There are numerous supplements and products marketed as immune system boosters. But supporting a healthy immune system is more complicated than consuming a pill or powder containing a combination of vitamins and minerals
Your immune system maintains a delicate equilibrium. It needs to be effective against a wide variety of diseases and infections without being so advanced that it overreacts.
To accomplish this, it is strictly regulated by multiple inputs and in response to what is occurring within the body.
As stated, complex.
However, there are things you can do to give your immune system what it needs to function optimally, whether you’re combating a cold, the flu, or COVID-19. None of which involve supplementation.
Methods to Build and Maintain a Robust Immune System:
1. Stay Current on Recommended Vaccinations
Having a robust immune system necessitates utilizing vaccines as the most effective means of disease prevention.
Your immune system is intelligent, but vaccines train it to be even more intelligent by teaching it how to recognize and combat disease-causing pathogens. It is much safer for your immune system to learn about these pathogens through vaccination than through infection.
Dr. Chen Lin, an allergist and immunologist at Houston Methodist, says, It’s always important to be current on recommended vaccinations, particularly your COVID-19 vaccine or booster as well as your annual flu shot.
2. Follow a Healthful Diet
As with most bodily functions, a Nutritious diet is essential for a robust immune system. This involves consuming an abundance of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole cereals, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Among these micronutrients are:
Chicken, salmon, tuna, bananas, green vegetables, and potatoes (with the epidermis) all contain vitamin B6.
Vitamin C, which is found in citrus fruits, including oranges and strawberries, as well as tomatoes, asparagus, and spinach, is essential for good health.
Vitamin E can be found in almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, spinach, and safflower and sunflower oils.
Oysters, red meat, poultry, legumes, and dairy products all contain zinc.
Magnesium, which is present in whole wheat products, nuts, and cereals
Experts believe that the body absorbs vitamins from food sources more efficiently than from supplements, so the best method to support your immune system is to consume a well-balanced diet.
3. Exercise Routinely
Physical activity is an integral part of being healthy and supporting a healthy immune system, in addition to helping you develop muscle and reduce stress.
Exercise of moderate intensity mobilizes immune cells beyond the bone into circulation. Dr. Lin explains that it also helps transport immune cells already present in the bloodstream into tissues. In this way, it enhances immune surveillance.
Exercising aids immune cell detection and response, so you may think of immune surveillance as monitoring your immune system.
Therefore, it is essential to maintain an active lifestyle and engage in regular exercise.
4. Hydrate, Hydrate,
Water serves many essential functions in the body, including immune system support.
Dr. Lin notes that the circulation of blood and lymph, both of which include immune cells, depends on water.
Even if you are not exercising or perspiring, you are continually shedding water through your breath, urine, and bowel movements. To help support your immune system, be sure to replace the water you lose with water you can use; this begins with determining your recommended daily water intake.
5. Get Adequate Rest
Sleep may not feel like an active process, but your body undergoes a number of significant processes when you are asleep.
According to Dr. Lin, sleep is essential for immune function and immune system homeostasis.
To give your immune system the best opportunity to fight off infection and illness, it is essential to know how much sleep you should be getting each night and what to do if your sleep quality is suffering.
6. Minimize Tension
It is important to comprehend the effects of chronic stress on your health, whether it develops rapidly or gradually.
Stress may have a secondary effect on immune system function if it causes sleep disturbances, a tendency to consume less healthful foods, decreased water intake, less frequent exercise, and other behaviors.
Each individual responds to stress differently, and so do we. Given the impact it can have on your health, it is essential to recognize stress. In addition, you should familiarize yourself with stress-relieving activities such as deep breathing, meditation, prayer, and physical activity.
A final remark on dietary supplements
Be wary of supplements that claim to enhance your immune system further if you’re otherwise healthy and follow the above steps.
Dr. Lin states, eating healthy foods that contain micronutrients is always superior to taking a supplement.”
He adds, however, that supplements are preferable to nothing when natural food is insufficient for a person with a known nutrient deficiency.
Before taking a supplement, it is recommended to consult with your doctor if you suspect a nutrient deficiency. Unlike medications, the FDA does not regulate or authorize supplements.