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How You Can Boost Your Immune System

Every day, we humans are exposed to pathogens, microbes, and toxins out in the world. Even though this sounds scary, it’s why we have immune systems to keep us from getting sick. 

You may have the impression that taking high doses of vitamin C is all you need for a healthy immune system. While doing this can help, it turns out there’s a lot more that goes into supporting strong immunity. Our immune systems are actually comprised of highly complex pathways that are influenced by a variety of different factors. If you’re wondering how best to support your immune system, these five tips are a great place to start.

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Choose Healthy Foods

We all know that it’s important to eat healthy foods to keep us feeling our best and our bodies running optimally. Choosing to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet also plays a huge role in keeping illness at bay. Foods that are high in nutrients give your body exactly what it needs to fight off pathogens that can lead to infection.

 At the same time, it’s ideal to avoid foods that are low in nutrients and high in excess fats, carbs, and sugars. Eating healthily can also help you lose weight if it’s been recommended by your doctor. Staying within a healthy weight range for your height, sex, and age offers numerous benefits including increased immunity. Try incorporating foods such as quality meats and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

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Get Enough Sleep

This next one is vastly important. Getting enough sleep is one of the more low-effort tips on this list, but most of us still have trouble getting the standard 7-9 hours due to work, family, and other responsibilities or pressures. During a good night’s sleep, our bodies release cytokines, immune cells that help fight off infections. This restorative process is crucial to both our general health and our immunity for fighting off illnesses like colds and the flu.

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Try Supplements

Even though we try our best to eat well, we may sometimes fall short of getting all of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. Some people may even struggle with nutritional deficiencies due to genetics or absorption problems that can be tough to remedy with diet alone. One of the most well-known of these is iron deficiency.

If you’re not sure if your diet is supplying you with all of the necessary nutrients, it may be a good idea to take a multivitamin. You can also take supplements that are proven to aid your immune system. Some of the most important vitamins and minerals for immunity support are zinc, vitamin C, selenium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin D.

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Boost Vitamin D

As we humans spend most of our lives indoors, some of us may be missing out on a key benefit of the sun. While it’s true that avoidance of sun exposure in order to prevent skin cancer is a good practice, sunlight is also required for humans to create vitamin D, one of the most essential vitamins to human health and immunity. These days, we don’t have to spend time outside to fulfill vitamin D requirements. Taking supplements or even using a specialized sunlamp can increase levels of vitamin D.

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Relieve Stress When Possible

Ever had an extra stressful week at work and feel like you might be getting sick? Stress can trigger illness by weakening your body’s defenses. We can’t always avoid the stress in our lives, but trying our best and using stress relief techniques to rebalance ourselves can make a big impact. Some of the best ways to relieve stress are practicing meditation, physical activities, connecting with friends and loved ones, talk therapy, listening to your favorite music, and making time for your hobbies.

Since our immune systems protect us from foreign invaders and disease, It’s important to give our bodies the tools they need to support themselves. Having a healthy immune system allows us to spend more time doing what we love, and less downtime being sick. Making small, mindful changes can have a big impact on our health and lead to a more robust, strong immune system.