From door knobs and kitchen counters to checkout screens and toilet seats, we come into contact with many germs throughout the day. It may gross you out to learn that our cell phones alone have 25,127 bacteria per square inch! That’s a lot of germs — but luckily, your immune system is generally able to fight off the illness-causing bacteria that you’ll inevitably encounter in daily life.
Sometimes, however, a germ invades your body successfully and causes you to be sick. When this happens, you want to do everything you can to get your body back on track. What can you do to intervene and boost your immune system at home? What diet, exercise, or lifestyle changes can lead to a strengthened immunity?
Research shows that doing these 3 simple, daily activities at home can not only boost your immune system, but lead to a happier, healthier lifestyle overall.
1. Get Plenty of Sleep
Not getting enough quality sleep at night can greatly affect your immune system in a negative way. This is because your immune system releases proteins while you sleep called cytokines, which fight infection and inflammation in the body. Without a good night’s rest, you won’t have an adequate amount of cytokines to combat these things.
Your body also produces certain antibodies and infection-fighting cells during sleep. If you're sleep deprived, you’ll also be deprived of these helpful neutralizers.
Getting at least seven hours of quality sleep on your comfy, organic mattress is therefore one of the best ways to help your immune system work at its optimal level.
2. Cook with immune-boosting foods
Being creative in the kitchen is an activity everyone can enjoy at home, especially when the foods you cook have added immune-boosting qualities. By choosing a diet that incorporates healthy fats (like omega-3s), protein, fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water, your immune system will reward you with a healthy, functioning body and mind.
Certain foods have been studied by nutritionists and are now known for their positive effects on the immune system, including:
-Citrus fruits, like grapefruit, limes, lemons, and oranges
-Red bell peppers
-Shellfish, like lobster, mussels, clams, and crab
By cooking with some of these foods and making sure they’re part of your regular diet, your immune system will be more prepared to fight infection and combat the bacteria you encounter. Plus, it will be fun to learn some new recipes that integrate these immune-boosting staples, like delicious garlic-lemon scallops or this blackberry smoothie with kiwi and papaya!
3. Find Your Calm
When you’re stressed, it’s much more difficult for your immune system to fight off antigens, making you more susceptible to illness. Because stress weakens the immune system dramatically, it’s so important to find your inner calm. Which activities can you do to bring you a sense of relief and comfort during the day?
Some people find meditation to be helpful, while others like taking long baths. You can also try singing, laughing, exercising, going on a walk, playing with your pet, or simply relaxing. Whatever calming activity you choose, make sure your aim is to relieve any anxieties you feel. This will help your immune system maintain its strength, as it won’t be stuck fighting the negative consequences of stress. We've also got the best tips to calm your anxieties for a better night sleep.
Take advantage of your daily habits and integrate some of these useful at-home activities that will strengthen your health and wellness!