Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Immune System

With fall coming it's important to know how to keep your immune system strong with five simple ways.
So here is the simple truth, If you didn't have a functioning immune system, simply brushing your teeth would introduce enough harmful bacteria into your bloodstream to kill you.

Luckily, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick.

The million dollar question is how to intervene in this process and make our immune system stronger.

Research and experience shows that doing these simple, everyday activities have immunity boosting powers that help you stay not just happier but healthier too.

Quit Smoking Completely

"I'm not really a smoker. I only smoke a few cigarettes a day, or when I go out on the weekend." Stop right there.

If you think you are doing your heart and lungs a favor by smoking only "a little," think again. Light or intermittent smoking may be safer for you than heavy smoking, but they still cause plenty of harm.

Look at it this way, If your immune system is Superman, smoking is kryptonite. Smoking weakens your immune system period. The chemicals in cigarette smoke like Carbon monoxide and tar are carried through the body by smoke, interfering with oxygen levels. Less oxygen reaches the brain, heart, muscles and other organs. They are an ongoing source of damage to cells throughout the body, and your immune system must continually work to fight off this damage. Eventually, immune system cannot keep up with all the damage caused by the smoke.

A Mile A Day

Physical activity not only strengthens your cardiovascular system, it improves your mood, reduces stress and promotes a good immune response in the body.

Getting a least a mile by running or walking gets antibodies and white blood cells moving through the body faster, so they may detect illnesses sooner; plus, an increase in circulation may also trigger the release of hormones that "warn" immune cells of intruding pathogens.

You don't need to over-do it. Intense workouts can actually cause more stress on the body and depress the immune system.

Don't cheat nature. Sleep.

You may have noticed you're more likely to catch a cold or other infection when you're not getting enough sleep. Studies have shown that well-rested people develop strong resistance against illness.

Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of a stress hormone. It may also lead to more inflammation in your body. Research has found that our circadian rhythms (sleep and wake cycles) actually govern our immunity. Disturbed sleep patterns means compromised immunity. Getting about 7 to 9 hours of sleep for an adult is key for good health.

Eat right

No one food will magically fend off the flu, but certain nutrients can improve your chances of fighting billions of bacteria, viruses, and other germs. You can practically double your immune system's ability to fight disease with the way you eat. Try eating more leafy greens, fruits and vegetables.

Almost any kind is good, but if you're going to pick and choose, opt for the ones rich in vitamins A, C, and E. Here's why: Vitamin A (which you get from sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark leafy greens) helps white blood cells fight off infections more effectively; it also helps regulate the immune system. Citrus fruits (like lemons, oranges, and grapefruit), as well as bell peppers, papayas, and broccoli, contain vitamin C, which improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps the immune system protect against disease. And vitamin E, found in nuts, seeds, and turnip greens, has been shown in scientific studies to combat flu and upper respiratory infections.

Also add lean protein at every meal. One of the reasons is that the antibodies that help fight disease are actually made of protein. Protein from beans, soy, and seafood (particularly oysters and crab), contain zinc, a mineral that helps build up the production of infection-fighting white blood cells; even mild zinc deficiencies can increase your susceptibility to infections. Nuts, like almonds and cashews, are also good sources of protein, as well as magnesium, both of which help support a healthy immune system.

Laugh a lot

Believe it or not, attending one of Alibaba or Basketmouth shows pays you better than a visit to the clinic. Laughing and an overall happy, positive attitude lowers stress levels and can promote sleep, arguably two of the most crucial elements needed to give your immune system a boost.

While painful emotions like anger and grief can impair health, laughter does the opposite. Research has shown that even anticipating a humorous encounter can enhance immunity. This is because laughter increases circulation, stimulates digestion, lowers blood pressure and reduces muscle tension.

Learn more about natural remedies by reading the Herbal Collective magazine online.

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