If you’re sick of being sick, it’s probably time to enhance your immunity. A weak immune system lowers your body’s defenses against nasty germs that can leave you sniffling and sneezing when you should be breathing easily and enjoying life. The following are some tips for increasing your immunity and overall health.
Improve Immunity by Alleviating Stress
Stress is a known precursor to illness. That is because stress breaks down your body’s defenses by causing an excess in the production of cortisol—a hormone that depletes your body’s white blood cells. Since you cannot control some factors that lead to stress, it’s imperative you learn to manage stress, so you may reduce it’s effects on your body. The following are some signs that stress is becoming a problem in your life.
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Negative outlook
- Chronic mood swings
- Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
- Feelings of loneliness or depression
- Eating too much or not enough
- Neglecting responsibilities
Alleviating stress may mean spending less time at work and more time doing the things you enjoy. For some people, managing stress is about getting more sleep on a regular basis or enjoying some time outdoors. Find out what your individual stressors are, and what you can do to minimize the stress in your life.
A proper diet is crucial to a healthy immune system. Antioxidant-rich foods and supplements help raise your immunity and overall healthy by counteracting molecules that break down cells and contribute to illness and disease. Antioxidant sources include fruits and vegetables, an array of nutrient-dense foods, as well as herbs and vitamin supplements. Vitamin C and E are often used to increase health, and have been shown to protect against the common cold and heart disease. According to the Cancer Project, vitamin C is extremely important for fighting cancer because it helps destroy cancer-causing free radicals in the body. Among the bevy of beneficial herbs are:
- Green tea
According to Shiow Y. Wang, Ph.D., a biochemist with the USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, some herbs should be considered regular vegetables, due to their potent antioxidant value.
In addition to managing your stress levels and consuming more beneficial antioxidants, consider exercising daily and reducing your intake of potentially harmful substances, such as alcohol and cigarettes.
References: The Cancer Project http://www.cancerproject.org/protective_foods/vitamin_c.php
Denver Naturopathic Clinic http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/HerbsCancer.html