7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System this Summer
What we eat is extremely important to our health. The nutrients in food and drinks we consume enable the cells in our bodies to perform their necessary functions. Now more than ever we must understand that Our Health Is Our Wealth. Our immune system is essential for our survival. Without an immune system, our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. This vast network of cells and tissues is constantly on the lookout for invaders, and once an enemy is spotted, a complex attack is mounted.
The immune system is the most important factor in the body to avoid any kind of disease. A slight change in weather during summer can lead to a shift in temperature that leads to the growth of certain viruses and bacteria. Your immune system gets low during stress, poor diet, inadequate sleep, obesity, lack of physical activity and neglecting protein-rich food. A well-functioning and healthy immune system is probably one of our best weapons against the fight with viruses and diseases.
With this in mind, I wanted to highlight a selection of delicious, immune system-boosting tips that you should start including in your diet, and creating the habit of doing especially if you’re susceptible to a summer cold (or two!) Say goodbye to a weak and inefficient immune system, and hello to a summer of vitality and health!
1. Eat a colorful, Well-balanced Diet
Stock up on seasonal produce to fuel your immune system with the nutrients it needs! Eat a diet based on whole foods. Adopt a healthy regime and cook using whole foods and use recipes that provide sound nutrition and taste great. Fuel your body with the good stuff!
2. Get Your Sleep
Sleep can have a massive impact on your health, including your immune system. Studies show that people who don't get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. Your sleeping pattern directly contributes to a stable immune system. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. While it's nearly impossible to get your recommended 8 hours every night, do your best to rest up when you can!
Finding time for outdoor exercise, even if it is as little as 15 minutes at least 2-3 times per week, will make you feel energized and less stressed; it will boost your capacity to do more and achieve more. People who lead sedentary lives are much more likely to pick up colds and other viruses. Exercise is a great way to keep your mind, your body, and your immune system in tip-top form.
Vitamin D helps the immune system fight infections. And people who are deficient in it are particularly exposed to infections. Did you know that vitamin D supplements were used to treat tuberculosis before antibiotics were widely available? Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Not enough vitamin D (a vitamin D deficiency) can cause pain, hormone problems, muscle weakness, and more. Good Sources of Vitamin D are: Sunlight, Mushrooms, Egg yolk. In essence, there’s no better way to get Vitamin D than exercising outside while you soak up the sun!
5. No Sugar
Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. Consuming excessive amounts of these foods will deplete the immune system. Things such as “Low-sugar”, “No Artificial”, and “zero calories” should do the work in getting your attention, but make sure you read the labels and be aware if the packages are lying or not. As I mentioned in this article, I started small by quitting to add sugar/sweetener on my coffee. It might seem like a small thing but I promise I was able to change my entire lifestyle based on that.
6. Vitamin C
Did you know that vitamin C is the most consumed supplement in the world? Indeed many studies have shown that an appropriate daily intake of vitamin C can not only prevent infections, but also reduce their severity and duration. Which food contains the highest concentration of vitamin C? If orange sprung to mind, you will be surprised. Acerola, rose hips, peppers and horseradish all contain more vitamin C than an orange! Other sources include kale, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and mango.
7. Proper Hydration
Hydration is really important when you’re sick. Fluids not only transport nutrients to the illness site but they also take toxins away for disposal. Green and herbal teas are great too. If you are trying to fix your immune system, avoid getting sick, and boost your defenses, then make water/low calorie drinks your new best friends. If you get tired of plain water you could try water with slices of orange and lemon (would get a boost of natural Vitamin C too). Dehydration leads to a ton of health problems and weakens your immune system. In the off-chance you do get sick, staying hydrated is absolutely vital for recovery.
We should always remember that vitamin and minerals — particularly A, C, D and E, as well as zinc and calcium — play an important role in keeping the immune system strong and staying healthy. It's always important to remember that the supplement industry isn't regulated, so the onus is on you as the consumer to choose a reputable product that's backed by science.
Our body also needs fluids and electrolytes to function at its best. That’s especially true when you’re suffering symptoms like fever, coughing, diarrhea and vomiting, which can easily dehydrate you. Proper rehydration helps with recovery. Drinks with essential electrolytes such as Hydra-Guard Sports Drink have been recommended by the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics for decades to relieve symptoms associated with virus-related mild to moderate dehydration in both adults and kids. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink is a great way of replenishing your essential electrolytes after a workout but keeping the calorie count low and consuming only 5g of natural sugars per bottle.
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