Have you ever stopped to realize how efficient our immune systems are? They act as a defense mechanism, working to protect us from infections and diseases, and we barely even notice! Fall and winter mean that we’re entering into cold and flu season, and many of us are looking for ways to stay healthy and boost our immune system, especially with the added threat of COVID-19 thrown in. Below, we’ve compiled our top lifestyle activities to boost your immune system and help you fight cold and flu season (hint: one of them is drinking more water!).
Having a Balanced Diet
What we put into our bodies plays a huge role in keeping our immune systems healthy and operating at peak efficiency. A study by the American Thoracic Society shows that changes in our dietary habits heavily influences gut microbiome health. The gut microbiome lives in your intestines and they are the cornerstone of our immune system. Each of them plays a different role, helping us digest food, control brain health, and control our immune system. And when we make poor food choices, it directly affects the biome and our immune system’s response.
Keeping your gut in balance is crucial to your immune system being strong enough to fight off colds, the flu, and even COVID-19. To build up your immune system, we recommend eating a wide variety of foods that are fiber-filled, nutrient-rich, and packed with antioxidants and vitamins B, C, and D. Opt for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and mushrooms. If you can manage, best practice is to try to limit the amount of fried food, sugar, and processed red meats you eat, as they can cause inflammation throughout your body.
Drinking Enough Water
This one comes as no surprise. We all know the importance of drinking water. After all, humans consist of approximately 60 percent water. There are many benefits to drinking water, including giving you energy, treating headaches, regulating body temperature, and weight loss. But one of the most important reasons is that it boosts our immune system.
Drinking water helps your body naturally flush out toxins and bacteria that can make us sick. It also lubricates the mucous membrane, which lines the inside of your nose, mouth, and lungs. It’s responsible for keeping those areas moist and keeping out any germs trying to get in. When it’s healthy, the mucous membrane is less likely to have small breaks in it that allow viruses and bacteria to slip through.
Many are also unaware that staying hydrated can also affect your mood. There are several ways to ensure that you’re staying hydrated, such as drinking decaffeinated tea and coffee, eating fruits and vegetables, and of course, drinking clean, preferably filtered water. We emphasize drinking filtered water because tap water often has chemicals like chlorine, fluoride, and manganese or other contaminants in it that can derail your efforts to steer clear of germs. The best way to avoid these contaminants is to install a filtration system in your home. Filtration systems like the ones offered by Puronics and installed by the Science of Water are celebrated for its ability to remove all toxins, pollutants, and contaminants from your water. The result is clean, crisp water that can be used throughout your home and as a method of fighting against the flu.
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is a pillar of healthy living. Many people think that getting 7-8 hours of sleep is all that’s needed to keep your body operating efficiently. The truth is, you need 7-8 hours of quality sleep to achieve this. The amount of sleep you get is essential to the health of your overall immune system. Just as getting too much sleep can have its adverse effects, not getting enough sleep, too, has its consequences.
Getting poor quality or not enough sleep has been linked to your immune system functioning at a lower efficiency. Those who don’t get a good night’s rest are more likely to get sick when exposed to viruses. That’s because, without enough sleep, your cells can’t recharge or efficiently fight off and kill germs. And this leaves you vulnerable to illnesses. On the opposite end, your lack of sleep also affects how quickly you bounce back after getting sick. So, to help ensure that you catch some quality z’s, try reducing the use of mobile devices at least an hour before bed, turning off the TV in your bedroom, or adjusting the room temperature.
There’s a compelling link between working out and your immune system. Although working out can feel like a chore, it’s one of the easiest ways to boost our immune system. Don’t think that you need to work out all day, every day. Experts say that a brisk 30-minute walk a few days a week is enough to reinvigorate your white blood cells and boost your immune system. There are many other benefits to regularly exercising, too, including reduced respiratory infections, improved blood flow throughout your cardiovascular system, and reduce your chances of getting the cold or the flu.
Reduce Your Stress
It’s hard for us to live stress-free lives, especially with the state of the world, but we tend to forget that stress can harm our physical and mental health. Ever notice that after an extremely stressful situation, you start to feel sick days later? That’s because stress breaks down your immune system, which affects the effectiveness of your immune system and makes you more susceptible to viruses and bacteria.
Complications from stress can lead to sleeping problems, high blood pressure, depression, and cardiovascular issues. To restore your immune system, seek professional help, try to take time to meditate, remove yourself from stressful situations, and limit the amount of time spent on social media.
Cut Out Alcohol and Tobacco
Smoking and drinking are two lifestyle activities that can impair your body, primarily your respiratory system. They can leave you vulnerable to lung infections and viral infections like the flu, cold, and COVID-19 that heavily impact the respiratory system. With alcohol, start reducing your intake by switching to one drink a week. If you’re interested in quitting smoking, there are local resources you can use to help you start your journey. It’s important to remember that even second-hand smoke can be damaging to your respiratory and immune systems. It can trigger illnesses like asthma and bronchitis, making them vulnerable to other life-threatening viruses.
The Science of Water
It’s important to protect yourself as best as possible from the germs and viruses during the cold and flu season. Luckily, The Science of Water can help! We have more than 25 years of experience under our belts and countless happy customers singing our praises. All proof that we love what we do! The first step to getting better water is to request one of our free water tests to learn about what’s lurking in your water, and what we can do to solve it. After that, get ready to savor the best water you’ve ever tasted.
If you’re interested in learning more about our services and taking a free water test, contact us at (352) 745-7070 or (904) 580-0000.