You May Need to Boost Your Immunity If…

[caption id="attachment_39173" align="alignnone" width="856"]If you have a sweet tooth or are overweight, you are at an increased risk or becoming sick. Eating too much sugar isn’t just bad for your waistline.[/caption]

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get completely knocked out by colds, flu and illness while others get through season with barely a sniffle? It all comes down to your immune system and how well you’ve armed your body in the battle to stay well. Some of these habits might just shock you.

  1. You have a sweet tooth. Eating too much sugar isn’t just bad for your waistline. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating 100gm of sugar significantly hampered the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria for up to 5 hours afterward.
  2. You don’t drink enough. There’s a reason your mother told you to drink plenty of fluids when you’re sick. Your body needs a tremendous amount of water to flush out toxins.
  3. You’re overweight. Excess weight is unhealthy for your immune system. It can cause inflammation and serious hormonal imbalances that impair the immune system’s ability to fight infection.
  4. You are sleep deprived. Sleep is crucial for proper functioning of your immune system. Your body does a lot of healing and fighting infection while you’re sound asleep. Studies show that lack of sleep negatively affects your T-cell count, which compromises your ability to combat viruses.
  5. You’re super stressed. It’s no coincidence that you tend to catch a cold or the flu after a big work deadline. According to a report by the American Psychological Association, long-term stress weakens the responses of your immune system.

So, what can you do?

  1. Moderate exercise. Exercise increases blood flow and improves your body’s ability to fight infection. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Get enough sleep and manage stress. Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function.
  3. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, which will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs. A study in older adults showed that boosting fruit and vegetable intake improved antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine, which protects against Streptococcus pneumonia.
  4. Take Vitamin C – Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is found in citrus fruits and many vegetables, and may boost the immune system by attacking the nucleic acid of a virus.