Your immune system does an amazing job of safeguarding your body from illness and disease, but sometimes it can weaken. When your body hasn’t properly been cared for, germs that it may otherwise have fended off can cause you to become sick.
Think of the immune system as a musical band. You will only get the very best performance if every component is working accordingly. However, it will only function well if you have done the hard work beforehand and trained your body to manage when germs invade.
Here are several tips which have been scientifically proven to strengthen your immune system:
1. Get Enough Sleep
The amount of sleep you get each night can dramatically impact your immune system’s response to illness. The less sleep you get each night, the less likely your immune system will defend itself against germs and disease. A low functioning immune system will lead you to feel constantly drained and sick, so you must try to start a good sleeping schedule.
Adults should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep per evening to keep the immune system functioning well. If you have trouble getting to sleep each night, aim to limit your screen time, as blue light can keep the brain active and disrupt your circadian rhythm. Other tips to consider include sleeping in a dark room and going to bed and waking up at the same time every day to get your body into a steady routine.
Getting a massage not only helps you relax. It is also a technique proven to benefit the immune system. Receiving a massage could reduce the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Stress can play a huge part in the function of the immune system and may lead to conditions such as heart disease, IBS and stroke.
A study from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles also showed that massage reduced the levels of molecules known as cytokines in the body which cause inflammation and can lead to lifelong conditions such as asthma and depression.
The immune system relies heavily on diet and nourishment to keep you fighting fit. Scientists have discovered that those who are malnourished and live in poorer environments are much more likely to contract a disease, which proves the importance of a well-balanced diet to enhance the immune system. Some of the best foods to boost the immune system include broccoli, poultry and shellfish.
Research also suggests that a deficiency in vitamin C may increase the risk of infection, as the body isn’t able to produce it. The good news is that this vitamin can be sourced from the likes of citrus and kiwi fruits.
Healthy fats like those found in olive oil and fish have also been proven to improve the body’s reaction to pathogens by decreasing inflammation. Although a small amount of inflammation is needed to protect your body against injury, it can dampen the immune system drastically.