Published on February 10th, 2013 | by George Conte1
How to boost your immune system
How to strengthen your immune system with healthy lifestyle habits
Avoid smoking at all cost. Smoking is a real disaster for your health and your ability to fight diseases. It is one of the most common risk factors for developing cancer. According to National Cancer institute “Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 443,000 deaths each year, including approximately 49,000 deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke.”
Sleep at least eight hours, nine if you exercise. Sleep can strengthen your immune system. Lack of sleep can weaken it. Organize your daily obligations in a way that you can always find enough time to sleep. Some healthy habits to aid in quality resting are to completely avoid caffeine drinks like coffee, smoking and alcoholic drinks before sleeping.
Drink enough water. Your body is in constant war with outside enemies like bacteria, viruses and toxins are. Drinking water is a great way to detoxify your body and strengthen your immune system. For men this means around 2,5-3,5 liters and for women about 2-2.5 liters depending your weight.
Decrease Alcohol consumption. There are evidence that “Resveratrol”, a substance contained in red wine, has antiviral capabilities and is able to help with common cold infections. Unfortunately that has been used as an excuse for many people to increase their alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse is now considered responsible for liver damage and death from infectious diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis.
Eliminate stress from your life. When we are stressed our body responds by producing cortisol, a hormone responsible for the increased risk of developing various health problems and diseases like cancers, cardiovascular diseases and obesity.
Decrease stress levels by hearing your favorite music, spend time and talk to friends and family. Relax by taking some private time for yourself away from everyday’s problems. Find joy and happiness in simple things that really matter, like important relations, a natural lifestyle. Accept the world as it is, this will reduce feelings like anger and depression. Use visualization for positive thinking. Do meditation.
Exercise more. Exercise has numerous positives for your health. One of them is boosting your immune system. People that are exercising regularly have a decreased chance of getting sick. A balanced exercise plan with aerobic and anaerobic activities for 3-5 hours per week is perfect.
Foods to boost your immune system
Garlic is known for its ability to strengthen the body’s defenses. It increases the reproduction of infection-fighting white blood cells, enhances the capabilities of natural “killer” cells in the body. Garlic is a natural antioxidant that reduces free radicals in the bloodstream and protects the organism from developing tumors. Even the smell, which makes many to avoid it him, has its purpose. The allicin it contains has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant known to fight infections and maintain good health for our body. Furthermore, it enhances the immune system of humans by increasing the production of white blood cells and antibodies, that the necessary for the immune response.
Vitamin C, which is abundant in citrus fruits such as orange, mandarin, bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, etc. reduces the risk of chronic problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and cancer. Find out more about the benefits of vitamin C.
Fish is one of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, the acids that strengthen the immune system directly. Their consumption increases the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that engulf bacteria and protect the body against infections.
Vegetables like the colorful peppers, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and other, are a rich source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that prevents the destructive action of free radicals, thereby protects the cells and our immune system. Beta-carotene is also known for its great anti-aging properties.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols. It protects us against microorganisms that try to invade our body. It inhibits tumor cell growth and thanks to polyphenols strengthens the body against the oxidative damage caused by free radicals and the harmful ingredients, which cause premature aging. Tea has also physical benefits, it can help us relax and relieve stress.
Calf meat and especially red meat is a good source of zinc, a mineral that stimulates the immune system. Even a mild zinc deficiency can make you more prone to infections and increase your chances of getting sick. Zinc is essential for the growth of white blood cells, the “portion” of the immune system that is responsible for the recognition and destruction of harmful microorganisms.
Broccoli is a vegetable rich in vitamins A, C and E, which makes it ideal as a “production workshop” of antioxidants. Other important properties of broccoli are glucosinolates, which stimulate the immune system and sulforaphane, a compound that exhibits anticancer, antidiabetic and antimicrobial properties.