Looking to strengthen your immunity amidst the increased risk of disease surrounding us? Your immune system is your body’s frontline defense to staving off illness and disease. To best protect your immune system it’s important to take the time to take care of yourself.
Here are our top tips to keeping your immune system at peak performance:
Studies have shown that long term stress can lead to increased level of the steroid hormone cortisol. Cortisol plays a critical role in your body’s control of immune defenses. However when Cortisol levels are too high it blocks the immune system from ramping up to fight against potential threats. So it is crucial to try to keep your stress level down to keep your body’s defenses working properly. In times like today it can be hard to avoid the stresses of the current pandemic. Work hard to take time to de-stress daily. Whatever that may mean for you, yoga at home, a moment of meditation, a relaxing walk, there are many options. Choose the right de-stressor for you and keep it a daily habit to help your stress levels stay in check.
Drink in Moderation
One of the effects of high alcohol intake is a weakening of the immune system. According to recent medical studies high levels of alcohol can weaken the body’s ability to fight infection and slow your body’s recovery time. Try to keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum to keep your body’s immune system at it’s full disease fighting potential.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a well balanced diet with nutrient rich foods provides your body the needed nourishment to function properly. For enhanced immunity try to incorporate these immunity boosting foods into your diet:
- Seafoods, rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids; such as salmon
- Lean Proteins; such as tofu or lean meats like turkey and chicken
- Dark Chocolate; yes…we said chocolate. Dark chocolate that is has magnesium that’s been shown to help strengthen antibodies, eat in moderation of course!
- Nuts and Seeds; nuts are rich in vitamin E and antioxidants
- Citrus and Leafy Greens; such as oranges and kale are rich in vitamin C
Get Enough Sleep
While you sleep your body heals and regenerates which is why it’s so critical you have enough quality sleep to help your immune system stay strong. During sleep your body produces cytokines, T cells, and interleukin 12, all key cells that make up your immune system. So, do your best to ensure you’re getting enough sleep each night. Turn off your electronics at least 2-3 hours before bed, ensure your getting to bed on time and catch some quality zzz’s. When your body has enough sleep your immune system has what it needs to fight off infection and disease.
Your body’s immune system is an incredible defense to keeping you healthy. Keep it at peak performance by remembering to incorporate these tips into your lifestyle. We hope you continue to stay healthy amidst these challenging times!