How to Boost Your Immune System?
A strong immune system protects one from various diseases and illnesses, allowing the person to continue to function fully even though other people are struggling with their health.
Even if the person gets sick, the duration of sickness and recovery is much shorter when compared with other people. So, how do we improve our immune system?
Updated: December 19, 2021.
Note: all information in this and other articles on this site are provided 'as is' - whatever you do, especially if you get injured or anything similar, it is your own responsibility. After all, if you are not feeling well, check your health at your doctor's office right away, or if you have symptoms of corona virus (COVID-19) or anything similar, contact your local emergency services right away!
For more information about coronavirus (COVID-19), please check:
- CDC's (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
This is the official page, link opens in the new window, if you want to learn more about coronavirus, please read it thoroughly.
Coronavirus came, but it will also go away and one day some other similar virus will appear. That is just one of many reasons why should we all do something about our own health and if possible, improve it.
Immune system is our defense line against viruses, bacteria and other germs, allergens, pollutants etc. that are stalking people every single day.
It can be improved, of course, leading to improved health and better overall being.
How to Improve Immune System?
Well, there are several very simple things one can do in order to boost it - and they are so easy to list, but to do them in real life can be sometimes rather hard, especially for people with children due to the increased number of various obligations.
Stress level - decrease the stress as much as you can in any possible way. This is the most difficult part, because it is so easy for us to write/say 'decrease the stress' and it is totally another story when you and your children are closed in your own home for weeks due to the quarantine or any other reason.
Stress can be lowered by the same method that additionally improve the immune system.
Proper Nutrition - eating properly means eating well balanced meals, cooked according to the individual needs and preferences.
Perhaps the best diet/cuisine is Mediterranean Diet with reduced amounts of carbs - it is based on vegetables, fish, poultry, fruits, some complex carbs, olive oil, some red meat occasionally and similar.
Originally, Mediterranean Diet included plenty of carbs, but people where physically working 12-14 hours per day and they needed all that energy. Nowadays, with most of people having office jobs, such amount of calories/carbs is not required.
During the day, one eats 4-5 balanced meals - as day slowly ends, it is important to reduce the carbs and to slowly increase the healthy fats in the form of omega-3 eggs, fatty fish, almonds and other nuts, olive oil, fish oil and similar.
But, even the fish oil contains 135 kcal for 15g (one tablespoon) and calories add quickly - healthy fats are required, but be aware of their calories.
Berries are excellent source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other micro- and macro-nutrients and are very beneficial for human health.
Berries may be consumed fresh, frozen or processed - personally, I like to mix them with organic whey or casein in my fruity smoothies.
Supplements - sports supplements are just that, food/sports supplements. But, when combined with proper nutrition and real food, sport supplements may be rather valuable asset in improving human health. List of sport supplements is almost endless, with the next few categories being the most important.
Organic Grass-Fed Whey and Casein Protein Powders - whey and casein protein powders are derived from cows' milk and are excellent sources of fast-digesting (whey) and slow-digesting (casein) proteins. Also, they are rich in calcium and some other micronutrients as well.
However, organic whey and casein protein powders derived from grass-fed cows (no hormones, no antibiotics, no GMO corn, no GMO soy, etc), manufactured using a cold process, with no bleach and other chemicals, are highly valuable sources of proteins, calcium, healthy fats, minerals etc.
Such whey and casein powders should be mixed with other foods in order to achieve certain results.
Organic whey protein powders should be mixed with fruits, oats, low fat cheese, cottage cheese and similar foods and used for breakfasts and daily protein shakes and smoothies.
Right after workouts, whey protein should be mixed with fast-digesting carbs in order to help one with recovery and regeneration.
Organic grass-fed whey do costs more than ordinary whey, even slightly more than some whey isolates, but it is IMHO worth it.
Organic casein protein powders should be used for making slow-digesting meals and protein shakes. When mixed with almonds and nuts in general, peanut butter, grass-fed butter and similar foods that slows down digestion even more, organic casein may be used for making bedtime protein shakes.
Also, organic whey and casein may be mixed in the same protein shakes, providing meals that feed the body for hours.
High Protein Ready to Drink Meals are pre-made protein shakes that can be consumed in no time. Such protein drinks can come very handy when you don't have time to prepare meals or at least protein shakes.
Also, they can be carried in the office, when traveling, camping and similar. Some people prefer protein bars, but if I have to choose between protein bars and read-to-drink high-protein meals, I would always go for read-to-drink high-protein meals.
Other valuable supplements important for boosting immune system are high-quality multivitamin/multimineral tablets, omega-3 gel-caps/tablets, glutamine powders, BCAA, greens etc.
List of such supplements is rather long, but grass-fed whey/casein, multivitamin and omega-3 are at the top of my list - and they must be combined with proper nutrition.
Regular Workouts improve immune system and overall health, but one must be very careful - too much of something good (workouts in this case) are not always better.
Workout is a stress to the body and after stressing the body, the body will adapt itself by becoming stronger, leaner, faster, etc.
However, if the body is stressed too much by the workouts, one may over-train him/her self and this can cause immune system to weaken!
So, try to workout regularly, but don't push yourself too hard, especially during periods when there is stress around us everywhere (coronavirus for example causes enough stress for everyone, especially to people with children and elderly parents, grandparents ...).
When the gyms are closed, the only option is to workout at home - such workouts can be as challenging as workouts at the gym.
For more about home workouts, feel free to check:
- Gyms are Closed? Try Working Out at Home...
For people used to gym workouts, switching to bodyweight exercises may sound as step backwards, but truth is that bodyweight exercises may be as challenging as gym exercises - each one in its own way. Don't trust me? OK, try these (your own responsibility!):
Still not convinced?
Again, working out is great, but don't overdo it.
Other things one can do in order to boost the immune system:
- sleep at least 7-8 hours and sleep well. Lack of sleep is one of the main causes of a weak immune system.
- have a nap in the afternoon: sleeping is essential, but having a nap during the day may also help a person to reset the body.
- practice yoga, meditate, read a good book, do whatever pleases you - such activities help one stay more focused during the day and in the end help one to feel better.
When seeing an article with the title similar to 'How to Boost Your Immune System?', many people want to believe that there is a magic pill that is able to erase all ill-doing people do to themselves in periods of stress or crisis.
There are pills that may help for a short period of time, but in the long run, they cause more harm than good.
For short, balanced life is the key - sleep enough, eat balanced meals, workout regularly ... So simple, yet sometimes rather hard to achieve ...