- Incorporate probiotics to your daily routine to help optimize immune function
- Eat a well-balanced whole-food diet
- Vitamin A, C, D and zinc are powerful immune supporters
- Prioritizing sleep can help improve immune function
- Reducing stress load can help optimize immunity
- Moderate exercise can help your immune system run optimally
Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Immune System Supported
Our immune system acts as a powerful line of defense against harmful pathogens and bacteria that could make us ill. Since it is operating at all times to protect us, we often don’t realize how important it is until it’s too late. However, there are many proactive lifestyle and dietary measures you can take to optimize immune function and prevent illness from striking in the first place.
Incorporate Probiotics Into Your Daily Routine
We are becoming increasingly aware of the critical role gut microbiome plays in supporting immune function. In fact, it is estimated that approximately three-quarters of your immune system resides in the gut. That is why it is so important to support your gut health. Probiotic supplements are a great way to promote a healthy gut filled with good bacteria, which will help reduce gut inflammation and boost immune function.
To better support your immune system, it is a good idea to limit the amount of processed sugar and foods in your diet. Processed foods deplete a lot of essential vitamins and nutrients that we need, without helping to replenish them. Processed foods can also have a proinflammatory effect, which imposes an unnecessary burden on the immune system.
Try to consume a diet rich in nutrient dense whole-foods such as vegetables, lean protein, fruits and nuts and seeds. Aim to incorporate a colorful array of plant based foods, which contain different phyto-nutrient compounds that provide distinctive benefits. For some bonus support, you may also want to include some immune-boosting foods such as citrus fruits, ginger, garlic turmeric and bone broth.
Reduce Your Stress Load
Chronic stress increases inflammation and reduces gut microbiome diversity, which takes a toll on your immune system. Since the body is better able to fight off illness when it is not under stress, it is a good idea to find a practice you enjoy and can come back to whenever you feel stressed out. Deep-breathing, meditation or walks in nature are all great ways to decrease cortisol levels, reduce inflammation and increase immunity.
Get Enough Sleep
It is probably no surprise that poor quality sleep can increase your susceptibility to illness. Poor sleep impairs the disease fighting ability of certain cells in the body. While you sleep, your body repairs itself and creates new infection fighting molecules. To achieve better quality sleep, try to commit to a consistent wake-up and bed-time schedule. This regularity helps restore your natural circadian rhythm to help you establish more reliable sleep patterns. Additionally, try to limit screen time, eating and exercise at least two hours before bedtime, which will help your body wind down quicker and improve the overall quality of your sleep.
Exercising helps reduce inflammation in the body, which allows the immune system to operate more efficiently. The amount of exercise necessary to maintain optimal immune function varies based on lifestyle factors. However, it is generally agreed upon that moderate exercise for 30 to 60 minutes about 3-5 days per week is a great way to help your immune system function at its highest level.