Have you ever wondered why some people are more vulnerable than others when exposed to the same diseases? It all comes down to the strength of your immune system. A strong and healthy immune system efficiently protects your body against diseases, while a compromised one fails to protect it. Some factors that weaken your immune system include bad eating habits, sleep deprivation and stress. Identifying and replacing these bad habits with good ones will go a long way in boosting your immunity and overall health.
You Eat Fast Foods Often
One way to boost your immune system is through eating healthy foods and getting proper nutrition. Unfortunately, many people are virtually addicted to eating unhealthy junk foods because they are very tasty and convenient. However, these foods are also very unhealthy containing high amounts of fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates. They lack the necessary nutrients and antioxidants that your immune system relies on to fight against pathogens. This consequently suppresses the ability of your white blood cells to fight pathogens leaving you more susceptible to various ailments.
To have a strong and healthy immunity, it is important that you eat the right foods which include fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and lean meats. And don’t forget to drink lots of water throughout the day to wash away the toxins and keep you hydrated.
You Don’t Exercise
A good number of people all over the world suffer from lifestyle diseases (heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure) that can be prevented through regular exercise. In fact, studies show that one in every four American women does not exercise at all, making sedentary lifestyles a bit more common in women than men.
It’s quite simple. If you don’t exercise regularly, you’re more likely to get cold and other illnesses than someone who exercises. Besides helping your immune system fight infections, regular workouts makes you sleep better and boost your body’s feel-good chemicals (endorphins). Thirty minutes of workouts daily is sufficient to have a healthy immune system. However, be careful and don’t go overboard as over-exercising can have a negative effect on your immune response.
You Don’t Sleep Well and Enough
If you usually feel tired when you wake up in the morning, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation has detrimental effects on your immunity both in the short and long term. Different studies have found that insufficient sleep alters the gene pathway related to the body’s immune function. This elevates your inflammatory chemicals and increases your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. It’s therefore very important that you get enough sleep (7-9 hours daily for adults).
You’re Often Stressed
Every person suffers from stress from time to time. However, if you allow stress to take over your life, it can leave you more vulnerable to illnesses and slow down your recovery process. This is because chronic stress over-exposes the human body to stress hormones that suppress the immune system. Learning to manage your stress levels can go a long away in ensuring that your immune system functions properly. Some of the things you can do include laughing often, maintaining a strong social network, creating time from your busy schedule to relax and have fun.
Make a conscious decision today to strengthen your immunity by kicking these defense-impairing habits. Your body will surely thank you for that.