The immune system is just that – a system. It requires balance and harmony in order to function well. There are many factors that impact the immune system. Although there is a lack of scientific study that directly links lifestyle and enhanced immune function, that doesn’t mean the impact of lifestyle choices aren’t relevant. Incorporating healthy living strategies remains a good way to build a strong foundation for your immune system.
Interestingly, 70% of the body’s total immune system is located in the gut. The way to keep it healthy and happy is to increase your friendly gut bacteria. Ways to do this include eating yogurt – particularly greek style yogurt, as well as incorporating probiotics into your diet. These can be found in foods like beans and bananas.
The Sunshine Vitamin
Another way to keep your immune system functioning optimally is to ensure you’re getting a sufficient amount of vitamins. Many of these are found in food like fruits and vegetables, hence the recommendation we’ve all heard to eat them! Sticking to a diet rich in whole foods is a great way to feed your body with the nutrients it needs.
One important supplement to incorporate would be vitamin D. Especially for those of us in the northern hemisphere, where we’ve had a long stretch of winter months. It’s quite common to see individuals with a deficiency in vitamin D, thus supplementation can be a good option.
Move Your Body – Then Give It a Rest
Another well known way to maintain overall health is to get regular exercise. It’s known to lower blood pressure, keep body weight under control, and reduce stress levels. And along the same lines, getting enough sleep is also essential. Not just any sleep – particularly the deepest sleep, called REM. Although exact amounts vary per person, most adults need 7-8 hours per night. Average sleep time has dropped to less than 7 hours per night, which is something that needs to be improved. Sadly, you can’t make up the sleep you’ve lost with naps or by sleeping in on weekends. Get to bed on time and help your overall health flourish.
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