There is a lot of talk about immunity these days. From avoiding colds, flu, and now Covid, there are many reasons to pay attention to our bodies defense system. Multiple invaders are looking to attack us like viruses, bacteria, parasites, and even fungus, all of which have the potential to take us down and make us sick. In fact, there is no avoiding them; they are in our homes, offices, restaurants, and shops we go to… even in our backyard.
Create a Protective Bubble
A healthy immune system is precisely that; it is a system that requires balance and harmony to create a protective bubble around us. Your immune system fights off germs and other invaders that have no business in your body. For example, if you inhale a virus through your nose, your immune system targets that virus and attempts to stop it in its tracks. Additionally, If it can’t stop it your immune system jumps into action to fight off the infection and help prevent it from affecting you again.
The best plan to boost your immune system is to throw everything at it. Of course, while the usual conversations revolve around nutrition, supplements, exercise, and sleep, I will also cover a few areas you may not have thought of.
According to new research, optimism doesn’t just boost your mood it also strengthens your immune system. Activation in the brain areas associated with positive thinking leads to better resilience, improved wellness, and stress relief. In fact, research reported in Psychological Science found that immune responses were more powerful as people became more optimistic overtime. A positive attitude may also help you live longer and have a better quality of life.
It is good to spend some time in green spaces; it is the fastest way to lower your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and lower the stress you feel. My family likes to take short walks or go hiking. It allows us time to get away from computers, social media, and TV. Added benefits to outdoor time are being more active and sleeping better, which helps your immune system.
What to Eat
I’m sure you read that a healthy eating lifestyle is important, but do you know the whys?
- Vegetables and some fruits that are important sources of many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, fiber, and potassium.
- Healthy fats are essential for energy, building healthy cells, regulating hormones, and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins that boost immunity.
- Protein is vital to build and repair body tissue and fight bacterial and viral infections.
- Water helps your body ward off disease and infections. The body needs water to function effectively.
Supplement Nutritional Gaps
Ideally, you would get all your nutritional needs from unprocessed whole foods. But, as we age, hormonal changes, and the body’s ability to absorb nutrients changes. Supplementing with critical nutrients can only help.
- Vitamin D & Calcium. Bone loss accelerates as we age especially among women. This becomes especially important as weakening bones and osteoporosis make falls dangerous.
- Omega – 3 Fatty Acids.Omega-3s reduces plaque buildup in the arteries, keeps blood levels in check and inhibits inflammation such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
- Multivitamins. A multivitamin for over 50 is formulated to address the changing nutritional needs of older adults. Your Multivitamin should be made from vegetarian, organic wholefood ingredients. Apart from including sufficient doses of vitamins A, C, D, and E, each tablet also contains vitamin B-12, calcium, and magnesium.
* Be sure to consult your physician for personalized recommendations.
Our bodies must rest so they can recuperate and heal. Getting sufficient hours of high-quality sleep enables a well-balanced immune defense. Sleep strengthens your body’s immune response by supporting the proteins and cells to detect and destroy bugs and germs. Generally, we have all heard that typically people should get 7-9 hours a night; however, that doesn’t apply to everyone.
Finally, do things that make you feel good. Read, do jigsaw puzzles, dance, do whatever brings you pleasure. Endorphins are released when you do something you find pleasurable, giving your immune system a positive boost.
Check out my article on Plan Now & Avoid Diets Later for more healthy tips.