Sometimes, we envy our friends with a bunch of kids. Their immune systems are on point. They’ve been exposed to so many strains of bacteria and their systems have beefed up in order to ward off those pesky little viruses floating around.
But, what if you don’t have a pack of kids playing around at home? What can you do to boost your immunities? Plenty! You can make healthier selections at the local supermarket. You can reduce your alcohol intake and increase your sleep time. Together, let’s formulate a game plan that’ll help you surpass all your mom friends and kick those winter colds to the curb.
Did you know a lot of interaction takes place between the body’s immune system and the bacteria living in our gut? More to the point, a large portion of our immune system is actually located in our gastrointestinal tract. This exchange that goes on between the immune system and the bacteria needs to be well-balanced and healthy.
This is where probiotics enter the scene. They’re microorganisms that contain live bacteria and yeast. Probiotics compete with bad microbes in our system and colonize the digestive tract. They also work to reduce the effects of harmful compounds on our bodies.
As for the specific strains that boost the immune system, you’re looking at Bacillus circulans PB7 and Lactobacillus plantarum DSMZ 12028. As you conduct your research on which brand of probiotics to buy, keep an eye out for these two strains.
A Healthy Diet
We don’t have to go spend a couple of hundred dollars to start boosting the immune system. We can simply make better purchases when we do our weekly grocery shopping. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is a great place to start. Here are some of our favorite immune system boosters:
- Citrus fruits
- Yogurt (healthy probiotics)
- Green tea
So, garlic up your broccoli as a side dish to your organic chicken. Then, finish off the evening with some papaya in your yogurt. Small steps like this will send you on your way to a strong immunity that can help you combat the pesky viruses of the world.
Also, there’s a new discovery out there known as Mimosa pudica. It’s a fern-like plant whose seeds have been known to support gut and immune health.
Ditch the Booze
Alcohol – in all forms – lowers our immunity. We love reading about the social drinkers of the world who are becoming sober curious. They don’t necessarily have an alcohol dependency; they’re interested in seeing how their bodies can benefit from a system bereft of the harmful free radicals alcohol introduces into our bodies.
We keep reading about some of the plausible benefits of an alcohol-free life. Some of the perks that keep popping up are:
- Weight loss
- An increased ability to absorb vitamins and minerals
- More hydration
- Healthier sugar levels
- Clearer skin
- Better sleep
Focus On Your Sleep
We know it’s difficult. You’re juggling a career, a family, social obligations, important relationships, and, well, life! But, you need to make sleep a priority. If it means “selfishly” saying no to evening activities or putting the kids to bed earlier, then do it.
Sleep is so important it’s been proven to affect our longevity. Can you imagine that we’re taking away years of our lives with our children and grandchildren because we can’t tuck ourselves in for eight hours of sleep each night?
Increase Your Vitamin Intake
If you’re having trouble getting certain vitamins into your system, by all means, take them in pill form. But, the best way to take our vitamins is through our foods. Here are some healthy vitamins to help boost your immune system function, as well as the foods to find them in:
- Vitamin A (carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe)
- Vitamin C (spinach, kale, bell peppers, strawberries, papaya)
- Vitamin D (salmon, milk, orange juice, cereal)
- Vitamin E (almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds)
We know. We’re really pushing it here. If you had 25 hours in a day, you still wouldn’t be able to get it all done. Now, we’re asking you to go to bed earlier and get in an hour of exercise each day. But, if it’s at all possible to get out for a daily walk or balance your checkbook from a treadmill, then do it.
Moderate exercise is all that’s required. Researchers have found that people who walk regularly have a higher number of white blood cells. And white blood cells are the ticket to strong immune systems. Imagine a world where your morning walk concluded with a hot cup of green tea. That’s the kind of world we all need to be living in.
Protect Your Immunities
It’s so important to protect our immunities and ward off the slew of old (and new) viruses out there in the world. We don’t even know the depths to which our bodies are fighting daily, but why not give your immunity a helping hand, starting today?
Here at Minority Health, we love to explore digestive health. Its benefits are far-reaching and we want to share as much information with you as we possibly can. We will help you find the best supplements and the best principles for healthy living.
What do you say? Ready to add some energy (and some years) to your life? Let’s do it. There’s no better choice we can make and our white blood cells will rejoice.