8 Proven Ways to Quickly Boost Your Immune System
How can you boost your immune system? On its own, the immune system does a fantastic job of protecting you from disease-causing microorganisms.
But it sometimes fails to protect you when you need it the most – a germ or virus invades and wreaks havoc on your body, causing you to fall sick.
Can you intervene in the process and give your immune system a quick boost?
Does improving your diet or taking certain vitamins help?
What are some lifestyle changes that can ensure your immune response is near-perfect?
Let’s first explore the possibility of boosting your immune system.
What can you do to boost your immunity?
As enticing as the idea seems, boosting one’s immunity is not an easy task. That’s because the immune system is exactly what the name says – a system. It requires delicate balance and harmony within the system to function properly.
Many different cells make up the immune system and they respond to different microorganisms. This makes any attempt to boost immune cells complicated: which cells should you boost and by what number?
So far, scientists do not know the answers as there’s still a lot to understand about the interconnectedness of the immune response.
However, certain lifestyle changes help the immune system function effectively and they come with other proven health benefits.
Here are 8 ways to boost your immune system naturally.
8 Healthy Ways to Quickly Boost Your Immune System.
1. Work out Religiously.
Maintaining a routine level of physical activity is one of the best ways to boost your immune system and immune response naturally.
One way it does this is by increasing blood circulation around the body. This helps pull out toxins from body cells and makes it easier for immune cells to travel swiftly through the body.
Here are some exercises you can include in your daily routine:
Strength training is not just for beefing up your arm and leg muscles. Weightlifting and strength training push your body past its physical limit. This leads to increased blood flow, boosts your mood, as well as your immunity.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
HIIT is one of the best exercise routines that get your heart pumping. However, HIIT should be done 3 or 4 times weekly, because straining your body too much and too often can backfire. Moderation is key when aiming to boost your immune system naturally with this type of exercise.
Rebounding involves jumping on a mini fitness trampoline. This low-impact exercise helps detox the body, drain your lymphatic system, and it’s perfect for the cooler months when you’d rather stay indoors.
Taking a walk doesn’t just clear the mind, it’s often enough physical activity to keep your immune system functioning as it should. Schedule 10-25 minutes of brisk walking into your routine, at least 5 times a week. Or simply walk to any destination that’s less than 15 minutes from your home.
2. Detox Regularly.
Detoxing your body is like cleaning up the house after hosting a party. Sure, you can ignore the trash lying around or the food stains on the couch and go about your business like they don’t exist.
But it is not a great look… sooner or later you’ll run out of friends that are willing to visit your home.
Some of the consumables we stuff into our bodies end up floating around without being used.
Our system does a great job of pushing these toxins out. However, the persistent, low-grade toxins from foods we consume regularly often stall this process.
If you want to boost your immune system faster, then you have to help your system clean up itself with a good detox diet that’s easy to follow .
3. Avoid added sugars where possible.
Consuming too much sugar inhibits the efficiency of immune system cells. What’s worse, the effects of a sugary drink last a couple of hours after digestion.
According to research, added sugars and refined carbs play a huge role in obesity… and, obesity increases the likelihood of getting sick.
Controlling or cutting your sugar intake can give your immune system a quick boost, decrease inflammation, and aid weight loss. This reduces your risk of developing (or helps you manage) chronic health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Considering that type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease can further weaken your immune system and reverse everything you’re doing to boost your immune system naturally… deciding to avoid sugar where possible only has life-saving benefits.
4. Diet and your immune system.
The immune system is your body’s fighting force and how much fight it puts up depends on what’s in your stomach.
To produce fit and healthy immune system fighters, you need to nourish your body at every opportunity – not just when you feel you’re coming down with something.
There’s limited scientific research on the effects of processed food and high sugar intake on human immune function. But, you can’t go wrong opting for whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
They perform wonders for muscle building and your overall health.
If you suspect that your diet doesn’t supply enough micronutrients – for example, zinc, iron, copper, selenium, vitamins A, B6, C and E – maybe because you’ve been avoiding your veggies, then you should talk with your GP about taking some supplements.
5. Supplement wisely
It’s easy to turn to supplements if you hear claims about their ability to quickly boost your immune system. However, most of the assertions are unproven.
When choosing a supplement, ensure they’re tested by a third-party organisation. Take your time to properly investigate the ingredients, what they do, how they work, and possible side effects before putting them into your body.
Having said that, studies indicate that the following supplements may boost your immune system’s response:
- Vitamin C. Taking 1,000–2,000 mg of vitamin C daily reduced the duration of colds in adults and children by 8% and 14% respectively. However, supplementing with vitamin C did not prevent the cold – it only reduced the duration and severity, which is good.
- Vitamin D. Deficiency in this vitamin makes your body susceptible to all kinds of sickness, especially contagious ones. You can get all the vitamin D your body needs to boost your immune system naturally by going out in the early morning and late afternoon sun. But if you are not getting enough sun on your skin daily, then taking supplements can help.
- Your body needs Zinc for DNA synthesis, to stimulate immune cells, and control the effects of oxidative stress. A study of 575 people with the common cold showed that Zinc supplement reduced the duration of the cold by 33%.
- Raw garlic is great at helping the immune system fight off cough and cold infections. It also ensures there’s a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria in the gut. The only problem you’ll run into is – you guessed it – the pungent smell.
- This supplement helps your immune system ward off infections and viruses. Several studies have shown that Echinacea supplements can speed up recovery from illness, which explains why it is often used to prevent or treat the common cold.
6. Drink a lot of water.
Dehydration can hinder your performance, cause headaches, affect your focus and mood, disrupt digestion, as well as heart and kidney function. This can make you more susceptible to illness.
Drinking plenty of water doesn’t boost the immune system directly. However, when there’s enough water circulating in your system, your body can easily dislodge toxins from cells.
How much water should you drink daily?
The consensus is 3.7 litres (for men) and 2.7 litres (for women). Some people like to keep count, but if you’re not one of them simply set a reminder to drink a glass of water every 2 hours or after urinating.
Another option is to drink only when you feel thirsty or dry in your throat. But keep in mind that you may need more fluids if you’re working out or live in a hot climate.
It’s also important to note that we lose the urge to drink as we get older because our body doesn’t signal thirst correctly. So… drink more if you’re older.
7. Get enough sleep.
Going to sleep doesn’t feel like an active process. However, sleep and immunity are closely tied.
Lots of important things happen in your system when your body sleeps. For example, your body creates infection-fighting molecules at a faster rate when you’re asleep.
Numerous studies show that inadequate or poor quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness.
How much sleep is enough sleep?
It varies according to the individual. Some people can function efficiently with just 5 hours of sleep whereas others need as much as 8 hours.
As an adult, you should aim for 7 or more hours of sleep daily – you can take a nap in the afternoon to make up for late nights. Good quality sleep will give your immune system the best chance to fight off infection and illness.
8. Make time to socialise.
Your mental health also plays a huge role in your body’s immune function. People who feel connected to friends (offline or online) have stronger immunity than those who feel isolated from the world.
Health experts say loneliness and self-isolation in stressful and uncertain times can ultimately send your immune system into overdrive.
Although many other factors influence your health, making meaningful connections with people is always a good idea.
The bottom line.
You can strengthen your immune system by making some lifestyle and dietary changes today.
These changes include working out regularly, controlling your sugar intake, keeping your body hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and staying in touch with friends.
Please note that none of these suggestions can prevent you from catching the COVID-19 virus. However, they will reinforce your body’s defences and help you beat most disease-causing microorganisms.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.