Support Your Immune System
We all seem to be focused on boosting our immune system. Scientists don’t know exactly what it is that “boosts” the immune system, but they do know how to support the immune system to keep us healthy. As we start to enter colder months, people are staying indoors more and we need to be reminded to keep eating those healthy foods.
Supporting the immune system coincides with a healthy lifestyle. We probably all know what the framework of a healthy lifestyle is. It’s always a good reminder. Doctors and scientists agree that these are some of the top contributors to a healthy lifestyle:
- Don’t smoke
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Get regular exercise
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Drink alcohol only in moderation
- Get enough sleep (about 8 hrs)
- Minimize stress
- Wash your hands to reduce infections to viruses
There isn’t any science yet available to identify which specific cells we need to boost or which vitamins we need to increase to make sure our immune system is functioning at the highest level. We do know that as we age, our immune system becomes less effective. There are increases in infections and cancers as we age. Scientists also realize that older people can have micronutrient deficiencies. So if you feel you are not getting enough from your diet, it may be good to add a multivitamin to your diet.
Make an appointment with your doctor. They may refer you to a dietician that specializes in boosting your overall immunity as we age. Also, pay attention to your stress levels. No one can measure how much stress each of us is feeling. We can however learn to manage it. Maybe watching less news, meditating, taking walks or spending more time with friends and family can reduce your stress levels.
Ultimately, it is a healthy lifestyle that can best support your immune system. As we navigate flu season, winter and covid-19, take special care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, rest and enjoy yourself! Remember, the sage advice… “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and “laughter is the best medicine”!