Posted by Nicole on December 8
Immune health has always been an important topic, but it is one that is now on more peoples’ minds than ever.
Whether you are concerned about the COVID-19, the common cold, or other maladies, you want your immune system to be in tiptop shape if possible.
While a healthy immune system doesn’t guarantee you won’t get sick or will recover, it certainly helps stack the deck in your favor.
But did you know that some of your everyday lifestyle choices could be interfering with optimum immune functioning?
Below are some habits you should avoid if you want to keep your immune system as healthy and effective as you can.
1. A diet that is high in sugar.
Do you have a major sweet tooth? If so, you might want to think about cutting back on your sugar intake.
Piedmont Healthcare writes, “Studies have shown spikes in sugar intake suppress your immune system.”
Foods and beverages that Piedmont internal medicine specialist Samer Blackmon, M.D. advises against include those high in sugar or refined carbs, processed foods, alcoholic beverages, and soda. The site also mentions tobacco as an immune suppressant.
2. Not getting enough sleep.
Do you skip out on hours of sleep every few nights—or even every night? You could be compromising your immune system.
WebMD writes, “Not getting enough sleep can make you more likely to catch viruses or germs. And you also may take longer to get better. That’s because your body can’t make as many infection-fighting cells and proteins called antibodies that help defend against illness. Your body releases certain proteins that help the immune system, called cytokines, only during sleep.”
3. Living a sedentary lifestyle.
Do you spend most of your time sitting around at a desk or on a couch? A sedentary lifestyle is bad for circulation, which in turn, reduces immune efficiency.
So, think about doing some more aerobic exercise. Even just going on a short walk a few times a week can help.
4. Subjecting yourself to unnecessary stress or anxiety.
Neither stress nor worry are helpful when they become excessive. WebMD explains, “Stress and worry aren’t great germ fighters. Just having anxious thoughts can weaken your immune response in as little as 30 minutes. Constant stress takes an even bigger toll and makes it harder to fend off the flu, herpes, shingles, and other viruses.”
Think about that for a moment. Just being overly afraid of getting sick as you stroll the aisles of your local supermarket could actually increase your susceptibility to illness. That is pretty ironic.
There is no way to totally cut stress or anxiety out of our lives or thoughts. But if you make some changes to your routines and avoid unnecessary commitments, you might be able to reduce stressors and anxiety.
Now you know some unhealthy habits to change if you want to keep your immune system functioning at its best. You can also consider adding a supplement to your diet to support immune health like elderberry, olive leaf or garlic bulb.