Ways to Boost Immune System Function

A person’s immune system is the body’s way of protecting itself from illness, disease and other ailments. Whether it is a seasonal concern, such as influenza, or a constant threat, such as bacterial infection from a cut, the body is constantly having to protect itself. Though a person’s immunity levels are strongly influenced by genetics, there are a number of things that a person can do to boost his or her immune system.

Nutrition

White blood cells are the body’s primary illness fighters. White blood cells are carried in the blood and accumulate at locations of infections. Vitamin C and protein are two of the nutrients that body needs to build white blood cells. However, all nutrients are used by the body and will boost immunity in one way or another. A balanced diet is important to keep a body healthy. As most diets are low in vegetables, eating more green and colored vegetables is a good place for most people to start.

Staying Rested

A person’s body needs sleep to replenish the body both mentally and physically. When a person does not get enough sleep, the body’s immune system suffers. Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived have lower white blood cell counts than those who get enough sleep. Sleep also helps the body to deal with dress, which also works to reduce the chances of a person becoming ill.

Exercise

Though people associate exercise with weight management, most people do not think of exercise as a way to maintain a strong immune system. However, there are plenty of studies that have found a correlation between exercise and immune system function. Exercise helps to keep the cardiovascular system working properly. The cardiovascular system moves blood, along with oxygen, nutrients and white blood cells, through the body. One thing to keep in mind is that overexertion can make the body more susceptible to illness. For example, a daily jog will likely boost a person’s immune system, but a person’s immune system will likely be compromised in the days following the completion of a marathon.

While it is important to take steps to boost immune system function, precautions still need to be taken to prevent illness. A person needs to frequently wash hands, avoid crowds of people during outbreaks, and avoid touching his or her mouth, eyes or nose with unwashed hands.