27 Dec How to strengthen your immune system?
There are some habits that can help us feel good and strengthen our immune system.
If something has become clear during these months it is that health is and should be a priority. Now more than ever, it is very important to monitor and take care of our health and that of those around us, feeling strong, healthy, and vital. And there are some habits that can help strengthen our immune system and, thus, feel good. We tell you:
Eat healthily ⠀
We always insist on how fundamental it is to eat a balanced diet. We are lucky: in Spain, it is very easy to follow a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables and to eat healthy fats such as those found in foods such as fatty fish, nuts and seeds, avocado, or olive oil. Reducing red meat, processed and ultra-processed foods, fried foods and sugars will also help us in our purpose of strengthening our immune system.
In addition to food, we must take care of what and how often we drink. Staying hydrated frequently throughout the day is essential to strengthening the immune system. Ensure a good fluid intake by drinking water, drinking teas and infusions, and preparing broths and soups. Instead, avoid caffeinated drinks, sugary sodas, and alcohol as much as possible. Being hydrated is essential for the maintenance of the body’s thermoregulation and our physical and cognitive functions. In addition, it contributes to good digestion and to absorb the necessary nutrients to feed the cells of our body.
WHO recommends getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week. However, Spaniards are among the most sedentary on the planet: 30% admit not doing enough physical activity and only 35% admit to doing enough exercise, according to the IPSOS Global Advisor study. Find the sport or activity that best suits you and that there are no excuses: practicing physical exercise on a regular basis improves cardiovascular health, minimizes the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, contributes to weight control, reduces blood pressure, improves aerobic fitness, strength, and endurance, joint flexibility, increases our self-esteem… In short, it improves our general health and with it our immune system.
Get enough sleep
Seven to eight hours of sleep a day can help boost your immune system. A 2015 study published in the journal Sleep found that people who slept at least seven hours a night were four times less likely to get colds than those who slept less than six hours. Lack of sleep, in addition, can cause the body to respond as if it were in a dangerous situation, awake and alert, releasing more cortisol, which is the stress hormone, and therefore suppressing our immune system.
Watch for stress
Stress and anxiety cause the body to produce this stress hormone we have talked about and suppress our immune system, which is why it is so important to control them. As far as possible, flee from the sources that cause these sensations, do activities that make you feel good, exercise, relativize, spend time with your loved ones, learn new techniques to relax ( yoga, meditation, mindfulness …) And, if you consider it, do not hesitate to ask for professional help.
Take care of your hygiene
Of course, we cannot forget about the trio of aces of healthy habits that we have learned during the pandemic: put on your mask, avoid going to crowded places (and keep a safe distance from other people), and wash your hands frequently and in a proper manner adequate. Keeping microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses out of the body are essential to strengthen our immune system.