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6 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

By Dr. Sharon McQuillan
Posted On May 27, 2021
6 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Do you ever wonder why some people never get sick and others are not so lucky?  Turns out that you are only as strong as your immune system.  Here are six proven strategies to optimize this amazing group of germ fighting warriors.

1. Maximize Your Microbiome

You may be surprised to learn that 70% of your body’s immune system is located in your gastrointestinal tract.  Our digestive tract is home to trillions of microbes known collectively as the gut microbiome.  This microbiome found in our gut lining is the first line of defense against illness, so keeping your microbiome balanced goes a long way in staying healthy.  The best way to maximize the power of your microbiome is to take a probiotic supplement.  Probiotics help improve the balance of your microbiome, making your immune system function more efficiently.

2. Increase Your Antioxidants

Antioxidants are powerful compounds found in fruits and vegetables that protect our bodies from free radicals.  Free radicals can damage our cells leading to oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress can weaken our immune system.  Most antioxidants are found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables.  Recommended Dietary Guidelines suggest NINE servings of fruits and vegetables per DAY to get the antioxidants we need to stay healthy.  Consider adding an antioxidant supplement like turmeric to help fill the gaps in your diet.

3. Strengthen Your Social Network

It is easy to feel lonely or isolated during the winter months.  According to the American Psychological Association, people who feel lonely tend to have weaker immune systems due to emotional stress.  Make an effort to reach out to friends and relatives on a regular basis.  You might want to consider volunteering for a charitable organization.

4. Move Your Body

Regular exercise should be part of everyone’s health routine.  Many studies have demonstrated the positive effect of exercise on body weight, body composition, inflammation, chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, and viral pathogens, like colds and flus.  Moderate intensity exercise, like walking, for 30 minutes each day has been shown to stimulate the immune system.  Try to incorporate some type of exercise into your routine whenever you can.

5. Check Your Attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude is associated with a stronger immune system.  Try to focus on the brighter side of a situation.  As the saying goes, you may not be able to control what happens, but you have the power to control your reaction.  Try maintaining a gratitude journal and be as optimistic as possible.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Numerous studies show a relationship between a robust immune system and sleep.  Adults need an average of 7 hours of sleep per night for best results.  A good sleep routine helps the white blood cells of your immune system function at their best. Optimize your sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.  Also, avoid tech devices close to bedtime and sleep in a cool, dark room.