The immune system is the body’s built-in defense mechanism. A variety of proteins, cells, and organs protect the body by neutralizing harmful and foreign elements. Your immune system also clears dead or “sick” cells within the body to fight infection and disease. Up to a point, immune systems are supposed to get stronger with age, due to the body being exposed to more pathogens and developing antibodies. However, many demands of the modern lifestyle have compromised the immune system’s ability to respond and neutralize threats. Small changes in your daily routine can offer quick & easy ways to boost your immune system, your health, and your overall quality of living. We list them below.
Get More Sleep
It has been proven that our immune systems are directly tied to our sleep cycles. Certain disease-fighting proteins and hormones are only produced during rest. Any amount of sleep deprivation immediately affects our immune system. Too few hours can make one more likely to get sick and cause a slower recovery period. Fortunately, a fully-functioning immune system doesn’t mean needing more sleep than is possible or practical for most individual schedules – simply getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night will do. In fact, oversleeping can actually be detrimental and has been linked to causing inflammation.
Echinacea is a herb with healing properties that is commonly used to fight the common cold. According to a study conducted by the University of Connecticut, echinacea reduces the likelihood of catching a cold by 58 percent. Echinacea has also been proven to fight inflammation associated with illness, as well as aid in the growth of healthy cells. It is available in many forms: capsules, pills, powders, liquid extracts, dried herbs and in teas. For the greatest benefits, take echinacea early on, before symptoms are full-blown
Eat More Garlic
Garlic has been renowned for its healing properties for thousands of years. It has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral capabilities. Garlic has been noted to be effective in fighting illnesses from the common cold to cancer to influenza (the flu). The active ingredient, sulfuric compound allicin, is credited for garlic’s incredible abilities to fight infection of the body both internally and externally. To reap these benefits, experts say to eat garlic raw, since bodily enzymes can sometimes deactivate the allicin if garlic is ingested in capsule form. The World Health Organization recommends consuming approximately one clove of garlic a day to take advantage of its immune system boosting properties.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea has incredibly powerful medicinal capabilities that can fight the flu or lower the risk of cancer. Its abundance of catechin (a plant-based antioxidant called a polyphenol) gives green tea its extraordinary inflammatory capabilities. Regularly consuming green tea can prevent damage from free radicals and aid in the prevention of autoimmune disorders.
As such, green tea is favored over teas such as black tea or oolong. Unlike other varieties, green tea’s unique harvesting process preserves the natural polyphenols which are extremely beneficial. Experts recommend drinking between 3 to 5 cups of green tea a day to ingest between 240 and 320 milligrams of polyphenols a day.
Boil Your Vegetables
Consuming raw vegetables does not always yield more nutritional benefits. Although the cooking process can reduce the vitamins and minerals in vegetables, in many cases, it actually makes them more beneficial. Heat breaks down the rigid vegetable cell walls, improving the body’s absorption capabilities and actually increasing the amounts of nutrients.
For example, it was found that cooked carrots had higher levels of beta-carotene than uncooked ones. The cooking method is also a factor in vegetable benefits. Boiling and steaming allow for the least amount of vitamins and nutrients lost. Include plenty of green vegetables to your diet, which has been linked to directly aiding the immune system’s function.
Thirty Minutes of Physical Activity
Vigorous cardio isn’t necessary for your immune system to reap the benefits. The American Journal of Medicine reports that simply walking can increase the number of white blood cells in the body. Moderate exercise at least three times a week is sufficient. Be wary that too much exercise can actually be harmful. More than 90 minutes of intense physical activity temporarily weakens the immune system, making one more perceptible to illness after strenuous physical exertion.
When you are threatened with an illness, it’s important to help the body to naturally produce the white blood cells it needs to defend itself. Vitamin C is crucial in this process, and citrus fruits of all kinds are rich with vitamin C. A glass of orange or grapefruit juice in the morning is a great way to help boost your immune system daily.
There are many quick & easy ways to boost your immune system – many of which you might already do in your daily routine. Although these methods are natural and easily accessible, they are not cure-alls.
Let UrgentMED Help Boost Your Immune System
If you are feeling ill and showing symptoms, and are wondering how best to boost your immune system, it might be time to visit a clinic near you. The Urgent Med Network has an in-house pharmacy and 19 convenient locations in the Los Angeles area for a quick visit to get you feeling better quickly. For your convenience, our medical walk-in clinics in and around Southern California are available day and night, on weekdays and weekends, no appointment needed. We accept a large range of insurances and guarantee affordable rates for individuals and families without insurance.