As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased focus on boosting the immune system. While many people turn to vitamins and supplements, there are other unexpected ways to help strengthen your immune system. In this article, we’ll bet you didn’t expect these 6 ways to boost your immune system.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is crucial for overall health, including a strong immune system. While we sleep, our bodies produce cytokines, which help fight off infections and inflammation. Without enough sleep, our bodies may not produce enough cytokines, leaving us vulnerable to illness. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to help keep your immune system functioning properly.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infections. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or yoga, can help reduce stress and boost the immune system. A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that practicing mindfulness meditation for just eight weeks resulted in increased antibody production and lower levels of inflammation.
3. Spend Time Outdoors
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is crucial for a healthy immune system. Spending time outdoors, especially in the morning or evening when the sun is not too strong, can help your body produce vitamin D. Just 10-15 minutes of sun exposure each day can make a big difference.
4. Laugh More
Laughter really is the best medicine when it comes to boosting the immune system. Laughter has been shown to increase the production of antibodies and activate immune cells, helping to fight off infections. So, watch a funny movie or TV show, or spend time with friends who make you laugh.
5. Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water is essential for overall health, including a strong immune system. When we are dehydrated, our bodies may not produce enough lymph, a fluid that carries white blood cells and other immune system cells throughout the body. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day to help keep your immune system functioning properly.
6. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Believe it or not, your oral health can impact your immune system. Bacteria in the mouth can cause inflammation, which can weaken the immune system. Practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly, can help keep bacteria at bay and boost your immune system.
In conclusion, there are many unexpected ways to boost your immune system beyond just taking vitamins and supplements. By getting enough sleep, practicing mindfulness, spending time outdoors, laughing more, staying hydrated, and practicing good oral hygiene, you can help keep your immune system functioning at its best.