A strong immune system is important for a healthy, mindful life. Unfortunately, many of your habits and lifestyle choices impair your immune system. Give your immune system the boost it needs with a few Mindful Health tips.
Your immune system keeps you healthy by riding your body of infections and helping you bounce back from injuries. Some people are born with a weak immune system. Other people develop illnesses that can weaken their immune system further, like heart disease, diabetes, or AIDS. Your habits can also contribute to your weak immune system.
Boost Your Immune System
Listed below are a few habits to avoid, as well as Mindful Health tips for boosting your immune system.
- Lower your stress. Have you been experiencing long-term stress? It could be damaging your immune system. Stress causes your body to produce an excessive amount of cortisol and adrenaline. Stress hormones negatively impact your white blood cells, which lowers the production of antibodies and makes you more susceptible to illnesses. In short, stress and immune system health do not go together. So, consider lowering your stress with fun hobbies and activities that can help you relax at the end of each day.
- Eat good bacteria. Studies show that the immune system peacefully co-exists with good bacteria. A healthy balance of good bacteria is needed in the body. It’s critical for a strong digestive and immune system. So, boost your immune system by eating foods that contain “good bacteria” or probiotics. Yogurt not only contains “good bacteria,” it also contains protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Eating foods that are fermented (such as pickles and sauerkraut) is a great source of good bacteria.
- Eat less sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, remember that too much sugar is bad for your immune system. A study in the Nutrition Journal found that the Western diet is filled with salt, saturated fats, and lots of refined sugar. Sugar impacts the immune system by enabling white blood cells that kill dangerous microbes. According to the study, a sugary diet reduces the body’s ability to control infections, increases inflammation, and increases the risk of allergies, auto-inflammatory disease, and cancer. Like stress, sugar and immune system health do not go together. So, consider substituting fresh and dried fruit for cakes and cookies.
- Have a chuckle. Laughter is good medicine; it can also boost the health of your immune system. Researchers have found that after long periods of laughter (like after watching a funny film) the body experiences an increase of immunoglobulin A (IgA) “an antibody that helps fight upper respiratory disease.” Laughter also “inhibits virus replication.” So, to boost your immune system, simply chuckle with friends and family—it can make you emotionally and physically healthy.