Building a stronger immune system is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. The immune system is meant to fight back against illnesses, bacteria, and viruses. Some of the behaviors we take part in can actually work against our immune system. The good news is, there are some simple changes you can make. Check out these five things you can do to build a stronger immune system.
Build a Stronger Immune System
“The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system.”
- Dr. Robert C. Peale
Make Sleep a Priority
One of the best things you can do for your immune system is to make sleep a priority. A good night’s sleep can help your body’s ability to fight off disease and infection. A study from the Mayo Clinic shares that during sleep your immune system releases proteins called cytokines and some of these need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation.
When you don’t get sufficient sleep, these cytokines don’t have the opportunity to help your body fight off infection. Ideally, you should be trying to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.
Pro Tip - If you are trying to make sleep a priority, it can help to establish a time when you start to wind down each night. Having a consistent bedtime routine can be as helpful for adults as it is for young children.
Adopt a Plant-Based Lifestyle
One of the best things you can do for your immune system is to move to a plant-based diet. Eating your greens on a daily basis can have a huge impact on your overall health! You can enjoy foods such as smoothie bowls, salads, and a variety of roasted veggies.
By switching to a plant-based lifestyle, you are providing your body with an abundance of the nutrients it needs to fight off germs and keep you in your best health. Even better, it can be an easy switch as there are so many incredible plant-based recipes available now!
Filling plates with whole, minimally processed, plant-based foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds may improve immune function. Plants are full of nutrients that not only help us stay well in the day-to-day but also act as one of the best ways to keep chronic diseases at bay. Individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer are even more susceptible to attacks from viruses. Choosing a plant-based diet can be a huge help.
Pro Tip - When making the choice to move to a plant-based diet, it can help to have items that are without harmful ingredients while truly being plant-based. PLANTSTRONG has Big Bowl cereal options that can let you enjoy a delicious breakfast while prioritizing a plant-based lifestyle.
A small amount of stress can be beneficial to your health as it increases alertness and performance. However, excessive stress can have a negative impact on immunity. While the proper amount of stress increases alertness and performance, too much stress can diminish your body’s ability to protect itself from germs and illness.
The amount of stress a person can handle will depend on the person. Typically, if you are feeling resilient and confident, you are in a healthy place with stress.
When you start to feel overwhelmed, that’s a sign that the amount and type of stress could be impacting your immune system. It is important to make time for yourself to bring your stress level down. This might mean a small bit of self-care, a day out with friends, or saying no to one commitment to give yourself a bit of wiggle room in your day.
It’s also important to surround yourself with positive people. By building stress relief into your day, you are actually helping your body to stay healthier. Start adding stress relief to your day in small ways and you’re sure to see big improvements to your overall health.
Pro Tip - Take the stress out of meal prep by using pre-made items you can be proud of. Items like the PLANTSTRONG Pizza Kit, Chili, or granola can be a great option for taking the stress out of meal prep.
Add Regular Exercise to Your Routine
Regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, help with weight control, and reduce stress. A study on Healthline shares that regular exercise stimulates cellular immunity raises body temperature to fight infection, improves sleep quality, decreases disease risks, and aids in the reduction of inflammation. While many used to believe that rigorous exercise suppresses the immune system, studies are now finding that strenuous exercise is beneficial for immune health. Adding regular exercise to your routine can help your body to better fight off germs and stay healthier. Even better, it has other benefits to your health which makes it a win-win.
When adding exercise to your routine, start small. Don’t go into high-intensity exercise that will leave you feeling exhausted. Instead, start with small adjustments to your routine to include exercise as a part of your daily routine.
Pro Tip - Join Team PLANTSTRONG to have a team of people supporting you as you work to get your health in check.
Don’t Smoke or Vape
Smoking and vaping are very common for people of all ages. While it may seem like a harmless habit for stress relief, it has many health implications. According to an article from the CDC, smoking can make the body less successful at fighting disease. Smoking is known to compromise the balance of the immune system. This increases the risk of several immune and autoimmune disorders.
Pro Tip - Quitting smoking can be difficult but it is not impossible. It can help to find a substitute behavior to take the place of your smoking break. For some, this means chewing gum. For others, it might mean keeping PLANTSTRONG Granola on hand as a healthy snack option.