Your immune system acts as your body's defense against germs and other harmful invaders. Multiple factors influence immunity, including diet, exercise, sleep, stress management and more. An unhealthy lifestyle can weaken your immune system over time, making you more prone to infections and disease. Fortunately, there are many ways to strengthen your defenses and protect your health. Here are the top 10 evidence-based tips for boosting immunity:
- Eat More Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and veggies are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support immune function.
- Get Enough Sleep: Lack of sleep disrupts hormone levels and weakens immunity. Aim for 7-9 hours per night.
- Reduce Stress: Chronic stress increases cortisol levels, suppressing immune function. Try yoga, meditation and deep breathing.
- Stay Hydrated: Dehydration negatively affects immunity. Drink plenty of fluids each day.
- Exercise Regularly: Moderate exercise boosts circulation, decreasing risk of illness. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week.
- Add Immune-Boosting Foods: Garlic, ginger, yogurt and bone broth provide key nutrients that strengthen immunity.
- Take a Probiotic: Probiotics support gut health and immunity. Consider a daily probiotic supplement.
- Don't Smoke: Smoking harms lung function and increases illness risk. If you do smoke, try to quit.
- Limit Alcohol: Excessive alcohol suppresses immune function and increases vulnerability to lung infections.
- Reduce Stress: High stress levels raise cortisol, weakening your immune response. Relax with meditation, yoga or deep breathing.
Making healthy lifestyle choices by eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, getting sufficient sleep and reducing stress are the most effective ways to strengthen your immune system. Adding immune-boosting foods and supplements can also help you stay healthy and avoid seasonal colds and flu.
A strong immune system is key to staying healthy and avoiding illness. Here are 10 science-backed ways you can give your immunity a boost.