When you are looking to improve your immune health, you might be caught up in the thought of how to aid your body in fighting off the diseases. While it is not an easy task to bolster your immunity, there is a couple of lifestyles and dietary changes that could help boost your body’s natural defenses and help keep off dangerous pathogens and organisms that cause diseases. These are some of the best tips to help bolster your immunity.
Get a good night’s rest
Immunity is greatly linked to sleep. Research has shown that insufficient or low-quality sleep can make you more susceptible to sickness. One study showed that people that got up to 6 hours or more of sleep each night were less likely to catch a cold than those that slept for fewer than 6 hours. Your immunity is naturally improved when you get enough rest. Also, you might find yourself sleeping more when you are sick as this allows your immune system to fight off the sickness better. As an adult, you should get up to 7 hours or more of sleep per night. If you are finding it challenging to sleep at night, ensure you limit your screen time up to one hour before you sleep because the blue light that is emitted from your various screens can impact your circadian rhythm. You can try exercising regularly, sleeping at the same time each night, or using a sleep mask to help with your sleep problems.
Eat more whole plant foods
Whole plant foods, which include legumes, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits are packed with antioxidants and nutrients that can help give you a boost in your fight against harmful pathogens. These foods contain antioxidants that reduce inflammation as it combats the unstable compounds that are known to cause inflammation when they become too much in your body. Chronic inflammation has been found to lead to various health problems like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and some cancers.
Furthermore, plant foods contain fiber that feeds your gut microbiome. When you have a powerful gut microbiome, it would improve your immune system and fight off harmful pathogens that try to enter your body through your digestive tract. Also, vegetables and fruits contain nutrients such as vitamin C that helps to shorten the duration of the common cold.
Cut back on added sugars
A lot of research is revealing that there is a link between refined carbs, added sugars, and a greater risk for obesity. Obese people are more likely to fall sick. One study showed that people who are obese were still twice more likely to get the flu after receiving the vaccine than people without obesity that received the vaccine. When you keep your intake of sugar in check, it can help to reduce inflammation and help with weight loss, which in turn would reduce your likeliness to develop chronic health issues such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. You should keep in mind that heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity can all impact your immune system negatively. So, ensure that you limit added sugars if you are looking to bolster your immunity. Your aim should be to reduce your intake of sugar to lower than 5 percent of your daily calories. This is equal to 2 tablespoons of sugar for a person on a diet of 2000 calories.
Always be hydrated
While hydration is not a guarantee to ward off viruses and germs, it is important to your overall health that you prevent dehydration. Dehydration can lead to headaches and also impact your physical performance, kidney and heart function, digestion, mood, and focus. All the complications can make you more susceptible to falling sick.
To ensure you are not dehydrated, you should aim to drink enough liquid per day to keep your urine looking pale yellow. It is advisable that you drink water because it does not contain sugar, additives, and calories.
Juice and tea are also hydrating, but it would be best if you reduced your intake of sweetened tea and fruit juice due to the fact that they have high sugar content. Generally, the guideline to follow is to drink water when you are feeling thirsty and stop when you have quenched the thirst. If you live in a hot climate, work outside, or exercise intensely, you would be needed a lot of fluids. You should keep in mind that the body of older adults does not signal thirst properly. So, they need to hydrate even if they don’t feel thirsty.