The immune system is your body’s natural defense against microorganisms that cause diseases. There are times however when the system fails and germs are able to invade your body, ultimately making you sick. To avoid this, it is important to maintain good health. After all, health should be your priority if you intend to survive any situation that might come up.
4 Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System and Fight Infection
If you haven’t been taking good care of your body, it’s about time that you start. The simplest way to strengthen your immune system is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Start with regular exercise. Add a healthy diet composed of fruits and vegetables and low saturated fat foods as well as whole grains. And get enough rest. It does sound redundant because you hear about exercise, diet and rest so often everywhere but it is true and effective, so make it a habit.
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4 Simple Ways to Ward Off Most Scares of the Week
Over my many years of medical practice, I’ve been coughed on by people with TB, colds, and the flu; vomited on; and exposed to diarrhea (yeah, I know, the glamorous life of a doctor). I’ve treated bloody wounds of people with HIV or hepatitis (with gloves on), and exposed to things I probably can’t even imagine.
Other than maybe a cold or two, I’ve never caught any of these. Of course I do take my flu shot and have been vaccinated against hepatitis. And yes, some health care workers, even with the best precautions, do get these diseases. It’s rare, though, because we rarely veer from taking simple—some may say boring—precautions. But a trick to performing boring tasks without them being so boring is to do them so often that you make them a habit.
Whatever the infection, whatever the scare, the following general habits will make you much less likely to get infected.
1. Wash the germs off.
Even if you don’t get rid of all the bad germs, cutting down on the amount gives your body’s defense mechanisms a chance to kill the rest off. So …
Wash the germs off your hands. That doesn’t mean a quick rinse of the hands when they’re dirty. You can get infectious germs just about anytime, anywhere, so wash your hands periodically, always before you eat, and always after you’ve been out in public. Yeah, you can be too compulsive, but several times a day is not. Scrub your hands with soap and water for around 20 seconds, and completely dry them. (Drying them gets rid of a lot more germs.)
To have the strongest immune system possible, you also need to maintain a healthy weight and watch your blood pressure. Perhaps the greatest challenge for some is to stop smoking and drink moderately. These lifestyle changes may be difficult, but in the end it is you and your immune system that will benefit.
Speaking of diet, it may not be easy to watch what you eat every single day, especially with a busy lifestyle. An alternative would be to compensate for nutritional deficiencies through multivitamins and mineral supplements. Take those that have Vitamin A, B2, B6, C, D and E, as well as selenium and zinc, for a healthy immune system.
For those who like to go the natural way, there are also herbs that can help your immune system fight infection. You have aloe vera, garlic, ginseng, licorice root, echinacea, astralagus membranes, even probiotics.
Stay strong and stay healthy.
Do you have any tips to add? Share them in the comments.
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