Are you looking for ways to give your immune system a boost? Immunity is something that affects us all. It plays a vital role in helping protect us from illness, bacteria and viruses. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to help build up and maintain a robust immune system. Here are three daily habits that could help get your immunity-fighting fit!
1. Skip the sugar
Sugar, while tasty, is a significant cause of inflammation in the body. Not only does sugar lead to a host of chronic health conditions and weight gain, but also systemic inflammation. Inflammation suppresses the immune system and its ability to ward off viruses and bacterial infections.
Sugar is evident in various desserts, candy, and drinks. However, it’s commonly snuck into various processed foods, even touted as “healthy.” Common culprits are flavored yogurts, fat-free/ low-fat processed foods, nut butter, salad dressings and bread. Check the nutritional label on packaged foods to help lower your sugar intake.
In addition to reducing packaged foods, add more natural food into your daily diet. Food that contains vitamins A, C, D, E, Zinc and antioxidants is essential. Some germ-fighting foods are citrus fruits, garlic, almonds, turmeric and shellfish.
Spending time outside is a natural way to absorb immunity-boosting vitamin D. Reduced winter sunlight often lowers vitamin D levels, making us more susceptible to picking up a bug. Catching some rays on a sunny day is excellent for our immune system and can be a great mood booster.
2. Take a probiotic
Rewind ten years ago and the term “gut health” wasn’t popping up on your social media feed like it is today. Mounting medical research on the importance of healthy flora in the intestines drives the ever-increasing number of probiotic supplements on the market.
Probiotics are active bacteria and yeast that benefit your health by improving your gut flora. A recent study from January 2023 cites that probiotic supplements can stimulate immune cells within the intestines to improve a health-promoting immune response. Naturally occurring probiotics are found in various fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread, pickled vegetables and some aged cheeses like gouda, swiss and Gruyere.
Curious about adding a probiotic to your daily routine? Speak with your doctor first. Probiotic supplements on the market vary widely in dosage and bacterial strains. Knowing your medical history, they are best suited to recommend the right brand for you.
3. Exercise Regularly
Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily for optimal immune system benefits. Exercise helps ward off sickness in a variety of ways. Moderate exercise optimizes blood circulation throughout the body, reduces stress levels and improves sleep-all crucial to a healthy immune system. Take your exercise outside for bonus points for a dose of vitamin D.
ProHealth Pilates and Physical Therapy offers various Pilates classes and services to help you get your daily exercise for immune health. Visit the studio in person in Peachtree City, GA or online for the entire class schedule.