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Your immune system helps you fight off infections and inflammation. It’s like a line of defense against illness. Here are five things you can do to boost your immune system to stay healthy.
Eat a Lot of Fruits and Vegetables
Many of the vitamins and minerals that the immune system needs come from fruits and vegetables. Add color to your diet by shopping the rainbow. Think bright red beets, spicy yellow peppers, orange butternut squash, antioxidant-packed blueberries, vibrant, green spinach and purple eggplant. If you need to add variety to your diet, add one new produce item each week instead of trying a whole bunch of different ones all at once.
Exercise contributes to your overall well-being, which impacts your immune system by keeping you healthy. Good circulation improves the movement of cells throughout the body, which lets your immune system do its job efficiently. Regular exercise can reduce stress, which also improves your ability to fight infections.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential to your health. A lack of sleep can directly impact your ability to ward off viruses and bacteria. During sleep, your immune system produces proteins that help you fight infection and inflammation. When you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t produce those proteins. Most adults need seven to eight hours of good sleep each night.
Although these actions may not prevent all infections, you can take steps to boost your immune system when you:
- Wash your hands before eating, after you use the bathroom, take out the trash or play with your pet. Wash you hands more often than you think you should.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough. Use a tissue. Clean your hands.
- Make sure your vaccinations are current.
- Cook meats thoroughly.
Take a Prevention Supplement
Adding vitamin C and B6 to your diet can boost your immune system. Supplements can ensure that you’re getting the right nutrients for your needs. Keep in mind that you should discuss any supplements with your healthcare provider, especially if you’re taking prescription medications.