The immune system helps you stay healthy even to support your overall wellbeing. It is the body’s natural defense against illnesses. Like all defense systems, sometimes the immune response needs support. Implementing the following natural strategies can help support a healthy immune system.
Feed Your Immune Response
Your immune response is intimately tied to your diet. While that may seem daunting, it is actually good news since you have a large amount of control over what, how much, and when you eat.
Increase Dietary Zinc Intake
People are starting to appreciate the benefits of adding zinc to the diet. The nutrient supports immune response and metabolic function. It is also connected to certain healing factors, which is why many people turn to zinc supplements when they start to feel unwell. Keep in mind that, in most cases, a balanced diet supplies enough zinc to support healthy body systems.
Eat Traditional Medicinals
Traditional eastern medicine often used foods to optimize overall health. For example, mushroom extracts have a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance blood health. Now you can get the same benefits in convenient immune support supplements. While these won’t replace a balanced diet focused on fresh fruits and vegetables, they can help support normal blood levels of immune-sensitive nutrients.
Choose Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Some foods are associated with lower markers of inflammation. Choosing anti-inflammatory foods may help support overall health and wellness, including a robust immune response.
Some examples of anti-inflammatory foods include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fatty fish
- Citrus fruits
Prioritize Gut Health
A large portion of the body’s immune response starts in the gut. This connection gives you a perfect opportunity to bolster your body’s defenses by supporting a healthy gut microbiome.
Eating fermented foods, limiting excess sugars, and adding prebiotics and probiotics to your diet can all help keep the gut at peak operating efficiency. The same habits may also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is another great way to support a healthy immune system.
Embrace Healthy Bacteria
The human body is home to billions of microbes that help to keep things working properly. These tiny helpers live on the skin and inside the body, where they perform a host of jobs including breaking down food, processing sweat, and fending off harmful bacteria.
Unfortunately, the prevalence of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes has led to a generation of people with little natural defense against environmental bacteria. It also contributes to the proliferation of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Give your body’s natural defenses a chance by cutting down on the number of anti-bacterial cleansers you use on your body.
Effectively Manage Stress Levels
Occasional tress may be a natural and necessary part of life, but too much of anything is bad. Unfortunately, too much stress can quickly undermine how your body responds to threats. It can undermine your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to infection. Stress may also exacerbate symptoms of existing illnesses.
Since you can’t avoid stress altogether, a better approach is learning a few management techniques. Then, use these to manage your response to stressors and keep things under control. Performing yoga, doing a simple breath meditation, or taking a walk outside can all be helpful.
Increase Physical Activity
Physical activity is an excellent tool in your arsenal of wellness. Try to do something active on most days, whether that is working out at a gym, walking your dog, or doing vigorous house cleaning. Recent evidence shows a clear link between physical activity and immune reactions. Plus, it also supports overall physical and emotional health.
A healthy immune system is within your reach. Work to include natural support systems, such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management techniques in your routine. Reducing reliance on antibacterial products may also help by giving your body’s natural defenses a chance to work.