No one has the time to get sick.
Staying in good health should be everyone’s top priority, but is sometimes overshadowed and forgotten by overtime hours, emotional stress, and poor diet decisions. Your immune system works around the clock to keep you healthy, but sometimes it gets overwhelmed—letting you down when you least expect it.
Because stress is linked with your immune system, your immune system is at its weakest when you need it to be at its strongest! So, how can you boost your immune system to stay strong and keep you healthy when you need it most?
Good question. There are many different ways..
First Way: Reduce Your Chronic Stress!
Being mindful of your mental health can make tremendous strides at protecting yourself from sickness. While occasional stress can be very healthy, chronic stress is the most dangerous type.
Chronic stress is stress lasting over time and has been linked with all sorts of sickness in many different studies. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, have been correlated with high levels of inflammation, lower quality sleep, heart disease, increased chance of illness, chronic fatigue, depression, and countless more illnesses. Perhaps one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is making sure you smile every day.
Chronic stress can be fought in many different ways, often by incorporating new lifestyle changes. Pick up a new hobby! Go for walks on the beach or at your local park! Literally stop and smell the roses! Try to look at your life as a whole and remove or change the things which are causing you stress. Anything that can take your mind off of the stresses of your daily life can have a positive effect on not just your immune system health, but your mental health as well!
#2: Dodge the Toxins!
Who wouldn’t want to avoid toxins? While this may seem obvious, toxins often are hiding in plain sight in our daily life.
One of the most obvious places toxins are hiding is in all nicotine products. Breaking this addiction is critical to having a healthy immune system. It has been proven that cigarettes and other nicotine products have negative impacts on lung and heart health, as well as reducing circulation throughout the body. If you have never tried these products, please do not start! Your body will thank you.
In less obvious places, toxins can be found on the pesticides on food we eat, and in the artificial sugars in the beverages we drink. These both have a negative impact on the healthy bacteria in our intestinal tract, which help protect us from foreign invaders. A significant loss of these bacteria has been shown to severely increase the chances of a stomach flu or intestinal infection. Try to opt for clean, organic foods which your body is adapted for and knows how to break down!
#3: Avoid the Junk food!
Sugar has been a topic of debate lately, and for a good reason. Just lately the scientific opinion on if sugar is healthy or not has switched. Newsflash: It is not healthy in excess!
When you eat a bunch of sugar, your body’s blood sugar levels spike. The most dangerous type of sugar is free-form sugar, such as in Laffy Taffy’s or soda. This has been shown in recent studies to severely compromise your immune system, making it easier for viruses and bacteria to make you sick.
Next time you reach for the candy, try to eat only a couple at a time, if at all!
Alcoholic beverages spike blood sugar levels in a similar way, causing a drop in immune function. A glass of wine may have just as many calories as a can of Coca-Cola!
The key to this is that these things should be best enjoyed in moderation, as all things should.
#4: Boost your Immunity Naturally with Superfoods and Adaptogens!
There are countless things you can do to supercharge your immune system to fight off sicknesses before you even notice they are there. Eating a diet rich in phytonutrients can have a significant impact on your immune function.
Phytonutrients are nutrients and compounds found in plants which plants use to fight off illnesses themselves. By eating these, you can harness their powerful compounds and stay healthy! Some of the most common foods high in antioxidants and phytonutrients are deep-colored vegetables and fruits, such as blueberries, purple cabbage, and pomegranates. Green tea is an excellent source of these nutrients as well.
Among superfoods and their phytonutrients, however, there is a select special class of plants called adaptogens, which have particularly strong illness preventing effects in the human body. The herb Andrographis paniculata is at the forefront of immune boosting herbs, touted as an adaptogen. It has been used for hundreds of years in countries where modern medicine and hospitals are not available, so its safety for use is time tested. Doctors and biochemists today are heavily studying the plant to understand its immune boosting powers. You can harness these powers yourself with Kare~N~Herb’s Kold Kare and Immune Kare Daily, with standardized extracts of Andrographis paniculata. The herb is being investigated due to its powerful antivirus effects on the influenza virus,
#5: Get Your Sleep!
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is obvious: get some sleep! Studies have shown a clear link between amount of sleep, and immune system function. Furthermore, quality of sleep plays a large role as well.
Many people with sleep apnea, for example, get low quality sleep due to their condition. For this reason, many people with sleep apnea can come down with other conditions, damaging their bodies. Furthermore, they are more prone to infections, due to the lack of sleep and weaker immune system!
Sleep is the time of where your body repairs itself. Going for at least seven hours of sleep seems to be a healthy amount for most adult individuals, as the research shows. Furthermore, the younger you are, the more sleep you should get. So to keep yourself safe and potentially your children as well, bedtimes are a good idea!
Research also notes the massive health benefits and illness prevention seen when people adopt regular sleeping schedules, where they go to bed at the exact same time every night and wake up. This allows your Circadian Rhythm in your brain to function properly, allowing for a healthier mind, body, and immune system!
Nobody has time to get sick. If you are sick now, perhaps some of these tips will be of use to you on your road to getting better. If you are healthy currently, remember not to take it for granted. Your health can escape you very fast if you do not take care of it. Take Kare of yourselves!