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4 ways to boost your immunity

Your immune system protects your body from harmful things like bacteria and viruses that cause illnesses. To boost your immunity and help you stay healthy year-round, make the following practices part of your normal routine.

Follow these four tried-and-true steps to boost your immunity and you’ll see the difference:

1. Eat nutritious meals

Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables in a range of colours — green, orange, yellow, purple. Each has different beneficial polyphenols and antioxidants that support a well-functioning immune system. Good nutrition helps boost your immunity, and a few essential components of your diet are especially helpful for boosting your immunity. Fill your plate with balanced portions that include protein, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamin A can be found in orange and red foods like red peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes, as well as spinach. Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster and is found in citrus fruits and strawberries, among other foods. Enjoy some nuts, nut butters and nut oils for your fill of Vitamin E, and enjoy lean meats, seafood, beans, and seeds for zinc.

2. Get an adequate amount of sleep

Sleep loss negatively affects the immunity. It reduces the body’s production of natural killer (NK) cells, which in turn increases the risk for cancer and viral infections. It generates inflammatory cytokines, which heightens the risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. It reduces the production of antibodies, which help fight viruses and other infections.

While people’s sleep needs differ, it is recommended for aiming to get seven to eight hours of restful sleep daily. Develop a regular routine to prepare your body for sleep and train yourself to think of bedtime as being for sleep only. That means no mobile phone, tablet, or computer screen for an hour before bed and no reading in bed.

3. Maintain an exercise routine

Moderate physical exercise improves your antibody response to infection. Over-exercising, or over training without recovery, however, increases your susceptibility to infection and to injury. Attempt to exercise daily, but mix it up switching between cardio, strength, stretching and meditation. Regular exercise improves a person’s overall health, which improves your immunity. Exercise improves the cardiovascular system and protects a person’s body from multiple diseases. All of the specific immunity benefits from exercise aren’t yet determined, but a healthy lifestyle helps keep your immune system happy and healthy. Exercise may help cells move better and do their jobs right.

4. Be Mindful

When you experience stress, it can release cortisol hormone, that can boost inflammation and actually suppress your immunity, making it less effective. Many studies have shown that those reporting the least amount of stress were also the least likely to get infections. Keep stress minimal; meditate or pray and allow your brain some down time. Nothing good ever comes from worrying. Your body will be in a more relaxed state and feel rejuvenated with some peace and quiet. Stress can be an inhibitor of immunity for the way it creeps in and likes to settle, affecting appetite, sleep habits, even daily routines.

Improve your Lifestyle – Improve your Immunity!

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