How to Boost Your Immune System

By Dr. Myles Spar, MD, MPH

Our immune system plays a vital role in our body’s defense against infection and illness. Though many men choose to focus on supporting their immune system when they’re feeling unwell, there are also a number of easy and effective things you can do to strengthen your immune system year-round. To get started, the most important pillars to optimize are diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, and human connection

Diet

Though many scientists recommend intermittent fasting for improving longevity, heart health, and brain processing, the simplest way to support your immune system with diet is to eat whole, nutritious foods. Yes, that means avoiding a late-night binge on chips and other packaged goods you’ve stocked away in the pantry. Whenever possible, buy fresh fruit and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants that naturally boost your immune system. 

A good rule of thumb is to consume different colors of fruits and vegetables over the course of one week. This works because each color has a different chemical that's good for your immune system. For example, a successful week may include red peppers, leafy greens, yellow squash, purple eggplant, and blueberries. 

There are also certain vitamins that can help prevent viral activity, specifically vitamin C and vitamin D. Kiwis, oranges, mango, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are all rich in vitamin C, while nuts and fish are a great source of vitamin D. 

In terms of supplements, both elderberry (which you can take as a lozenge or as a syrup four times a day) or beta-glucans (which are the main component of brewer's yeast and also come from mushrooms) can help keep your immune system strong. In fact, taking 250 milligrams a day of beta-glucans has been shown to help prevent some respiratory viruses.

Exercise

This one sounds simple, but it’s important: Doing something active every day helps to support your immunity—and exercising outside is especially helpful since ventilation and natural light will decrease your risk of viral transmission.

Sleep and Stress

Locking into a regular sleep schedule and practicing stress management are also very important tools for strengthening immunity. In fact, a University of California San Diego study found that maintaining regular sleep patterns helps us live longer. Additionally, finding ways to manage stress is essential, since cortisol surges caused by stress can weaken the immune system over time. Mindfulness and meditation are just two examples of methods you can use to help you successfully manage stress. 

Connection

Lastly, human connections are vital for overall health. Though nothing replaces human touch, scheduling a virtual hang-out or happy hour with friends can really help you connect if you’re practicing social distancing.

For extra immunity support, check out Vault’s Immunity Kit, which was designed by top-medical minds with high-quality prescription ingredients including glutathione and the peptide Thymosin-alpha-1 that have been shown to help boost immunity.

To learn more about how to optimize all facets of your health, book a zero-cost online visit with a Vault provider.

DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be relied upon for medical diagnosis or treatment.  If you are experiencing an emergency, dial 911 or contact a medical provider immediately. Consistent with Vault Health, Inc.’s website privacy policy, Vault Health, Inc. is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content found at links to other websites.  The content of this article represents the views and opinions of the individual author.  

  

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