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There are a few healthy habits that can be good for your immune system, and there are a few to avoid. Smoking can lower immune function considerably. Similarly, moderate-to-heavy consumption of alcohol can also decrease immune function, so if you do imbibe, drink only in moderation.
Getting enough sleep is particularly important for having a robust immune system. Not getting enough sleep can lead to long-term chronic stress and decreased immunity, among other complications. As mentioned previously, exercise regularly — at least several times a week.
You might think that being cold lowers your immunity. However, while staying warm is obviously important for avoiding hypothermia, exposure to cold itself does not have a negative effect on your immune system.
If you do take supplements, take ones that are correlated with increased immunity like vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, elderberry and garlic. Do remember that even increased immunity can't keep you from getting sick.
Lastly, staying hydrated is extremely important. Drink your daily amount of water, and limit caffeine when you can.
Foods Connected to a Healthy Immune System
Photo Courtesy: National Cancer Institute
While there is no one superfood that is an absolute necessity, there are a few foods that are worth incorporating into your diet to promote overall wellness and health. Citrus fruits lead the list because of their high vitamin C content. While it's not bad to take vitamin C in supplement form, it's always best to get vitamins and minerals directly from the source (food) if possible. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, clementines and even red bell peppers have a high concentration of vitamin C and should be on your shopping list.
Broccoli is another vegetable that you should eat as often as possible, as it's loaded with vitamins A, C, and E. Other fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamins and minerals include garlic, ginger, spinach, papaya and kiwi.
While many food and beverages claim to be loaded with antioxidants, green tea is one of the few beverages that contains numerous antioxidants and is a terrific choice as a morning or evening beverage. It comes with epigallocatechin gallate, which may help immune function. Don't depend solely on green tea, however.
When it comes to protein, poultry and shellfish are both good choices, as poultry is high in vitamin B6 and shellfish has more than your daily allowance of zinc. For snacks, almonds and sunflower seeds are great choices, as well as yogurt, which is a natural probiotic. Probiotics and fermented foods in general can promote the health of good gut bacteria, which in turn can improve your overall health.
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-boost-immune-health