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We all want a strong immune system; no-one likes getting sick. Fortunately, boosting your immune health is easier than you think. You don’t need to head to a medspa for a vitamin IV drip or wrap yourself in cotton wool to protect your immune system. There are simple, easy lifestyle changes that you can make to boost your immune system and the best part is, most of it’s just common sense. Here are the easiest and most effective ways to improve your body’s natural defences and protect yourself against illness.
A lack of sleep can seriously hamper your immune system. Many studies show that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are at increased risk of getting sick after exposure to a virus. Not only this, but a lack of sleep can cause stress and junk food cravings, both of which are bad news for your immune health.
If you struggle to go to bed on time, try putting your phone down an hour before bed. That way, you won’t fall down a social media rabbit hole and find yourself still scrolling at 1am. The blue light from your phone also promotes wakefulness, which makes it harder to drift off.
Speaking of blue light, staring at a screen all day can cause sleep issues. Blue light stops your body from producing melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it’s time to sleep. Melatonin suppression has been linked to a range of health issues, including cancer and depression. If you’re unable to cut down on screen time due to work, try a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Studies show that people who use blue light blocking glasses produce more melatonin, thus allowing them to sleep better.
Research also indicates that regular exercise can decrease insomnia and promote better quality sleep. If you struggle with anxiety, try meditating or listening to ASMR before bed for relaxation.
Vitamin D is crucial for immune health. Studies have found that individuals with low levels of vitamin D are much more likely to contract illnesses, and respiratory diseases in particular.
One of the easiest ways to boost your vitamin D levels is to spend time in direct sunlight. For those with lighter skin, 15-30 minutes should be enough whilst darker skin tones require 30 minutes to three hours.
Of course, it’s not always possible to spend three hours outside every day. Moreover, if you work long hours or live in a country with very little daylight during the winter, getting outside for 15 minutes can prove difficult. I almost moved to Norway a few years ago, but the extremely short winter days put me off.
If you can’t get outside as often as you need to, taking vitamin D supplements is a good option. In fact, many health boards recommend this practice to boost your immune system if you’re at risk of a vitamin D deficiency. The best form of vitamin D to take is D3, also known as cholecalciferol. This doesn’t have to break the bank; you can get 60 capsules for under $20 on Amazon.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps your immune cells to function at their best. Whilst there are many vitamin C supplements out there, the easiest and most effective way to boost your levels by including vitamin-rich foods in your diet.
Red bell peppers are actually one of the best sources of vitamin C. In fact, an entire pepper contains 169% of your recommended daily intake. Citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli and, surprisingly, potatoes are all rich in vitamin C and can help to boost your immune system.
Alcohol impairs your immune system by decreasing the levels of important immune cells in the body. Drinking alcohol also decreases the quality of your sleep which, as discussed, also negatively impacts your health. You don’t have to go teetotal, but reducing your alcohol intake will certainly help you to boost your immune system and fight off illness. If you’ve got something important coming up and can’t afford to get sick, definitely avoid booze.
Exercise is important for a healthy immune system but you need to strike the right balance. Too much exercise can actually be more damaging than too little activity. Remember, you’re not training for the Olympics here.
Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise – you should be able to talk, but not sing. Examples of moderate exercise include:
Reducing stress is easier said than done, but there are things you can do. Exercise is a powerful tool for stress reduction, as are activities like meditation and yoga. If you’re working from home right now, be sure to set yourself a firm schedule so that you don’t end up working from late into the evening. For more tips, check out this article.
Not only does garlic keep the vampires at bay, studies suggest that garlic consumption or garlic supplements can help to fight minor illnesses, such as the common cold, thanks to its antimicrobial properties.
Last but not least, intermittent fasting has been linked to improved immune health. Not only this, but following an eatern pattern can help with weight management and stress levels, both of which are important factors in maintaining a balanced immune system. Check out this article for everything you need to know about intermittent fasting.
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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