This past winter and early spring season has been especially harsh on everyone, with colds and flu being spread easily amongst those with weakened immune systems.
Even people who normally don’t succumb to viral and bacterial infections have found themselves calling into work, feeling under the weather and unable to shake the tiny microbes making them sick.
The immune system, which is comprised of white blood cells, tissues, and organs, needs to be well-nourished to fight off foreign invaders. Keep your immune system healthy and strong with these simple tips.
- Get plenty of sleep. Researchers say that adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body is at a greater risk for inflammation and releasing more levels of stress hormones, both of which weaken your natural germ-fighting defenses.
- Laugh more often. Laughing reduces the amount of stress hormones released in your body, while increasing the white blood cells that fight infection.
- Mind your diet. Antioxidants, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids that help keep your immune system in peak condition can be found in whole foods. Nutrient-dense foods such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, veggies, and fruits like avocado and berries should be consumed over processed foods with little nutritional value. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut contain beneficial microorganisms called probiotics, which research is finding plays a large role in keeping your body healthy. Yogurt contains probiotic strains including acidophilus, and evidence shows that eating yogurt is just as beneficial as taking probiotic supplements.
- Spend some time in the sun. To keep your immune system healthy and strong you need vitamin D, which is synthesized by your body through natural sunlight. You can increase foods high in vitamin D in your diet (tuna, salmon, and most dairy products); however, the best way to get it is by basking in the sun’s glow for just 15 minutes every day. Be careful to limit sun exposure, so as not to increase your risk of skin cancer.
While all of these are great ways to boost immunity, you may still happen to find yourself sick and unable to power through on occasion. When that happens, Patient Care Now is here for you, with board-certified emergency medicine doctors and same-day urgent care appointments. Call our Fairless Hills office at (267) 202-6433, or use our convenient online check-in feature.