8 Simple Ways to Boost Your Immune System
There’s no doubt that in the last couple of years, immune health has been front and center and on the minds of millions. Many people are taking interest in what they can do to support their own immune systems – maybe you are one of them. Luckily, there are many healthy lifestyle habits you can adopt to support your immune system and overall health daily.
How your immune system works
Did you know that your immune system actually has four jobs when it comes to defense from pathogens and foreign substances?
- Physical barriers (like your skin and mucous membranes) stop pathogens from entering the body
- The immune system recognizes foreign bodies when they get past this barrier
- The immune system then works to eliminate unwanted pathogens
- Then it creates “memories’ that recognize these new pathogens
Your innate immune system is the physical barrier, and the adaptive immune system contains specialized cells that defend your body.
8 ways to boost your immune system
Your immune system will help protect you for a lifetime. You can boost your immune system daily by taking simple, healthy steps to improve overall health and wellness.
1. Get adequate sleep
Sleeping is one of the best things you can do to support your immune system. Sleep helps your body fight off illnesses better. Your body also performs essential maintenance and repairs while you are sleeping.
2. Eat more plants
Plant-based foods have essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that you cannot get from other food groups. Consider adding some of the healthiest foods in the world to your diet – kale, spinach, moringa, blueberries, garlic, walnuts, ginger – and the list goes on! Need ideas or recipes? Try our 5-Day Smoothie Challenge. Or increase your intake of greens with Teami Greens Superfood Powder.
The antioxidants in plant-based foods help destroy free radicals in your body that come from pollution, other foods, medication, and other exposures.
3. Take a probiotic supplement
Many studies have estimated that an astounding 70% of the immune system is located in the gut. And to have a healthy gut, you must have balanced gut bacteria. When your gut bacteria is balanced, it may help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and strengthen the function of the gut barrier.
There are many ways to support gut bacteria if you aren’t already.
- Eat probiotic-rich foods, including kefir, yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and kombucha.
- Avoid taking antibiotics that kill harmful gut bacteria – only by the direction of a doctor.
- Eat prebiotics that feed gut bacteria. Foods that contain prebiotics include apples, bananas, leafy greens, onions, garlic, and artichokes.
- Avoid highly-processed, fried foods.
Finally, take a probiotic supplement for daily support. Teami Gut Love makes it easy to get your daily probiotics in one scoop! All you have to do is mix it with water or inside your favorite smoothie. It’s available in two flavors, Unflavored and Triple Berry. It works best when used with a meal, but you can use it at any time of the day and get 20 million colony forming units in each serving to help maintain digestive balance.
4. Exercise regularly
Did you know that exercise increases the circulation of your immune cells? Exercise helps your immune system be able to respond faster and more effectively to potential pathogens. Just 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week can help support immune health – and it’s important to make sure you do not over-train. Find an activity you love and get started!
5. Manage stress
Stress can get the best of us sometimes. And too much stress can have a negative impact on your immune health and function. When you’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off pathogens is reduced. According to the American Psychological Association, stress can also reduce the number of natural killer cells or lymphocytes in the body. Stress also increases the hormone cortisol in the body (the “stress hormone”). Too much cortisol can impact the body’s immune response negatively. These are only a few reasons why it is essential to manage stress regularly.
6. Spend time outdoors
Did you know that spending time outdoors can improve your immune health? First of all, sun exposure helps your body create Vitamin D, a nutrient that helps support the immune system and bone health. In addition, spending time in nature helps reduce stress.
Finally, this might just blow your mind. Researchers have determined that when you’re outside, you are exposed to and breathe in phytoncides. These are plant chemicals that help plants fight disease. They also help human health by increasing NK cells in the immune system. This is one reason forest bathing has become a popular activity in recent years.
7. Wash your hands frequently
It might seem obvious, but washing your hands well and frequently helps your immune system by keeping germs away. Handwashing removes germs from your hands. This helps stop them from getting into your body when you touch your nose, mouth, eyes, or face. In a nutshell, handwashing helps you when you may not even realize it!
8. Stay hydrated
When you’re dehydrated, the movement of lymph can slow down. Lymph is a fluid that transports immune cells throughout the body. Even if you’re not exercising, you’re constantly losing water throughout the day and it needs to be replaced. Not everyone likes drinking water, but it is essential for the immune system and many other functions. Try our 5-Day Water Challenge to make it fun and get hydrated!
When it comes to supporting your immune system, there is not a quick-fix that will magically help. It takes a consistent routine with many healthy lifestyle habits to maintain a strong immune system. It’s just as important to not overdo it and over-stimulate your body as well. The key is balance.
Adi Arezzini | @adiarezzini
Co-Founder + CEO, Teami Blends
Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach
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