5 Ways to Prepare Your Immune System for the Worst

5 Ways to Prepare Your Immune System for the Worst

The immune system is a complex series of processes that ward off sickness and fight the microscopic invaders that make you ill. Many different types of cells and organs contribute to the immune response, and the system is still being carefully studied by scientists. Because of this, there is no single way to boost your immune system - but there are a number of steps one can take to ensure a balanced & healthy body prepared to fight off disease.

  1. Maintaining a Balanced Diet - Malnutrition and nutrient deficiency have long been correlated with poor immune function. Vitamins and minerals - such as vitamin B6 and zinc - are vital in promoting healthy bodily function. This includes proper blood circulation, digestive efficiency, and having sufficient energy levels. Without a proper diet that includes fruit, vegetables, and other vital nutrients, these bodily functions may decline - for example, a diet too high in cholesterol may lead to declined cardiovascular function, making your body strain to distribute the white blood cells vital to fighting disease to the whole of the body.

  2. Regular Exercise - Described by Harvard Health as “one of the pillars to healthy living”, regular exercise is an excellent way to keep your body in peak infection-fighting condition. As with proper dieting, regular light exercise can go a long way in improving cardiovascular function, lowering blood pressure, and strengthening the lungs. Similarly, exercise improves circulation, allowing the disease-fighting cells of the immune system easier movement throughout the body.

  3. Supplements - An easy way to work the power of vitamins into your daily routine is by taking supplements. Vitamins D, C, A, and E have all seen some success in improving immune response according to clinical trials. Zinc, folic acid, selenium, and elderberry extract have also been identified as potentially effective in boosting the immune system by way of their benefits to overall health. Multivitamins and supplements containing these substances have been proven to shorten the duration of symptoms caused by the common cold.

  4. Mitigation of Stress - Researchers at the Ohio State University College of Medicine have extensively studied the link between stress and immune response, and found that under stress the body produces less disease-fighting T-cells and immune-boosting interferon gamma. To counter these effects, consider stress-mitigation strategies and supplements such as mindfulness meditation, ashwagandha, and lemon balm.

  5. A Proper Sleeping Schedule - Cytokines, a type of protein created to fight disease, are both produced and released to the body during sleep. This is one of the reasons why it is always recommended to get plenty of rest when one is sick. Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, then, is vital to maintaining a prepared immune system. Research suggests that two thirty minute naps - one in the morning, and one in the evening - may reduce stress (which improves the immune system) and improve cytokine production. Having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep for those eight hours? Consider the natural and readily available melatonin, available in capsule supplement form.