The Importance of a healthy immune system and 7 ways to boost yours

Our immune systems are one of the most fundamental systems of our bodies but often ignored. While it handles protecting the body against infections, there are other factors that might reduce its ability to do so. This could render it weak and prone to “attack.”

Making sure that your immune system is in tip-top shape means you have to make some lifestyle changes like keeping stock of a healthy diet and body. 

What happens when the immune system is attacked?

The immune system is composed of white blood cells, antibodies, lymphatic tissue, bone marrow, and the spleen. When viral infections occur and are not stopped fast enough, it could result in havoc on the body’s immunity.

Viral infections attack cells of the immune system replicating it to increase spreading in the body. This can render the body’s defenses down and vulnerable to autoimmune diseases like cancer, depending on the patient and their health history. If this happens, the body starts attacking itself. 

How can you protect yourself and strengthen your immune system?

During high flu season, most of us undergo “seasonal changes.” For many people, the process of seasonal change leaves them vulnerable to developing flu or “catching” a cold. 

But this is also because of a weakened immune system. You can increase your immune system’s strength by doing the following:

#1 Sleep should not be the least on your list

The body is at its best state during stasis. When we are asleep, the body goes about its inherent ability to heal itself. These functions may include tissue repair as well as muscle organ repair. That being said, sleep helps your immunity by giving it a recharging boost. 

#2 Eat healthy 

Eating healthy foods helps the body to power up the immune system.  For example, getting enough ascorbic acid found in citrus fruit is important during high flu season. This is especially so because it helps repair cell tissue and wounds. 

Furthermore, eating a balanced diet with all essential food groups like fibre, dairy, proteins, vitamins and minerals will help support your immune system. 

#3 Quit smoking

While this isn’t an easy one to do, but, kicking the habit can improve the strength of your immune system. In fact, the CDC says that smoking affects the balance of the immune system, making it harder to fight diseases. 

#4 Take stock of your stress levels 

Stress can wreak havoc on our immune systems and while the ability for the body to activate fight-or-flight is crucial to survival, it should not be active 24/7. Chronic stress can implicate the immune system and leave it open to viral infections. This is because of the imbalance of hormones since cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones are higher during times of stress.

#5 Consider alcohol balance

Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol leads to impairment, puts you at high risk for injury, and causes damage to the liver and other tissues in the body. If you're going to enjoy an alcoholic drink, consider red wine, since grapes are high in antioxidants. In fact, the Mediterranean diet suggests having a glass of red wine every day as part of the diet. 

#6 Don’t forget about probiotics and supplements

Probiotics play a very important role in the well being of not only our gut, but also our mental wellness. In recent years, medical studies suggest that balancing gut flora and fauna will help keep the immune system strong. With the gut microbiota strong, it may go on to support mental wellness. 

#7 Exercise some more

Exercise helps the body become stronger on many levels. Regular exercise can improve mental wellness, help you lose weight, maintain weight loss, as well as improve sleep. These are all great for keeping the immune system healthy and strong.

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