A well-functioning immune system is important for us to stay healthy. The immune system gives us good protection against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign organisms that can be harmful. Unfortunately, the immune system is not always enough, which can make us sick.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to strengthen your immune system and reduce the risk of contracting diseases. In this article, we give you seven tips on how to support the immune system naturally.
1. Eat a healthy and varied diet
A healthy and varied diet with lots of fruit and vegetables contains important vitamins and minerals that are important for your immune system to function optimally.
Eat regular meals and avoid snacking. Do not forget to drink water between meals and try to reduce the amount of refined sugar and saturated fats in the diet.
Since a large part of the immune system is located in the stomach and intestines – more specifically between 70 and 90 percent – it can also be a good idea to supplement with probiotic supplements.
Probiotics are good intestinal bacteria that help maintain a normal pH value to provide better protection against harmful organisms.
2. Exercise regularly
Physical activity is important for a number of different functions in our body, not least for our immune
Regular exercise can help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, which in turn can reduce the risk of catching colds and flu, among other things. It can also lower blood pressure, which in turn can prevent cardiovascular disease.
Try to move and get your heart rate up at least 30 minutes a day. It can also be good to have between 2-3 more high-intensity workouts a week.
3. Try to unwind
It is not uncommon for people with long-term stress to get sick more often than others. When we are stressed, the body only focuses on dealing with the stress situation, which takes energy from other important processes in the body – including the immune system.
Try mindfulness, meditation, or yoga to try to minimize stress. Physical activity can also counteract stress because it releases dopamine – which is the body’s feel-good hormone – at the same time as it can improve our sleeping habits.
4. Improve your sleep routines
Sleep is important for our body to have the opportunity to recover. Therefore, sleep and rest are more important for the immune system than you might think.
Here are some quick tips on how to improve your sleep routines:
Lie down and get up at the same time each day to create a regular sleep pattern.
Test a weighted blanket (the pressure from the weighted blanket should make it easier for the body to relax).
Exercise regularly and meditate before going to bed.
5. Wash your hands often
By maintaining good hygiene, you can reduce the risk of getting bacteria and viruses in you that your immune system cannot resist. Therefore, wash your hands regularly, especially before eating. It can also be good to bring hand alcohol with you when you are out on the town.
6. Cut down on alcohol
Alcohol can weaken the immune system and make it harder for the body to defend itself against bacteria and viruses. It can also suppress the cough reflexes that are the body’s way of getting rid of foreign organisms. It has also been shown that regular alcohol consumption can increase the risk of developing pneumonia.
Try to cut down on alcohol and drink in moderation. If you need support, you can always turn to the Alcohol Line or Alcohol Help.
7. Quit smoking
Smoking can also have a negative effect on the body’s immune system and thus increase our susceptibility to infection. Smoking has a harmful effect on our airways and lungs, which can also aggravate the symptoms of, for example, influenza.
Some good tips for you who want to quit smoking are to eat and drink regularly, try to wait out your urge to smoke, and keep yourself busy. You can also turn to the Quit Smoking line if you need extra support.