8 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

The human body is an amazing thing. Intricately designed and composed of complicated systems.
One such system is the immune system - it is constantly working to protect the body from infections and diseases.

Just like how we exercise to strengthen our muscles and bones, we need to take steps to strengthen and care for our immune system.
If you find yourself feeling run down and getting sick more often, it *could be due to your immune system needing some TLC.

We've made a list of 8 ways to boost and strengthen your immune system to keep you going strong:

1. Catch Some Rays

Vitamin D is the way to be! Research has shown that deficiency in Vitamin D leads to an increased susceptibility to infection. A little bit of sunshine goes a long way.

2. Consider Probiotics

According to Hippocrates, All Disease Begins in gut. While we now obviously know that all disease does not begin in the gut, we do know how important gut health is for our overall health. Probiotics can boost the body’s immune function and assist the body in warding off infections. 

3. The Importance of Healthy Eating

According to healthline, eating foods like fruits (citrus, papaya, kiwi, and berries), vegetables (bell pepper, brocolli, spinach), spices (garlic, ginger, turmeric), yogurt, poultry, shellfish, nuts (almonds), and seeds (sunflower) may help keep your immune system strong. 

In addition, we recommend reducing your sugar intake as eating/drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria.

4. Drink Less Alcohol

According to a study, "alcohol disrupts immune pathways in complex and seemingly paradoxical ways. These disruptions can impair the body’s ability to defend against infection, contribute to organ damage associated with alcohol consumption, and impede recovery from tissue injury."

This doesn't mean you can't have the occasional drink, but we highly recommend moderating your intake.

5. Exercise

Strengthens your whole body, helps you sleep better, and increases your body's "feel-good" chemicals.

6. Sleep

We need sleep to help our bodies recoup and refresh itself so we can wake up the next day and do it all over again. Lack of sleep can cause higher levels of a stress hormone and may lead to increased inflammation. Get more sleep! Doctor's orders...

7. Emotional Health

Our emotional health has a clear effect on our physical health. Studies show that people who feel connected to friends have stronger immunity than those who feel alone. In addition, studies have also shown that laughter has a strong positive effect on our health.

We prescribe a heaping dose of laughter and many visits with loved ones.

8. Stress Management

We all have stress, to one degree or another, but chronic stress exposes your body to a steady stream of stress hormones that suppress the immune system. Why it can never be completely eliminated, there are ways to manage it, such as mediation, exercising, human connection, etc.

Lincoln Internal Medicine wants you to remember, while every body works the same, everyone's needs are different. Make sure to listen to your body and give it the TLC it deserves. 

*Never try to self-diagnose. Always consult your medical professional if something feels off.

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