3 Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System
It probably seems like everyone around you is sneezing, coughing, sniffling and generally feeling unwell. Once again, we’re deep in the middle of a tough cold and flu season. This season in particular is a tough one with the flu shot having just a 23% effectiveness rate and lots of us contracting colds and flus that are lasting longer than normal.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how you can boost your immune system to protect yourself from the office cold, the schoolyard flu, and grocery store sneezes.
What is the immune system?
The immune system is your weapon against illness and infection. A strong immune system can help you fend off bacteria and viruses that can cause you to get a cold, catch the flu, develop pneumonia or bronchitis. With a strong immune system, you’re able to bounce back from illness quickly and to avoid the two-week long flu or cold.
To get a bit more detailed, a strong immune system allows you to develop antibodies to common viruses and bacteria and can even protect you from more severe illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. Working along with these antibodies is the cell-mediated immune system that actually creates a history of previous illnesses or infections so when you’re facing a second similar illness - your body is able to respond more quickly and fight off the sickness. This is how things like vaccines and the flu shot work - you’re exposed to a small amount of the bacteria or virus that allows your body to develop its cell-mediated immune system and fight off the flu for example.
What can weaken my immune system?
Poor diet, stress and the lack of sleep are all factors that can and will weaken your immune system. Often these three factors happen at the same time. Think of this past busy holiday season: you were stressed at work because you had deadlines to meet before you took your time off, you were skipping lunch and eating from the vending machine, and you ended up staying up later than normal too many times with holiday parties and last-minute work projects - then three days into your holiday you were wiped out with a terrible head cold and sore throat.
What can I do to strengthen my immune system?
1. One of the best ways to strengthen your immune system is with a natural supplement such as AHCC.AHCC is naturally occurring and works to reinforce your immune system by giving your immune system the extra boost it needs to fight off pathogens, bacteria and viruses. And good news for you if you’ve had the flu shot - a 2013 study found that people who had the flu shot and supplemented with AHCC had more flu antibodies in their systems.
In addition, AHCC has been shown to increase the levels of interferon in your body. Interferon is a recognized compound that is integral in regulating your immune system. The stronger your immune system - the stronger you are! When your interferon levels are at an optimum level, you can be confident that your immune system is working for you to eliminate cold and flu bacteria.
2. Along with taking AHCC to strengthen your immune system, you should focus on reducing your stress.Study after study has shown that when we’re less stressed, we sleep and eat better. This does wonders for your overall physical and mental health - allowing your immune system to rebuild, regenerate and be ready for the any viruses and bacteria that will come your way.
3. Along with reducing your stress, it helps to incorporate some daily physical exercise. This can be as simple as getting out for a 20-minute walk during lunch. The fresh air and the light exercise will do wonders for your mental health and fire up your metabolism. As an extra bonus, this exercise will help you sleep better at night. A solid seven to eight hours of sleep is essential in allowing your body to regenerate and strengthen the immune system.
We hope you’re getting through cold and flu season without a scratchy throat, stuffed up nose and a fever… But, if you’re one of the unlucky ones - make sure you’re getting the rest you need, eating well and reinforcing your body with natural supplements such as AHCC.