5 Things You Can Do Today To Strengthen Your Immune System

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5 Things You Can Do Today To Strengthen Your Immune System
Health And Wellness

In these trying times of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, learning how to strengthen your immune system is more important ever.

God has designed and built each and every one of us an amazing immune system that's built to block, trap, and destroy invading agents, including the Coronavirus.

But, like the rest of our being, how we treat and work with its design affects its strength and power to protect us.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Boost Your Immune System Now

Here are 5 ways to strengthen your immune system today.

1. Eat natural food.

You may have heard the phrase, "You are what you eat." In some ways that is true, because the raw materials our bodies use to create new cells come from the food we eat.

If we eat poor-quality food, our body gets built from poor-quality materials. If we eat food that breaks down our cells or disrupts the natural processes of our body and immune system, along with the rest of our body, will become damaged and weak.

However, antioxidant foods have great protective and supportive characteristics for your body and immune system. The antioxidant component of these foods protects your cells by transforming or neutralizing free radicals.

Free radicals are a byproduct of the body processing food and a response to the toxins in our environment such as smoke, radiation, and other unhealthy triggers.

Free radicals are highly unstable molecules which damage your body at a cellular level and weaken your immune system.

The best source for a variety of antioxidants is fresh fruit and vegetables, berries, whole grains, and nuts. In general, the more colorful the fruits and vegetables, the richer they are in antioxidants.

Here are 5 antioxidant superstars:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Garlic
  • Blue Berries

Most studies indicate that antioxidant supplements aren’t helpful and do not provide the same effects as eating antioxidant-rich, fresh whole foods.

Such results are not surprising, since God is the creator of the foods. He designed food to provide the proper fuel for our bodies.

Taking apart, removing, and rearranging various elements of the foods often destroys the perfectly balanced components that work together to enhance our health. Eating plant-based food with the least amount of remanufacturing or processing ensures that we are getting the best.

2. Exercise.

Exercise has been repeatedly linked to better health and a strong immune system. The exact ways exercise may help boost our immune system are still a bit unclear, but here are three reasonable theories.

Moderate to fairly vigorous exercise gets our heart rate up, as well as our breathing rate and depth. This extra inflow and outflow of air just might be the extra help your body needs to flush out bacteria and viruses.

Faster blood circulation moves the major fighting force of our immune system, antibodies, and white blood cells. These antibodies and WBCs use our bloodstream as their primary transportation system throughout our bodies.

With the transportation system sped up, it is a bit like a fire truck that can race to your house at 100 miles per hour versus 30 miles per hour. Both get there but the faster they get to the point of infection, the quicker their virus-killing power can be applied.

Regular exercise reduces stress hormone levels, which can damage our body and weaken our immune system if they're in the wrong proportions. More exercise — up to a moderately vigorous level — equals better stress hormone levels, which in turn reduces the damaging effects of stress on our bodies and immunity.

However it occurs, studies have demonstrated that the immune response after exercise increases, including a greater number of immune cells moving into our bodies' tissues where they can more quickly find and neutralize invading viruses and bacteria.

3. Sleep.

Good quality sleep is needed to keep our immune system functioning properly. In fact, studies have demonstrated that you are more likely to get sick if exposed to viruses when you are lacking sleep.

One of the reasons why you're more susceptible to infection is that your body makes cytokines during your sleep. These cytokines target infections and inflammation and help create an immune response.

Without enough sleep, our body simply doesn't have all the tools it needs to have a strong immune system. In fact, poor sleep can even reduce the effectiveness of vaccines against the flu.

A common recommendation is seven to eight hours of sleep a night for adults, nine to 10 hours for teens, and more than 10 hours for younger children.

However, for some people, getting enough sleep can be challenging. So, one way to still support our immune system is to take naps.

Just two naps a day has been demonstrated to reduce the negative effects of sleep deprivation on our immune system. Try to get one in the morning and one in the afternoon, each less than 30 minutes, if you are having trouble sleeping at night.

RELATED: 6 Ways To Boost Your Immune System: What You Need To Stay Strong & Healthy

4. Stop smoking.

Eliminating smoking will give your immune system a leg up in fighting infections such as the coronavirus. Smoking damages both your body’s ability to kill viral invaders and its ability to make you immune to a second infection from the same virus.

Smoking attacks two of the most powerful weapons we have in our immune system: Natural killer cells that destroy viruses with a special poison and macrophages which engulf or essentially eat viral invaders.

The impact of smoking on memory T/B lymphocytes reduces our body's ability to remember the exact structure of a virus you've already been infected with.

This means that while most people who become infected by COVID-19 will likely become immune for a time, people who smoke may actually become infected multiple times because their body’s immune system doesn't readily recognize the coronavirus as an invader.

5. Try NAC.

Taking N-acetylcysteine (or NAC) just might protect you from getting severe symptoms if you do become infected with the coronavirus. This supplement has demonstrated significant effectiveness against flu symptoms.

It doesn’t prevent you from getting a virus infection, but in one study there was a 54 percent eduction in the number of people who developed flu symptoms.

At this point, there is unlikely to be any study specifically on its effectiveness against COVID-19, but since it is a type of flu virus, there is a high probability it would be helpful.

Several factors make this supplement attractive.

First, it is commonly available over the counter without a prescription. It is moderately priced with bottles costing between $16 and $34. It has over a 30-year history of use for reducing mucus buildup and treating respiratory diseases.

In one study, participants took 600 mg twice daily for six months, which was reported to be well-tolerated. It was also reported to be highly effective with elderly, high-risk individuals.

Social distancing, washing your hands, and staying home are all good methods to try to avoid exposure. But not everyone will be successful in avoiding the coronavirus.

These five steps may help your body successfully defend itself if you do get exposed. Each of these steps is likely to be helpful, because they cooperate with God’s basic design for our bodies.

May we grow into healthier, stronger, more purpose-based people through this difficult time.

RELATED: 6 Foods That Boost The Immune System & Keep You Healthier Naturally

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Steven Baerg is a Christian EFT practitioner and life coach. For more information, visit his website.

This article was originally published at TheStressReliefCoach.Com. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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