Your immune system is your body’s natural defence against infection and illness. It is a complex system that is made up of many different cells, proteins and organs.
The immune system is constantly working to protect you from harm. It is constantly on the lookout for anything that could potentially harm you – such as viruses, bacteria or other foreign invaders – and works to destroy them before they can make you sick.
There are a number of things you can do to support your immune system and help it work more effectively.
Eat a healthy diet.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and immunity. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins in your diet. Limit sugar and saturated fat as much as possible.
Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but also for your immune system. Regular exercise helps to increase the number of “natural killer” cells in your body, which are cells that help to fight off infection.
Get enough sleep.
Sleep is essential for good health. When you sleep, your body has a chance to repair and regenerate. This is also when your immune system gets a chance to “recharge” and prepare for the next day.
Chronic stress can have a negative impact on your immune system. Make sure to take some time for yourself each day to relax and de-stress.
Avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol.
Tobacco and excessive alcohol can both suppress your immune system. If you do smoke, try to quit. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Vaccines help to protect you against illnesses by preparing your immune system in advance. Make sure to stay up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations, such as the flu shot.
Wash your hands.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after using the restroom and after coming into contact with someone who is sick.
Avoid touching your face.
Your hands come into contact with all sorts of germs and bacteria throughout the day. If you touch your face, you’re more likely to transfer those germs and bacteria to your nose, mouth or eyes, where they can enter your body and make you sick.
Stay away from sick people.
If someone you know is sick, try to avoid close contact with them. If you must be around them, be sure to wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.
Manage chronic conditions.
If you have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease, make sure to take care of yourself and manage your condition. This will help to keep your immune system strong.