Boost Your Immune System
As an active person who loves the outdoors and constantly being on the go, I understand the importance of keeping my immune system healthy (especially when I do get sick...it's a good reminder to be grateful for my health!) And I want to let you in on a little secret that a friend of the past once passed onto me about maintaining a good, healthy diet- which directly effects the health of our immune system. The secret is...
...fill your plate with as much COLOR as you can- and NO, I do NOT mean skittles! Aim for variety of foods to get the most minerals and nutrients from your diet. Try some sweet potatoes and corn, some brussel sprouts and cantelope or some strawberries and kale! This is also a great way to keep your taste buds lively, and your kitchen curiosity afloat!
Now let's look into some immune system health research for some evidence on the importance of this topic!
David L. Woodland, an immunologist at the Trudeau Institute, a nonprofit research center in Saranac Lake, N.Y. says the biggest drain on our immune systems in the modern age is stress. Taking the pressure off the immune system helps it build up, he says. Adequate sleep recharges your immune system, and most people don’t get enough nowadays.
While people tend to get fewer colds as they get older, since their immune systems have developed defenses against many strains of cold virus, “the immune system decline outweighs the benefits you’ve been accruing,” says Woodland.
Good nutrition is a must for kids year-round, says Frogel, and that kids, like adults, need plenty of sleep and regular exercise.
Good nutrition does not mean more food—quite the contrary. Losing weight can help build immunity, according to a study by Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. When a group of adults with high cholesterol lost weight on a low-fat diet, most also showed evidence of improved immune function.
Carrie Angus M.D. recommends whole, fresh foods. “Fresh foods not only carry a diverse mixture of vitamins and trace minerals absent from most processed foods, they also have vitality.”