By Porter Rodriguez
Edited by Danika Suh
Your immune system is crucial to your health and well being. Especially during a pandemic, immune health is all the more critical. But what is your immune system, and how can you strengthen it?
What is the Immune System?
The immune system is a system in your body that fights off viruses and bacteria to keep you healthy. Everyone is born with an immune system, but those who have underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, have a weaker immune system, also known as being immunocompromised.
How Can I Strengthen My Immune System?
Strengthening your immune system is fairly simple, and does not require much work. Here are a few easy things to get you started!
Have a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables:
Eating healthy foods contributes to good overall health, which in turn contributes to a healthy immune system. For example, yogurt, a probiotic, is a good option to include in your diet. Probiotics benefit your gut bacteria, which helps fight infection.
Exercise contributes to the general health of the immune system as well. Frequent physical activity benefits your heart and keeps your muscles strong. Exercise also helps you become more resilient, making it easier for your body to fight off diseases.
Sleep is often overlooked when people talk about health, but it is crucial, especially for children and teens. Sleep helps your body rest and recharge.
Humans and animals alike can enjoy the benefits of a good night's sleep!
Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, and heart or kidney problems. These side effects compromise your immune system, and can make it easier for you to inhibit sickness. Overall, you should drink about 2 liters of water every day, to promote a healthy immune system!
Try to be Less Stressed:
Studies have shown that long term stress leads to inflammation and can suppress your immune response. Some ways to help reduce stress are meditation, yoga, and exercise!
There are many other things that can help strengthen your immune system, but the bottom line is that having an active and healthy lifestyle through eating the right foods, frequent exercise, proper sleep, hydration, and maintained stress, which will greatly decrease your chances of being imperiled in the long-run. Especially during this current pandemic, it is best to keep healthy and most importantly, have a positive mindset through it all!