8 good habits to boost your Immune System

by Giorgia

Today I read an interesting post from Walgreens blog and I would like to share 7 +1 good habits to boost Immune System.

Flu season starts in October and lasts until May, with peaks in December and February. Protect yourself and your family and to boost your immune system—because prevention can be the best medicine!

How can you make your immune system more effective against viruses and bacteria? Only 8 good habits to boost and to help your immune system do its job better:

  • Get vaccinated: A vaccine or immunization, made of weakened or inactive cells or similar cells to the illness, enter the body activating the immune system to fight the illness. The vaccine dosage you receive is easier for your body to fight and won’t make you sick. The immune system determines how to fight and defeat the antigen, then remembers it in the future. Sometimes your body needs a refresher with booster doses of some vaccines. Other vaccines must be updated due to antigen changes, which is why people need flu shots annually to get the latest version.
  • Wash your hands: Colds and the flu are passed on contaminated surfaces, especially hands. Washing your hands in warm, running water and soap for 20 seconds or more can help control the spread of illness. Teach children to practice effective hand-washing at a young age. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth without washing your hands where viruses can enter the body.
  • Limit contact with people who are sick: Stay away from people who have a cold or the flu. Encourage those who are ill to stay away from public places where they can spread illness. Clean kitchen and bathroom counters with disinfectant, especially if someone in your household is ill. Wash children’s toys periodically.
  • Cover your sneeze and cough appropriately: When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue, discard it right away and wash your hands to limit the airborne particles causing illness. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow to cover your mouth without using your hands. Move away from people if you feel a cough or sneeze coming on.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Good nutrition is essential for a strong immune system to protect you against colds, the flu and other health problems. Protein helps your body’s defense mechanism. Vitamin A assists with the regulation of the immune system. Vitamin C protects you by stimulating antibody formation to boost immunity. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals to improve your immune system. Zinc assists the immune system to work as it should and helps with wound healing.
  • Don’t smoke: Smoking weakens your immunity against infections as you constantly have to fight against inflammation and damage from tobacco, causing your white blood cell count to remain elevated for a long time. Eventually the risk of heart attacks, stroke and cancer increases. Smoking can also cause more vulnerability to autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
  • Get adequate sleep: Did you know that if you consistently get less than 8 hours of sleep, the flu vaccine becomes less effective? During sleep, cytokines are produced and released which target infection and inflammation, creating an immune response. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7–9 hours, so help your body’s ability to respond to cold and flu viruses with adequate rest.
  • Change the air in your home every morning and evening: It is well known that opening the windows to change the air considerably reduces the bacterial load, as well as having a smell good !!!

( Photos by Unsplash ).

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