The immune system has a crucial role in keeping us healthy. It protects us from disease-causing micro-organisms and helps us fight off illnesses.
Boosting our immune system should be a priority, not only during the flu season. You can take concrete actions to enhance your immunity, including dietary and lifestyle changes. We gathered a top-9 tips to help you strengthen your immunity.
Avoid sugars and processed foods.
We all know of the nefast effects of sugar in our diet, but did you know that it also weakens your immunity? Many research studies have shown that spikes in sugar intake can suppress your immune system by increasing the production of inflammatory proteins, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). (1) The refined carbohydrates in processed foods, which the body processes as sugar, have a similar effect.
Get enough good quality sleep.
Poor sleep is linked to higher stress levels; it makes us more likely to get sick. In a 2015 study, 164 participants who slept for less than 6 hours each night were nearly twice more prompt to catch a cold than those who slept for 7 hours or more. (2)
Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night and avoid any screen light for at least an hour before bed.
While prolonged and exhausting workouts might suppress your immunity, regular and moderate sessions tend to have a positive impact.
Studies indicate that moderate exercise can help immune cells regenerate and decrease inflammation. (3) Shoot for 150-200 minutes of moderate exercise per week, such as jogging, swimming, brisk walking, cycling, or resistance training.
Dehydration is associated with worsened mood, performance, digestion, and kidney function. It can also increase your risk of illness, so make sure you drink plenty of liquids. (4)
Avoid drinks with added sugars and aim for a minimum of 2 litres of water or unsweetened hot beverage each day. Note that if you regularly engage in physical activity or live in a hotter climate, you might need more fluids.
Eat more fermented foods.
Foods like yoghurt, kimchi, kefir, miso, pickles and sauerkraut contain probiotics, which populate our gut. The gut microbiome is very important to keep us healthy and energized. There are 100 million neurons located along the gut, producing various neurotransmitters that regulate mood and satiety. Additionally, 70-80% of the body's immune cells are centralized in the gut.
Get some daylight exposure.
Spend some time outdoors daily, especially when the sun is shining.
Doing so will help you regulate your sleep/wake cycle, improve your mood and most importantly, stimulate vitamin D production. Science shows that Vitamin D is crucial in the immune response to infections. Think of it as a booster against the attackers.
Vitamin D receptors are conveyed on immune cells to modulate innate and adaptive immune responses. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity and increased susceptibility to infection.
'Vitamin D deficiency is a global health problem. With all the medical advances of the century, vitamin D deficiency is still an epidemic. Over a billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient or insufficient. Yet no international health organization or governmental body has declared a health emergency to warn the public about the urgent need of achieving sufficient vitamin D blood levels.' says The International Journal of Health Sciences.
Check your B12 levels (keep them up).
Are you trying to reduce your meat consumption? Many active people are becoming vegetarian or vegan, and it becomes difficult for them to maintain adequate vitamin B levels. B vitamins have many crucial functions and are vital for maintaining good health. For example, they help keep your energy level and cells function high enough to fight infections. Foods that are high in vitamin B12 (µg/100g) include liver (26–58), beef and lamb (1–3), chicken (trace-1), eggs (1–2.5) and dairy foods (0.3–2.4). If your diet does not contain these animal food sources, you must supplement—especially if you are active.
Add citrus fruits to your diet.
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, a powerful immune booster. Vitamin C increases white blood cells and has a key role in fighting infections.
Take high-quality immune-boosting supplements.
If you find it challenging to maintain a diet rich in immune-boosting micronutrients, consider supplementing your diet with a clean multivitamin. Remember, not all supplements are created equal; many cheaper brands contain harmful fillers or inefficient components that are not third-party lab certified. In addition, most raw materials come from unregulated markets and can pose a real hazard to your health or do not contain what they claim.
IMMUNE BOOSTER by LEMAlab is a powerful combination of B-complex, C, E and D3
vitamins, organic ginger, and Echinacea, third-party lab tested and EU certified. This supplement can strengthen your immune system and has an antioxidant effect. Studies have shown that vitamin B complex is vital for cell health and helps prevent infections. (6)
Ginger is a unique antioxidant plant that has many benefits to the body. Numerous studies indicate that it can decrease inflammation and chronic pain. (7)
Echinacea is another powerful plant famous for its beneficial effect on the immune system. Research studies reveal that Echinacea can boost your recovery from sickness and help your immunity fight viruses and infections. (8)
IMMUNE BOOSTER by LEMAlab supports the proper function of the immune system, prevents respiratory tract infection and reduces feelings of fatigue.
- B. Collier, L. A Dossett, 'Glucose control and the inflammatory response'
- A.Prather, D. Janicki-Deverts, M. H. Hall, 'Behaviorally Assessed Sleep and Susceptibility to the Common Cold'
- R. J. Simpson, 'Exercise and the Regulation of Immune Functions'
- B. M. Popkin, K. E. D'Anci, 'Water, Hydration and Health'
- A. E. Axelrod, 'Role of the B vitamins in the immune response'
- S. E. Lakhan, C. T. Ford, 'Zingiberaceae extracts for pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis'
- D Melchart, K Linde, F Worku, 'Immunomodulation with Echinacea - a systematic review of controlled clinical trials'