A strong immune system is your first and best defense against disease invasion, so you’ve got to make sure that your immune system is in great working order.
When your immune system is strong, you are generally healthier and stronger. If you find yourself feeling bogged down and regularly sick, your immunity may be compromised. Below are tips on how to give your immune system a jumpstart.
Your Immune System May Be Compromised If…
- You are constantly fighting colds and other upper respiratory infections that last longer than usual
- You are always tired during the daytime hours
- You have allergic reactions more often (such as hives, sinusitis, eczema outbreaks, inflammatory conditions such as gout, etc.)
- You rarely eat fruits and vegetables
You Can Build Your Immune System By…
- Improving your diet – If your diet contains a lot of fat, sugar and artificial ingredients and very little vitamins, minerals and nutrients, your immune system will be a wreck. Your guard is down when junk foods are up. Fatty foods and junk foods introduce more free radicals into the blood stream, which wreak havoc on your defense cells. Free radicals do so much damage that your body is left open to diseases as serious as cancer.Instead of the usual bad diet, here’s what you can do:
1) Eat more protein-rich foods such as lean meats (like fish and chicken), egg whites or beans and discard red meats as much as possible. 2) Cook with olive, peanut or canola oils instead of butter, margarine and vegetable oils. 3) Everyday load up on fruits and vegetables, which are the healthiest foods you can eat.
- They contain no fat or cholesterol, but have lots of fiber, vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that destroy free radicals. 4) Look for foods that are particularly rich in the B vitamins, as well as vitamin A, C, D, and E, beta-carotene, zinc and selenium, all of which target the immune system.
- Exercising for at least 30 minutes everyday – Getting in the habit of exercising will strengthen your body and your defense cells. Studies even show that women who exercise regularly can defeat breast cancer or other cancers of the reproductive system. More is not better either; all you need is 30 minutes to an hour per day, whatever is comfortable for you until you are able to advance. Too much physical activity will have an adverse reaction; your immunity will be further compromised.
- Minimizing stress – Studies have shown that the way a person handles the inevitable stress in their lives determines whether or not they will get sick. If you can keep your emotions under control in the midst of a stressful situation, you are less likely to get sick and your immune system will remain strong. The key is to find an outlet for stress, whether it be exercise, massages, journaling, breathing exercises, support groups, music, etc.
- Being more assertive – When you stand up for yourself, you develop a level of confidence and self esteem that is good for your physical health. Your body will correspond to the way you feel and react to pressure, so love yourself and never accept being treated like a doormat.