Wondering how to boost your immune system? Here's how to strengthen your immune system with supplements and healthy lifestyle choices.
From the doorknob of your office to the handle of a grocery cart, you encounter billions of viruses, bacteria, and other germs every day. Your body is constantly working to fight off these pathogens and prevent infection. You can give it a hand, and keep yourself healthier, by taking steps to strengthen and boost your immune system.
How to strengthen your immune system
Because your immune system is made of many interconnected cells and organs, there is no single change that is guaranteed to make it stronger.
However, by making lifestyle changes that increase the overall health and function of your body, you give your immune system the best chance of working optimally and fighting disease.
Strategies to strengthen your immune system include:
- Quit smoking. The chemicals in cigarette smoke inhibit your immune system and delay wound healing.
- Eat a healthy diet high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. What you eat affects the microflora in your intestine, which contributes to immune health. Diets high in refined sugar, salt, and saturated fat are linked to immune dysfunction and autoimmune disease.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity has been shown to impair your immune system and make you more susceptible to infection.
- Get adequate sleep. Research has found that disordered sleep is linked to immune dysfunction.
- Avoid stress. Chronically high stress levels are linked to decreased function of your immune system.
- Take certain supplements. Some vitamins, minerals, and herbs can boost your immune system, helping your body fight off disease.
March 26, 2020
Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA