By Carol D.
Your immune system has a lot of hard work to do, protecting the body from the viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxins that are always trying to invade. As you already know, this is no easy task.
Although you can’t see your immune system in its fight to protect you, your daily lifestyle choices have a significant impact on how well your immune system functions. Fortunately, there are simple, healthy habits you can adopt to boost your immunity.
1. Take CBD to Boost Your Immunity
Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis and hemp plants, can also boost your immunity. Although its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are often discussed in reducing chronic pain, these same properties strengthen your immune system.
As we explained earlier, reducing chronic inflammation keeps your immune system’s defenses up against environmental threats. Antioxidants enhance certain immune functions, too, according to research in the Journal of Dairy Science.
Another recent study in the Cannabis and Cannabinoids Research journal demonstrated that CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects regulate your immune system, as well. However, CBD’s exact effects on the immune system remain unknown. For now, it’s thought to be immune suppressive, which means CBD could potentially decrease the severity of your response to illness.
All-natural, hemp-derived CBD oil can be taken through a tincture dropper, inhaled through a vape cartridge, or consumed in a gummy. You can learn more about CBD and how it differs from its psychoactive counterpart, THC, here: https://cbdfx.com/what-is-cbd/.
2. Get Plenty of Rest
No matter how you put it, your body needs adequate rest each night to stay strong and alert to potential threats. There’s just no way your body can fight off harmful viruses when it’s already tired from sleep deprivation.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Yet, the American Sleep Association reports that at least 35 percent of adults in the US sleep less than seven hours per night.
This “normalized” sleep deprivation can have detrimental consequences on our health — namely, our immunity.
There’s a reason why sleep is regarded as one of the “best medicines for sickness,” says a review in the Physiological Reviews journal. The connection between sleep hygiene and immune function is a two-way street: immune system activation alters sleep, and sleep alters immune system functioning.
It’s also thought these processes are why sleep deprivation runs hand-in-hand with chronic states of low-grade inflammation. Sleep helps your body restore strength to the immune system and prepare it for its next big fight. When you are sick, sleep also helps your body ward off infections by conserving your energy.
3. Boost Your Vitamin C Through Citrus
It’s no secret that oranges and other citrus fruits are brimming with Vitamin C. This is an essential micronutrient and potent antioxidant that contributes to our immune system’s defense, according to a Nutrients journal review.
Vitamin C supports your body’s barrier against pathogens and reduces environmental oxidative stress, the review adds. Therefore, keeping your vitamin C levels up keeps your immune system defenses up. Increasing your vitamin C intake is easy — just include an orange or grapefruit in your breakfast.
Other fruits that are high in vitamin C include:
4. Bite into Some Broccoli
Citrus fruits and berries aren’t the only natural foods high in vitamin C. Broccoli and many other vegetables also contain this vital vitamin. Boost your vitamin C intake by including these vegetables in your salads or cooking:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Leafy greens
- Peppers (green and red)
- Potatoes (sweet potatoes and white potatoes)
- Turnip greens
- Winter squash
5. Only Drink in Moderation
Enjoying alcohol in moderation won’t hurt you in the long run. But sustained alcohol misuse can decrease your immunity, says an article in the Alcohol Research: Current Reviews journal. In turn, this makes you more susceptible to conditions like pneumonia. It also decreases your body’s ability to fight active infections and heal wounds.
Additionally, alcohol abuse can increase your risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, alcohol liver, and certain cancers. Minimizing your alcohol intake maximizes your immune system. You don’t have to abstain from drinking entirely, but alcohol’s impact on your immune system and overall health is something to keep at the forefront of your mind.
Your immune system has to juggle the mighty task of keeping your body safe from vile, villainous viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxins. But you can make your immune system’s job just a bit easier by incorporating these healthy lifestyle changes. You don’t have to change your entire life to implement these habits, either. Going to bed an hour earlier, having an orange with breakfast, and meditating for a few minutes each day is all it takes to get started.