The immune system is the body’s main line of defense against viruses, bacteria, and infections of all kinds. It’s sophisticated and intricate, keeping a record of every germ you’ve ever encountered and every microbe it has ever battled. The immune system adapts this knowledge, remembering how to fight off old infections while keeping you safe from new threats.
The immune system may be complex, but there are many simple ways you can support it. For example, by eating foods that boost immune system function, taking certain supplements, and creating healthy habits, you can take steps to ensure your immune system is ready to spring into action whenever it needs to.
Immune support is about bringing the immune system into balance, writes Dr. Suzanne Cassel. While it’s not scientifically possible to guarantee a perfect immune response to every threat, taking steps to learn how to strengthen immune system response can give your body the best possible shot at fighting off invaders. On the other hand, having a weak immune system puts you at risk of suffering damage from even minor infections.
Immunity doesn’t mean that the body isn’t affected by aches or fevers - on the contrary, these can be signs that the system is up and running or even hyperactive. Instead, immunity in the body means the ability to resist or counteract the effects of disease or invasive microorganisms.
How to Boost Your Immune System
You can boost your immune system with immune-boosting foods, vitamins for immune system response, and more. Read on for 10 tried and true immune system boosters to help you be your healthiest, most energetic self.
Studies show that those who don’t get enough sleep after exposure to a virus are more likely to catch it. In addition, lack of sleep while recovering from an illness can make it longer for longer. Sleep can even influence the efficacy of certain vaccines. The Sleep Foundation suggests that healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night. Try avoiding screens for at least an hour before sleep and setting a consistent bedtime.
Different environmental pressures all take their toll on the immune system. While we can’t always change what life throws our way, learning how to manage stress can help mitigate its effect on the immune system. As little as 5 minutes a day of guided meditation can begin to lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
Making time for hobbies, taking a break from the news, or talking to trusted loved ones or a counselor are a few other ways to manage stress and protect your immune system from its impact.
About 70% of the immune system occurs in the gut, meaning good gut health equals a stronger immune system. Ingesting probiotics has been proven to help the body respond to respiratory infections like influenza and the common cold. Fermented foods and beverages like kimchi, kefir, and kombucha are all-natural immune boosters, as are probiotic yogurts and sour cream.
Vitamin C-Rich Foods
When you think of foods to boost immune system health, you probably think of orange juice and other citrus powerhouses. Just one orange indeed contains about 130% of most people’s recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, but many other foods also deliver this essential immune system booster.
Kale, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts are all excellent sources of Vitamin C. For maximum benefit, boil or steam your veggies instead of baking or frying.
The body can’t produce zinc independently, but zinc deficiency has been tied to immune system breakdown in multiple areas. Getting enough of this essential immune booster micronutrient regularly is vital. Some good sources of zinc include beans, seeds, and seafood.
Garlic may be folklore for fighting off vampires, but it’s scientifically proven to help the body fight off the common cold and flu. When crushed, chewed, or chopped, garlic produces a natural compound called allicin. In addition to adding flavor, allicin promotes homeostasis of the immune system. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and may also have antibacterial effects.
Immune Multi Supplement
Revive’s Immune Multi Supplement is a simple, effective way to give your body the vitamins and minerals that it needs to thrive daily. This holistic blend protects the immune system, supports energy reserves, and jumpstarts cellular metabolism.
With broccoli seed extract as well as a potent trio of antioxidants, Revive’s Immune Multi can deliver essential micronutrients to the body while helping restore its natural defenses.
Exercise keeps both your muscles and your immune system strong. The body heat generated by movement may help prevent bacteria growth and stimulate activity in antibodies and white blood cells. Regular, moderate exercise has been shown to improve recovery time from illness by up to 50% in studies. Try taking a brisk walk, swimming, or riding a bike to hit the immune-boosting sweet spot.
One of the simplest ways to ward off disease is to wash your hands correctly. The skin contains an intricate network of immune cells designed as a barrier against invasion. You can help it function by making sure to wash your hands regularly, using warm water and soap for at least twenty seconds.
Spend Time With Pets
To boost immune system health, some scientists recommend owning a pet. In addition to the psychological benefits, petting a dog may increase our rates of immunoglobulin A, an antibody that protects against infection. In addition, having a pet as a child seems to protect against allergies, and in one Swedish study, dog ownership also reduced cardiovascular disease rates.
TakeawayHow to strengthen your immune system? The possibilities are nearly endless. From eating foods rich in Vitamin C, zinc, and probiotics to getting regular exercise and sleep, there are many natural ways to supercharge your body’s protective powers.
By adding in potent supplements for organ health to your daily routine, you can give your immune system the daily support it needs to keep you healthy and strong.