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Did you know you’re more likely to catch the flu when you’re upset? Stress and anxiety repress your body’s natural immunity to viruses and bacteria.
That’s why the number of illnesses in college students skyrocket around midterms and finals.
Are you constantly coming down with something? There are a few simple tricks you can use to remain healthy.
If you’re ready to learn how to boost your immune system today, keep reading to learn what you need to know
1. Importance of Probiotics
Bacteria live everywhere: on our nails, skin, hair, and throughout our intestines. Those living inside our gastrointestinal tract, we call our microbiome. A healthy body contains a microbiome full of helpful bacteria that aid in its digestion.
Unfortunately, harmful bacteria can also take up residence in our gut. These bacteria affect the functions of your digestive tract.
- Speed of digestion
- Secretion of digestive juices
- Absorption of nutrients
- Level of inflammation
Furthermore, gut inflammation contributes to fatigue, cardiovascular disease, and depression. An unhealthy microbiome is also linked to schizophrenia and other neurological conditions. These bacteria will even escape your digestive tract and activate your immune system.
The fastest way to improve your gut health and protect your immune system is simple:
- Decrease your anxiety levels
- Eat a diet high in raw vegetables
- Use probiotics regularly
Probiotics are foods and supplements that contain live organisms, aka “good” bacteria. Examples of probiotics include yogurt, kombucha, and kimchi.
2. Do You Exercise Often?
Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can be used to radically boost immune systems. Even moderate exercise can make a big difference.
Some examples of what you may want to try include:
- Walking on the beach
- Swimming laps
The trick is to keep your heart rate up. Any such physical activity decreases the rates of infection for viruses and bacterial diseases. It has the side benefit of decreasing inflammation throughout your body.
It also reduces your levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress. High cortisol levels trigger a “fight or flight” response in your nervous system. Over time, this degrades your immune system’s effectiveness.
When you exercise regularly, it ends this “fight or flight” response, returning your nervous system to its normal state.
3. Increase Your Antioxidants
Antioxidants are natural immunity boosters. They enhance immune cell functions and neutralize free radicals. You can purchase immune system support supplements with antioxidants or find them in certain foods:
- Red peppers
Look for fruits and vegetables that are red and orange in color. Cruciferous vegetables also contain high amounts of antioxidants.
4. Improve Your Quality of Sleep
Your immune system cells work overtime when you snooze.
They release proteins that your body needs to fight off infection and decrease inflammation. When you deprive yourself of sleep, your body produces fewer of these proteins.
Sleep also affects your mental acuity. A sleepless night is followed by a sluggish a day.
5. Get at Least 15 Minutes of Sun Each Day
Natural sunlight energizes special cells in your immune system called T-cells.
They’re in charge of signaling your white blood cells to attack infections. When they’re energized, they move faster and increase your immune system’s response times.
Boost Your Natural Immunity Today
Now that you know 5 simple tricks to improve your natural immunity to viruses and bacteria, your body is going to start thanking you.
The sleep and sunlight are easiest to implement, so start there. If you’d like to learn more about health and wellness, visit the rest of our phenomenal library!