Your health is your first line of defense against viruses, germs, and diseases. To keep a healthy body, you need antibodies to defend it.
Luckily, optimizing your body’s ability to create more antibodies does not have to break the bank. The most effective methods all involve food choices and minor lifestyle changes. Here are some that you can start today.
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep and your sleep-wake cycle both influence your immune system function. Make sure to get your 6 to 8 hours of rest every night to give your body time to repair and produce what it needs to function properly.
Don’t Skip Brushing Your Teeth
Your oral health affects your overall health! The Mayo Clinic points out that the mouth is the doorway to the body. Infections and bacterial growth can make their way into the body when you do not practice good oral hygiene. This can lead to increased risks of major illnesses like pneumonia, endocarditis, and cardiovascular disease due to germs and inflammation.
Brush twice a day for at least two minutes, floss, and use an antiseptic mouth rinse to protect your mouth- and your immune system.
Reduce Processed Sugar, Fast Food, and Processed Foods
Better yet, cut them from your diet altogether! They are all full of chemicals and preservatives that your body is not made to digest. Plus, none of them hold the nutrients that their fresher natural ingredients do. Lean meats and plant proteins, more plant-based foods, and fruits for your sugar fixes are all much batter fuel for your immune system.
Swap to a Plant-Based Diet
Plant-based diets are scientifically proven to reduce a host of physical and mental ailments, including depression, high blood pressure, coronary disease, cancer, and diabetes. A good variety of foods holds all the fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals you need to maintain healthy levels of antibodies.
A plant-based diet does not mean an eternity of iceberg lettuce and shaved carrots! There are a host of fantastic lifestyle diets to choose from. A few of our favorites include:
- The Mediterranean Diet. Various studies show this diet significantly reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, and mental degeneration. It even allows for very small doses of beef, chocolate, wine, and other cravings now and then.
- Whole Foods Diet encourages lots of plant-based foods and raw or minimally processed foods.
- Vegetarian. A plant-based diet allows for small amounts of meat, fish, dairy, and eggs, depending on the specific path you choose.
- Vegan is a lifestyle diet that shuns all meats, dairy, eggs, and processed foods.
Vaping is mistaken for a healthier version of smoking due to the lack of tobacco. However, studies have revealed that e-cigarettes suppress immune system responses just like smoking does.
Wash Hands and Wipe Down Common Surfaces
Phones, remotes, doorknobs, and other surfaces end up covered in germs and viruses. Clean common surfaces regularly, especially during contagious outbreaks. Don’t forget lesser thought of surfaces like:
- Coffee pot switch
- Light switches
- Mailbox handle
- Cabinet and fridge doors
- Sink knobs
- Car door handles
- Touch screens on tablets and phones
Get More of These Foods in Your Diet
Here are a few specific food recommendations to get you started on healthier eating. These foods are rich in nutrients you need to create antibodies- and they all have significant side benefits!
- Salmon is full of healthy proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids. They help produce antibodies and reduce infections. Plus, omega-3 fatty acids protect cell membranes and reduce cancer complications.
Make sure you know the source of your fish. Some locations are rich sources of mercury and hormones.
- Oranges and other foods rich in vitamin C are excellent choices. Vitamin C increases the number of antibodies you produce and improves immune function. Vitamin C can even help prevent some viruses from entering your body.
- Brocolli is rich in Vitamin E, which is necessary to produce the antibodies needed to fight cancer cells. Vitamin E also has the added benefit of reducing heart attacks by up to 30-40%.
- Oysters, turkey, and beans contain zinc, which is essential for the strength and number of white blood cells. White blood cells fight off infections and produce antibodies when the body needs them.
- Carrots contain beta carotene, which helps produce antibodies that fight infections. Beta carotene and other carotenoids also reduce free radicals that contribute to aging. Beta-carotene is also shown to help reduce the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes.
- Whole Grains are rich in B vitamins, which are essential for energy and antibody development. They are also rich in selenium, which helps produce antibodies that fight cancer cells.
Take A Daily Multivitamin
Even the best diets will have a nutrition gap. A high-quality and lab-certified multivitamin works to close those gaps so that your body works smoothly.
Walk for 10 Minutes, Several Times a Day.
The light action will stimulate blood flow, muscle toning, and metabolism. If you walk outside, you will also stimulate natural Vitamin D production, which is essential in producing antibodies and supporting the immune system.
Studies on stress levels revealed that people with higher stress levels have a lower immune system response and fewer antibodies to protect themselves from illness.
Reduce your stress with positive social interactions, meditation, and journaling. Consider counseling if your anxiety has become unmanageable.
While a glass of red wine can be good for heart function, too much alcohol can damage more than just your liver. Studies show that excessive alcohol use can weaken your immune system, make you more susceptible to diseases like pneumonia, and even turn your auto-immune system against itself.
Health experts recommend red wine for heart function. Even then, they encourage you to drink no more than 10 oz’s a day if you are male, or 5oz a day if you are female.
Keep Your Doctor in the Loop
If you have a medical condition that requires regular medications or procedures, make sure you keep your doctor informed. They will be the first to tell you if a food, supplement, or activity will negatively affect your treatments. They can also monitor your progress and adjust your medications as needed.
Some medications used to treat chronic diseases also suppress part of your immune system function. Talk to your doctor about any secondary effects and how to offset them without interfering with your treatments