Each day, countless, harmful microorganisms target your body and try to make it their home. Most never make it inside, but the ones that do typically get neutralized quickly.
Your immune system is the all-seeing defense mechanism of your body that keeps tabs on almost everything that happens inside your body. It keeps an eye out for external threads and makes sure to get rid of them quickly.
On the surface, this means we get to stay healthy and feel good. And even if microorganisms gain temporary control over the body, the immune system fights back, and we get to heal within a few days.
And the great news is, our immune system is subject to improvement. So long as we follow the right tactics, we can strengthen our internal surveillance system, remain healthy, get sick less often, and thrive.
Today, we’ll go over four proven immunity enhancers. Let’s dive in.
1. Good Sleep
Sleep is at the center of our physiology and impacts every cell, organ, and system. Not getting enough sleep leads to a whole host of health issues, including an increased risk of disease, systemic inflammation, mental health issues, and more.
Poor sleep also hinders our immune system and makes us more susceptible to illness.
Research shows that folks who sleep better tend to recover more quickly, don’t get sick as often, and bounce back from the common cold and similar ailments in less time.
The CDC recommends we get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
2. Consuming More Nutrient-Rich Foods
Whole foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, and eggs are rich in many of the essential nutrients our bodies need. Most notably, such foods provide us with vitamins, minerals, high-quality protein, and healthy fats.
This allows the body to function normally and maintain robust immune function. Plus, such foods are typically rich in antioxidants - compounds that fight oxidative stress. This prevents accelerated aging and allows us to remain disease-free.
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3. Eating Fermented Foods
Research finds a strong connection between gut and immune system health. The two are intertwined, and if we improve one, it inevitably impacts the other.
Interestingly, consuming more fermented foods appears to be beneficial for our gut health. The bacteria present in fermented foods are called probiotics and populate the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria. This creates a healthy environment where immune cells work better and differentiate helpful bacteria from harmful invaders more easily.
Fantastic examples of such foods include yogurt, kefir, natto, and kimchi.
4. Doing Moderate Amounts of Exercise
Exercise is inherently stressful for the body. It causes disruptions on different levels and forces the body to adapt and strengthen in response. And while too much stress can suppress immune system function, just the right amount can enhance it.
According to studies, physically active people show a more robust immune system and get sick less often. In contrast, sedentary individuals are more likely to get sick and typically need more time to overcome the flu and common cold.
Studies also show that regular and moderate exercise can reduce systemic inflammation and allow immune cells to regenerate quicker and work better.