9. Vitamin D
According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine, vitamin D plays a key role in modulating the innate and adaptive immune responses.
A deficiency of vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infection. Hence, to boost your immunity, try to maintain the adequate amount of vitamin D in your body.
- As sunlight triggers the production of vitamin D in the body, expose your body to early morning sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes daily.
- Also, include foods high in vitamin D, such as fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, organ meats, cheese, egg yolks, some mushrooms and foods fortified with vitamin D.
- You can also take vitamin D supplements after consulting a doctor.
Regular exercise – 30 minutes at least 5 days a week – can help boost your immunity. Exercise helps increase white blood cells, improve blood circulation, fight obesity and flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. All these factors reduce your chance of getting sick frequently. Any form of exercise is better than a sedentary lifestyle.
- Walk, run or jog for 20 to 30 minutes daily.
- Enjoy bicycling and swimming a few times a week.
- Go to the gym every other day.
- Play golf, badminton, football or basketball regularly.
Note: Although exercise is good for you, be careful not to overdo it. In addition, when you are sick, avoid high-intensity workouts that can delay recovery.
- You can ensure a better immunity by including plenty of servings of colorful fruits and vegetables on your plate.
- Follow a well-balanced diet with an adequate amount of vitamins A and C, zinc, selenium and iron.
- Keep a positive outlook toward life.
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
- Get enough sleep to help your body recover.
- Avoid stress as stress overload suppresses immune function.
- Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Drink less alcohol as it impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to diseases.
- Wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating to stop the spread of infection.
- Follow proper oral hygiene.
- Stay away from people with colds or other infections and avoid crowds.
- Avoid harmful toxins as they can impair immune function and trigger the formation of cell-damaging free radicals.
- Ask your doctor about vaccinations.