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5 Tips To Boost Your Immune System Naturally — an article on the Smart Living Network
January 23, 2010 at 9:23 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

5 Tips To Boost Your Immune System Naturally

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The immune system is that intricate network of cells and organs which work together to protect your body from disease and illness. The best way to treat an illness is to boost your immune system.

What is the Immune System?

Every living organism has an immune system which works to detect and neutralize pathogens. Think of your immune system as your body's search and destroy team; miniature soldiers running around obliterating the enemy. If your immune system is weakened, the soldiers can't work efficiently enough to combat all the pathogens we are exposed to daily. The immune system remembers previous infections, which allows our bodies to be even more effective against the virus in the future; this is called acquired immunity and is the idea behind the routine vaccinations we receive.

What Weakens the Immune System?

Any number of things can weaken our immune systems. Disease or illness can weaken our immune systems, and many diseases are caused by a weakened immune system. Many lifestyle choices also affect the immune system and, since lifestyle is easily controlled, simple changes will go a long way to promote the overall health of your body and immune system. Here are five ways to easily boost your immune system so that it works to its maximum potential.

Eat Well

Pack your diet full of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants, nutrients and fiber. Opt for a colorful diet by choosing produce of every color. Skip fatty or highly processed foods and stick to do-it-yourself meals. Controlling the ingredients in your diet raises your awareness of the foods you put into your body. You'd be surprised at how many "filler" ingredients there are in most packaged foods. Skip the canned soup and make your own!

De-stress Yourself

While small bouts of stress may actually be beneficial, chronic or frequent stress can cause a number on your immune system. Numerous studies have shown that stress causes the secretion of a number of substances into the body which are not only bad for you, they can damage the immune system. Reducing and managing stress is an easy way to protect your immune system. Besides, who doesn't want to lower stress?

Sleep

Sleep deprivation not only harms the immune system, it impairs cognitive functions as well. And getting enough sleep actually boosts the immune system. While we sleep, our body works to repair any damage done during the day; skipping the sleep prevents your body from doing this essential function.

Exercise

We all know that exercise produces those chemicals in the brain that make us feel good; this is what keeps us going back to the gym day after day. Exercise has also been shown to increase your disease protection. While excessive exercise has negative repercussions, regular moderate exercise is great for your body and your brain.

Live

Being content has perhaps the most benefits for the immune system. Your emotional well-being strongly affects the functioning of your immune system. Study after study has shown that laughing, kissing, frequent physical contact and yes, sex, will boost your immune system. All these activities release those happy chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. Not only do they help ease stress, they also increase blood flow and help us relax. So, the next time you feel too tired or stressed out to snuggle with your spouse, consider all the benefits you both will reap from a little one-on-one time. Think of it as therapy for your body and soul.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/using-your-immune-system-to-stay-well

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/prevent-flu-healthy-habits-beat-the-virus

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