5 Wellness Habits to Support Your Immune System by Marien Garza Registered Dietitian; Member of Dietetic Advisory Board and Outer Nutrition Advisory Board, Herbalife Nutrition
The human body, as well as its systems and activities, is a fascinating machine. The immune system is one of the most fascinating: for millennia, humans have been fascinated by how our bodies defend themselves against sickness and infection. Thucydides, a Greek historian and military hero who lived around 430 B.C., made one of the earliest immunological observations documented. During an epidemic of plague in Athens, some persons were fortunate enough to recover and avoid contracting the sickness a second time.
Modern research on the immune system began in the mid-19th century when the scientist Louis Pasteur was scientifically identified as a protection against infectious diseases. Since then, research has been refined and new discoveries have been made on a regular basis. For example, in the last two decades, researchers have discovered an important role of the immune system in development, reproduction, and wound healing.
How to Develop a Healthy Lifestyle to Support the Immune System
Keep in mind that the importance of the immune system to our overall well-being is clear. What we put in our bodies and how we take care of ourselves contributes to our well-being. Diet does not prevent illness, but it does help maintain a normal and healthy body system. Nutrition is not a substitute for medical care.
Here are 5 personal wellness and nutrition habits to support your immune system:
1. Maintain a balanced diet.
When it comes to the relationship of the immune system with nutrition, there are some key aspects to keep in mind:
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins (mainly A, C, D, and E), minerals, and phytonutrients.
- Consume high-quality protein, whether from animal or plant sources.
- For carbohydrates, choose unrefined, natural ones. These good carb sources include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables, which are all excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
- Don’t forget the importance of consuming beneficial fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s reinforce the positive function of the different cells that comprise the immune system, such as leukocytes, large granular lymphocytes, and macrophages. Avocado is another great source of unsaturated fats and may also support brain function. Try to find ways to include it in your diet. Here are some examples:
- Add it to your favorite protein shake or smoothie.
- Make an avocado toast.
- Use it instead of mayonnaise in tuna salad.
- Make guacamole. Here in Mexico, we use this ingredient in many of our dishes. In fact, we are the world’s largest avocado exporter. In 2020, Mexican avocado exports amounted to more than 2.7 billion U.S. dollars. In that year, the United States alone accounted for approximately 80 percent of the value of avocado exports from the country.
2. Wash your hands correctly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing your hands can eliminate microorganisms and help avoid the transmission of diseases.
- Wash your hands for at least 30-40 seconds.
- Make sure to follow all the steps: wet, rub, scrub, rinse and dry.
- Wash your hands, palms, nails, wrists, and even forearms. After washing your hands, apply hydrating cream and paraben-free products to take care of your skin.
3. Rest effectively.
The amount of adequate and healthy sleep varies with age, but adults should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per day. Improving sleep hygiene habits can help you get better quality rest, which can help repair metabolic damage and maintain balance.
4. Exercise regularly.
Research has shown the positive impact of exercise on the immune response:
- Exercise can improve defense activity and metabolic health.
- People who engage in moderate exercise training have a lower risk for illness.
- Exercise can have an anti-inflammatory impact.
- Regular exercise improves immune regulation, even as the body ages. Doing physical activity for at least 30 minutes five times a week is a sound recommendation for adults to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
5. Drink enough water.
Proper hydration is essential for maintaining the balance of minerals and fluids that our immune and respiratory systems need to function properly. Water makes up about 70% of our total body mass in adulthood and is distributed in both the intracellular (65%) and extracellular spaces (35%), which is why it is important to stay hydrated. can be very important. Water…
- is essential for nutrient absorption.
- is a key component of lymphatic fluid, which contains specialized white blood cells, called lymphocytes, that help the body fight infection.
- helps maintain healthy mucous membranes, which protect the areas inside of your body that are exposed to air – nostrils, mouth, and throat.
The immune system plays a key role in keeping your body in balance and well, so taking care of it will go a long way.
About Herbalife Nutrition Ltd.
Herbalife Nutrition (NYSE: HLF) is a global company that has been changing people’s lives with great nutrition products and a business opportunity for its independent distributors since 1980. The Company offers high-quality, science-backed products, sold in over 90 countries by entrepreneurial distributors who provide one-on-one coaching and a supportive community that inspires their customers to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle. Through the Company’s global campaign to eradicate hunger, Herbalife Nutrition is also committed to bringing nutrition and education to communities around the world. For more information, please visit IAmHerbalifeNutrition.com.