Is there anything you can do to protect you and your loved ones from getting sick? There's something you should keep in mind to stay in good health: Your immune system is your main line of defense against illness, so it only makes sense that you’d want to keep it in top shape. Here are some habits you can start doing in order to help boost your immune system:
Practice proper hygiene
The first line of defense is to keep germs at bay by following good personal hygiene habits. You can stop an infection before it even begins and avoid spreading it to others with easy measures like washing your hands with soap and water before preparing food and after using the bathroom. Aside from that, you should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, or cough into your elbow rather than your hand. Also, as much as you can, avoid touching your face, especially when you know your hands has touched many surfaces!
Take extra care of food preparation
Food directly goes inside your body so needless to say, what you consume must be prepared the right way. According to the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture), there are four basic food safety principles that work together to reduce the risk of foodborne illness — Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. Cleaning means washing your hands properly before doing any work, sanitizing surfaces, maintaining the order of your fridge and pantry, and rinsing produce. Separating means storing your food per category, and never putting food that's for reheating with the raw ones. Cooking entails cooking to safe internal temperatures especially when it comes to poultry and meat. Finally, chilling involves holding cold food at 40°F or below.
Take Vitamin C
Guess what? Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because your body doesn’t produce or store it. It's present in so many foods that most people don’t need to take a supplement unless a doctor advises it. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli. Make sure to load up your pantry with these!
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. But what does it do for your immune system? It may contribute by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Start with an easy pace like brisk walking for thirty minutes, and then speeding up in the following days. Keep in mind that if it's immune system health that you want to focus on, a reliable cardio exercise is key. And even when you're not able to go out at the moment, you can still do some helpful workouts inside your house. You can try activities like jumping ropes, squat jumping, kickboxing, dancing, running the stairs or jogging in place.
Drink lots of water
When all is said and done to keep your body in good condition, there's one drink you can absolutely rely on: water. Water helps all of your body's systems function at optimum levels. Drinking plenty of water flushes toxins and ensures that your cells get all of the oxygen they need to function as they were meant to.
Get enough sleep
Depriving yourself of sleep is practically allowing your body to become more susceptible to getting sick. Sleep gives your body the time it needs to rest and repair. Notice how you feel so tired when you’re unwell--sleep is your body’s chance to fix whatever’s wrong with your body. Sleep supports the proteins and cells of your immune system to detect and destroy viruses and even helps them to remember so they can fight these off even quicker in the future. Sleeps strengthen your body’s immune response, and, as you know, at times like these it’s more important than ever that you’re getting enough of it. Increase your odds of fending off illness by allowing yourself a solid 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye nightly!
How do you try to continually boost your immune system? Share your tips with us, too! Stay healthy and safe, everyone!