Many people wonder how best to give their immune system a boost. But have you ever wondered how to help your body fight off illness?
Well, here’s the thing: Optimizing your immunity is usually easier said than done. Nevertheless, making some changes to your lifestyle and diet can help strengthen your body’s defense system and fight off pathogens.
This article discusses six tips that can help make your immune system bulletproof.
1. Get adequate sleep
There’s a close tie between sleep and immunity. Conversely, poor sleep increases your susceptibility to illness.
A study involving 164 adults with no underlying health conditions found that those who had less than 6 hours of sleep per night had a higher chance of catching a cold than those who slept up to 6 hours or more each night (1).
Getting enough rest may boost your natural immunity. Also, humans sleep more when they are sick. This gives our immune system the much-needed rest and boosts to fight off the illness (2).
As an adult, you need up to 7 hours of sleep each night to help your immune system function at optimal capacity. Teenagers need no less than 8–10 hours of sleep, while infants should aim for 14 hours minimum (3).
If you struggle to sleep at night, try staying away from the screens at least an hour before bed. Your TV, phone, and computer emit blue light, which may distort your body’s circadian rhythm (4).
Other ways you can sleep better include sleeping in a dark room, using a face mask when asleep, or going to bed at the same time every night (3). Regular exercise also helps.
2. Enrich your diet with whole plant foods
Whole plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and seeds are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that may give your immune system a better chance against pathogens.
These antioxidants fight off free radicals, thus helping to decrease inflammation. Free radicals are unstable compounds that cause inflammation when they accumulate to high levels in your body (5).