Keeping illness at bay can often seem like something of a difficulty. Regardless of how much of a healthy lifestyle you lead, it is always entirely possible that you are allowing your immune system to suffer. This can happen because there are so many factors which your immune system tends to be dependent on. If you want to give your immune system a boost, you will need to approach it from many different angles at once. Let’s have a look at what you might want to try.
Diet always plays a big part in such matters, and it is as true here as anywhere. By focusing on what you eat, you can much more quickly improve the state of your immune system, so it is worth looking into this even if you don’t look at anything else. Above all, it helps to try and eat as many so-called power foods as possible. But what is a power food, and how does it work to aid your immunity?
Put simply, a power food is something which in some way improves the body’s ability to fight diseases and infections. Some examples are particularly well-known, such as yogurt. Eating plenty of natural yogurt can be one of the most beneficial things you ever do for your body, and your immune system in particular. Live active cultures known as probiotics are among the healthier bacteria which can help to keep your intestinal system free of germs which might cause disease. Studies have found that a small daily dose of yogurt is on a par with taking a number of vitamin pills a day. This is an easy food to incorporate into your diet, and one which is likely to make a big difference.
Many whole foods are perfect power foods too – try to aim for a good portion of oats or barley a day, to stock up on beta-glucan, and plenty of garlic too – garlic’s active ingredient allicin helps to fight many diseases.
Having a healthy immune system is about much more than what you put into your body – it is also a case of how you use your body. The more adept you are at keeping your body in shape, the better off your immune system will be. There are a number of specific practices which are particularly useful here, and one of the most beneficial is yoga.
As a form of mental and physical exercise, yoga has gained a great deal of popularity over the past couple of decades in the West – and has existed in one form or another in the East for a couple of thousand years. No exercise regime lasts so long if it has nothing to offer – but ‘regime’ might be a strong word for a practice which is inherently incredibly relaxing and limbering. As well as helping you to get limber and find a harmonious balance of body and mind, yoga is also hugely useful for boosting the immune system. A lot of people are put off, because they think it looks complicated or that you need a lot to get started. Nothing could be further from the truth; there is a learning curve, yes, but you can go at your own pace – and all you really need for starting gear is some yoga active wear, a mat and a dose of willingness.
Two sessions of yoga a week has been shown to be plenty regarding getting you healthy again, so this is well worth considering if you want to make your body into a finely-tuned machine.
It sometimes seems as though lacking sleep is the new healthcare scare. Everyone complains about bouts of insomnia from time to time. It might be that our culture is just set up in such a way that sleep is often hard to come by; whatever it is, if you are keen on giving your immune system the best possible fighting chance, learning how to get decent sleep is going to prove essential.
First, cut out anything which might be affecting your ability to fall asleep. Try to limit your caffeine intake to two cups a day, and none after midday. Also consider reducing the amount of time you spend looking at screens – the light inhibits the production of melatonin, your body clock’s primary means of determining when it is time to sleep. After that, make sure you have a comfortable bed and that your bedroom is a relative temperature.
If you manage to get more sleep, you will find that your bodily health vastly improves. Sleep is one of the body’s main ways of building immunity, so it is worth trying to do so before you get an illness or injury.