Keeping up with healthy living standards will benefit all areas of your life. The two major factors that determine our body’s functioning level are…you guessed it, diet and exercise. Diet and exercise promote overall health. It should be of no surprise that people who eat well and go to the gym also get sick less often.
Stop smoking! Studies have shown that smokers have a lower proportion of protective antioxidants in their blood. This causes them to be more susceptible in catching the common cold, the flu, or even pneumonia. Also, smokers are seen to go through longer periods of recovery time. There is nothing good that can come out of smoking. Make the decision to quit now and prove to yourself that you have the will power!
More and more research is being done on how emotions affect our overall health. Turns out that happy people have stronger immune systems. This point was actually proven by a study done at Carnegie Mellon University. Researchers took 193 healthy adult volunteers and had them fill out surveys to determine the types of emotions they had felt over the past two weeks. The participants were then categorized into three categories (low, medium, high) based on their emotional style (positive, negative). The participants were then exposed to the flu virus and put into quarantine for a week. Research findings indicated that participants who were reportedly positive were less likely to catch the virus. (Link to the study)
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that our body needs to maintain proper function. Micronutrient deficiency is a fairly common problem, even amongst the population of affluent countries. A deficiency in micronutrients results in a weaker immune system. The following is a list of micronutrients that you should be consuming to maintain optimal immune system performance.
Iron is a micronutrient responsible for the transportation of oxygen to every cell in your body. Iron is also associated with a healthy function of the nervous system. Turns out that iron deficiency is the most common type of micronutrient deficiency in the world. If you are having trouble getting adequate amounts of iron through your diet, then supplementation is another option.
Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E are all linked with healthy immune system function. All of these vitamins work in conjunction, and therefore a deficiency in either one will result in sub optimal immune function.
Selenium is a mineral that is important in the production of many antioxidant enzymes. A selenium deficiency could put you at a higher risk of cancer.
Zinc is a mineral associated with a wide variety of body functions, including proper immune function. A zinc deficiency can result in a range of different symptoms. The recommended dosage of zinc is 20mg-25mg per day. Anything above that is too much, and an overdose can also inhibit immune system performance.
For me, the most convenient way to get all these micronutrients is through a daily multivitamin. Many people do not understand the importance of micronutrients, and thus do not consume adequate amounts through their diet. This affects them negatively in the long run.
Immunity Boosting Herbs and Supplements
Herbs have been in use to promote overall health for a long time now. Researchers have only recently picked up an interest to study the exact effects that particular herbs have on our bodies. The problem is that everyone’s body’s are different and everyone responds to treatments differently. The following is a list of herbs that have been seen to support our immune system.
Larch extract comes from a particular type of tree bark. A recent study reported that the consumption of larch makes you less susceptible to getting colds. You can purchase larch extract from any herbal medication store.
Garlic has picked up a reputation of being an extremely effective immune system booster. Research has shown that regular garlic consumption makes you less susceptible to catching upper respiratory infections (e.g. coughs, colds, flu).
Oregano is popular for its anti bacterial properties. Consuming oregano oil can help clear your digestive track of unwanted bacteria. Cleanse your guy by consuming 2 tablespoons of oregano oil 3 times a day for a week.
Avocados are full of healthy fats and antioxidants that work to support your immune system. Aim to consume about a serving of avocado per day.
Graviola has long been studied for its possible tendencies against cancer. There hasn’t been enough conclusive evidence to say that graviola is effective against cancer, but the FDA has approved it as an effective immunity booster. Graviola consists of antioxidants and can result in better blood circulation.
Probiotics are classified as “good” bacteria that exist in your stomach to help with digestion. Some research has shown the ability of probiotics to counter “bad” bacteria and aid in the production of T cells. However, there is not enough conclusive evidence to show that probiotics are directly related with improved immune function.
There is no denying the fact that emotions play a role in affecting our physical health. Research has seen a number of diseases show up because of emotional stress. However, there is not enough conclusive evidence to directly correlate stress with the immune system. Still, there is no way that stressing can do you any good. Logically, it doesn’t even make sense to be stressed.
If there is something you are worried about then take action to solve that problem. If there is nothing you can do about the problem, then no point stressing. Right?