Find out ways to support your immune system without leaving the house.
In this article:
- Boost The Gut Microbiome To Boost Immune System
- Eat Less Sugar
- Eat Colorful Plant-based Food For Immune Support
- Reduce Stress
- Get Quality Sleep For A Strong Immune System
- Ditch Unhealthy Habits
- Sunlight Is A Great Immune Support Supplement
At-home Immune Support
Boost The Gut Microbiome To Boost Immune System
The immune system is an intricate defense network found throughout the body. This makes immune support a bit more complicated than just taking a supplement.
The gut plays a significant role in immune health. 70% of the immune system is in the gut microbiome. This means taking care of the gut offers you more robust immune support.
The best way to boost gut health is through diet though good quality supplements are beneficial as well.
Fermented foods are the best source of probiotics. Fermented foods include:
- Natural yogurt
Make kimchi and sauerkraut at home with minimal specialized equipment.
Eat Less Sugar
Too much sugar temporarily weakens the immune system.
White blood cells produce antibodies. These antibodies target specific antigens that invade the body.
Sugar has a debilitating effect on white blood cells. As a result, white blood cells are less effective at attacking viruses and bacteria.
Sugar also disrupts the gut microbiome balance, which can weaken the immune system.
Eat Colorful Plant-based Food For Immune Support
It is no secret that fruits and vegetables are good for health. The best way to support immune system function is to eat as many colors as possible.
Different colored plants provide different nutrients.
Green vegetables and fruits contain minerals like folate, potassium, and magnesium needed for muscle growth. The chlorophyll that gives plants their green color helps fight infection.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens are full of vitamins C and E, which offer immune support. These vegetables may also improve mood.
Yellow and orange foods are especially useful for the gut microbiome by regulating enzyme secretion and activity inside the gut.
Carrots, oranges, pineapple, and many other yellow foods offer immune support and promote eye health because they contain vitamin C and beta-carotene.
Anthocyanin is an antioxidant that gives purple and blue foods their color. It also has health benefits like immune support and may protect against cancer.
Red foods like red bell peppers and strawberries have vitamins A and C to strengthen the immune system. Red foods also promote healthy skin.
Onions, potatoes, and other white and brown food support gut health and immune function.
A study done over 12 weeks, suggests garlic may lower the number of common colds and shortens the length of infection.
Mushrooms are particularly suitable for the immune system because they contain Vitamin D. Add Shiitake mushrooms to your diet for an extra dose of immune support.
Stress triggers the body to reduce cortisol. Chronically elevated cortisol levels interfere with immune function.
Part of the immune response involves T-cells, a type of white blood cell that targets antigens. Cortisol interrupts T-cell reproduction and communication with the body.
Cortisol lowers secretory IgA, a primary antibody lining the gut and respiratory tract.
Yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises may help lower stress levels.
Watching a funny movie or comedy show is another stress-busting activity. Laughter decreases stress levels while boosting immune cells and improving resistance to infection.
Get Quality Sleep For A Strong Immune System
While we sleep, the body’s restorative processes work with the immune system to improve health. Lack of sleep activates an inflammatory immune response, which reduces T-cell activity.
Circadian rhythms or the sleep/wake cycle play an essential role in regulating the immune system. A recent study found that the time of day influenced how immune cells respond.
Disrupting the circadian rhythm by not getting enough sleep seems to have a negative impact on the immune system response.
Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, controls the circadian rhythm and may boost the immune system. Melatonin regulates the immune response and might be effective at fighting a bacterial and viral infection.
The body needs darkness to produce melatonin. Staying up too late disrupts melatonin production and consequently, the circadian rhythm.
To improve sleep quality:
- Reduce exposure to blue light like computer screens and smartphones at night
- Create a bedtime routine and try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
- Be more active during the day
- Drink less coffee
- Do not drink too much alcohol
- Set your bedroom temperature to a comfortable level
- Take a relaxing bath or shower before bed
Ditch Unhealthy Habits
Unhealthy habits like smoking, excessive drinking, and inactivity impair immune function.
Smoking damages the lungs, making them more susceptible to infection. Nicotine inhibits the body’s defense system by lowering the body’s antigen formation and immune response.
Alcohol impairs immune cell response and weakens ciliary function in the lungs. It can also disrupt deep restorative sleep.
Getting rid of bad habits can have profound effects on health and well being. Small changes can make significant differences.
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Get up and walk around for a few minutes between episodes of your favorite show. Alternatively, do a few stretches while waiting for the kettle to boil.
Quit smoking, and if you drink, drink moderately.
Sunlight Is A Great Immune Support Supplement
Sunlight helps the body synthesize vitamin D. Vitamin D is a significant contributor to immune health.
Vitamin D regulates the adaptive and innate immune response. In other words, vitamin D triggers the immune system to produce antibodies.
Some food sources like fatty fish and fortified dairy products contain vitamin D, but vegans may have a harder time getting enough vitamin D from food sources.
Spending 10 to 15 minutes in sunlights supplies all the vitamin D your body needs. Use this time to do some gardening or meditate.
Early morning or late afternoon is the best time to catch the sun. Between 11 am and 3 pm, harmful UV rays could do more harm than good.
There is no magic bullet to boost your immune system, but lifestyle choices have a significant impact on your body’s ability to fight infections. You can support your immune system at home with some lifestyle changes, like adjusting your diet and changing bad habits.
To learn more about epigenetics or get your TruAge kit, visit TruDiagnostics today and get started turning back the clock.