7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
Your immune system includes T cells, which attack other, illness-causing cells. They’re able to “remember” an invader, then defend against it better later. When you are older, you make fewer T cells, and most vaccines require new T cells to work. Not only do you make fewer T cells, but the ones you have don’t communicate with each other as well as they once did. Follow the medically recommended suggestions below to help strengthen your immune system.
Get a flu vaccination
An annual flu vaccination can reduce your risk of infection by 40 to 60 percent. It can take up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to be effective. The vaccine works by stimulating your immune system to create antibodies, which can protect an infection. The flu virus changes from year to year, so you’ll need to repeat the vaccination each year.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet is another way to boost your immune system so that it can fight off viruses. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables promotes a healthy immune system. Avoid sugars, fat, and processed foods. If you feel that you’re not getting enough nutrients, ask your doctor about taking a vitamin supplement.
Exercise increases blood circulation and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Aim for 30 minutes three days a week.
Lower Your Stress Level
Chronic stress can affect your immune system, decreasing its effectiveness. Chronic stress lowers your immune system response.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep deprivation also reduces the effectiveness of the immune system. Sleep becomes more important with age because it also helps improve brain function, concentration, and memory.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being physically active and eating a healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and can help reduce inflammation.
Spend Time Outdoors
Vitamin D helps strengthen the immune system. Spending time outdoors allows your body to convert vitamin D from sun exposure. You may want to take a supplement if you don’t spend enough time outdoors.