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Scientists don’t understand everything about immunity. But they do know that taking steps to boost your overall health can go a long way in making sure your immune system is putting up the best fight for you. Here are some effective ways to give your immune system the boost it deserves:
There are a handful of different vitamins that help your body form a stronger defense:
See if you can get a vitamin through diet before you try a supplement. The nutrients tend to absorb better that way. You also risk taking a dangerous amount if you’re not careful with supplements. There are exceptions to this rule—Vitamin D, for example, is tough to get through food, and if you have a severe vitamin deficiency, you may need the strength of a supplement to get your levels up. But in general, check with your healthcare provider first, measuring for vitamin D levels can be done through a simple blood test. Your provider can also help you understand how supplements could react with certain conditions or medications, and they can help with appropriate dosing for your specific body and health history.
New research is emerging about the importance of gut health for our overall well being and immunity. Recently, researchers from Stanford found that fermented foods can help improve gut health and they hypothesize this may help your immune system fight off long-term illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease. You may already eat a diet rich in fermented foods—fermentation is a staple of many global cuisines. But if you don’t, try to incorporate delicious foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled vegetable mixes, tempeh, yogurt, and kombucha.
Stress can disrupt levels of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and reduce your number of infection-fighting white blood cells, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Plus, it can keep you up at night, which also wreaks havoc on your immune system over time. Stress reduction can seem impossible, but it’s worth a solid try. Start small by identifying one stress reliever that works for you, like exercise or listening to music. This week, find time every day for that—even if it’s just a 5-minute walk around the block or blasting your favorite song at top volume between meetings. Even just a few moments of stress relief can help.
Give your immune system a break by taking these measures to prevent illness:
Interested in building an immunity boosting plan tailored specifically for you? Our clinicians can talk to you about the vitamins and nutrients your body needs most, and the best sources, whether that’s on a plate or from the pharmacy.
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