it comes to the things we do to improve our health yet, it is one of the most important. when sleep deprived your body is less efficient at producing antibodies which fight of infection.

Thanks to lots of scientific research, we now know that there are a lot of things you can do to improve your sleep from limiting your exposure to blue light before you get to sleep, to having a scheduled bed time no matter how childish it may sound. The basics of a healthy night’s sleep are to get 7 to 9 hours per night and look after your sleep hygiene. We’ve wrote a few different blog posts on sleep science that are very interesting, if you would like to read them I suggest that you start with “what is the healthiest position to sleep in.“

Diet

Eating a balanced diet that is high in fruits, vegetables and grains will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to help keep your immune system at it’s strongest. There are many bold claims about certain foods acting as some kind of miracle medicine, however, this isn’t proven to be the case and that’s why no one ingredient should be used to replace a well-balanced diet.

Although you shouldn’t be replacing your diet for one proclaimed superfood, there are some foods that are thought to be nutritionally dense in the vitamins and minerals that are protecting you and supporting your body and immune health which you can find here, some of the foods in this list are also the ingredients inside our energy boosting smoothie recipes. There are also problems in getting the right amount of vitamins if you don’t plan your diet correctly for example if you are a new vegan, this is where supplements may be useful.

Vitamins and probiotics

Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E all play a big role in keeping our immune function in tip top shape. Let’s take vitamin D for example, many studies have shown that it is a key nutrient for battling against immune disease’s. As vitamin D can be absorbed by the sun, during the winter months you can become deficient in it if you don’t replace it with foods that are high in it. Having a stable amount of vitamins offers the body a barrier against pathogens, however there is no credible evidence to suggest that supplementing with vitamins will help boost your immune system yet. If you are not deficient in them, there is no need to worry and this is why if you are concerned with your vitamin levels you should get tested by your doctor. In conclusion, as long as you are not malnourished or have any special diet requirements, your vitamin levels should be fine and if you take extra supplements when they’re not needed it can actually be counterproductive to your health.

The same goes for probiotics, there are many benefits to looking after your gut health, yet we are still in the very early stages of understanding it’s capabilities. Probiotics are live microorganisms that have been seen to improve overall health by putting “good bacteria“ into your gut where your microbiome is. Science is looking at the effects of vitamins and probiotics more and more and you can keep up to date by clicking here

Exercise

 Exercise is one of the key elements of a healthy lifestyle, it can help you achieve the body shape you desire, improve your cardiovascular health and much more but, can exercise boost your immune system? The answer is yes… kind of, things such as diet and exercise contribute to a healthy lifestyle which equates to a healthy immune system but also, one other theory is that by exercising you are improving your circulation and this helps the flow of lymphatic fluid which helps carry all the bug battling cells around your body that get rid of toxins, bacteria and waste products. On the other hand, if you exercise to much it can run you down and weaken your immune system.

There’s many ways to exercise and you don’t need to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a gym membership that you will never use either. Moderate exercise every other day should keep your body in it’s optimal condition, you can go for a walk around your neighborhood or start doing press ups when you wake up after your quality nights sleep! Whatever you do to exercise, keeping active is a well known way to keep fit and healthy so, you should be doing it anyway.

Some of the links in this blog may be affiliate links which means you can purchase the product and I will make a commission of it but IT WILL NOT be at an extra cost to you, any money I money I make through this is put towards the upkeep and improvement of this blog. Thank you in advance, Jake.
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