Protecting the immune system is a vital part of living longer, feeling younger and being healthy. Here are some natural healthy ways to reduce stress, boost your immune system and slow down the hands of time.
Walking and Physical Activity. Regular exercise and physical activity strengthens your immune system, cardiovascular system, heart, muscles and bones. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, improves mental functioning, concentration/attention and cognitive performance, and lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, cortisol and other stress hormones. Three 10-minute workout sessions during the day are just as effective as one 30-minute workout, and a lot easier to fit into a busy schedule.
Hand Hygiene. The most effective measure in preventing the spread of microorganisms that cause infections is good hand hygiene. Washing your hands with soap and water as soon as you come home, and always before you eat, greatly reduces your exposure to bacterial and viral infections. In case you cannot wash with soap and water when you are away from home, carry some alcohol-based hand wipes with you to control microbial exposure and transmission.
High Nutrient Diet. Eat foods rich in antioxidants (like vitamins A, C, E and lycopene), omega-3 fatty acids, and folate. Antioxidants fight and neutralize free radicals, which are molecules that damage cells and cause heart disease, cancer and premature aging. Omega-3 fatty acids (a polyunsaturated fat) have anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular-enhancing and immune-regulating properties. It is helpful in preventing and controlling high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, depression, inflammatory and auto-immune disorders. Folate prevents age-related cognitive decline, damage to blood vessels and brain cells by lowering homocysteine levels. It also ensures DNA integrity (important as we age and when pregnant) and promotes healthy red blood cells. Excellent food sources for these nutrients are as follows.
Antioxidants - pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, grapefruit (red and pink), blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, peppers (red and green), tomatoes, broccoli, sunflower seeds, almonds and olive oil.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - ground flax seeds, walnuts, salmon, soybeans and pumpkin seeds.
Folate - dark green leafy vegetables (turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, collard greens, etc.), beans, legumes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, beets and okra. In cases where these food are not an option, then our supplements would do the job.
Sleep. Getting enough sound sleep has a profound impact on your stress levels, immune function and disease resistance. A chronic lack of sleep can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable, forgetful, accident-prone, and have difficulty concentrating or coping with life's daily aggravations. Long-term sleep loss can also result in heart disease, stroke, hypertension, depression, and anxiety. Sleep time is when your body and immune system do most of its repairs and rejuvenation. Strive to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Remember rest and relaxation go hand in hand.
Tea. Regularly drinking tea throughout the day can help strengthen your immune system and your body's ability to fight off germs and infections. Both green and black teas contain a beneficial amino acid called L-theanine, which can increase the infection fighting capacity of gamma delta T cells. L-theanine also promotes a sense of relaxation, calmness and well-being by influencing the release and concentration of neurotransmitters (like dopamine, serotonin and GABA) in the brain.
Possible help for the Immune System is a healthy diet, with lots of natural sources of Vitamins A, C and E, Zinc, Iron, Folate, Vitamin B6.