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Best practices for maintaining a strong immune system

Photo Credit: Peshkova/iStock Photo

While we’re hearing a lot about hygiene measures and social distancing to help lower the risk of infections, we don’t hear enough about how we can fortify our first line of defense against diseases: the immune system. While drugs help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with viruses, and social distancing and hygiene can prevent them from getting inside your body, what happens when you get infected?

The only hope you have is making sure that your system is strong enough to deal with threats and neutralizing them. Thankfully, there are tons of things that you can do to help your immune system do its job and perform to the best of its abilities. Here are some best practices for maintaining a strong immune system.

Get Good Rest

One of the most simple things that you can do to strengthen your immune system is to get better sleep. However, we understand that it’s easier said than done for many people.

The first thing you have to do is make your environment as conducive to sleep as possible, and this all starts with your mattress. The type of mattress you choose will have a direct impact on your sleep quality, and your overall health as well.

This is why sleeping on the best mattress you can find is important. And when we talk about the best mattress, we’re talking about what the best mattress is for you, not according to recent fads or other people’s opinions. Some people might need something that controls temperature better. Or something more on the soft side. Or you might need a mattress that isolates movement if you’re sleeping with someone else.

So, make sure that you look at different models on the market, and what differentiates them. Look at as many reviews as you can online. Also, take your sleeping position and previous health conditions into consideration. Some mattresses might be better for people who sleep on their side, for instance, while others might be better if you’re sensitive to allergens.

Have a Proper and Complete Diet

Your diet will have a huge influence on your body’s ability to fight disease. Vegetables, herbs, spices, and other plant-based foods are full of the nutrients needed for good immune function. Fish is another great food if you’re trying to boost your immune system.

Fish tends to be very high in omega 3s, which increases the production of white blood cells which are central to your immune system. Not only that, but omega 3s can also protect your body from damage caused by your body’s overreaction to an infection. Tuna, mackerel, and salmon are all great choices for healthy omega 3s.

You could also look into supplementation if you’re worried about not getting the nutrients you need in your diet. Some of the vitamins and nutrients that are essential for immune function include folate, selenium, zinc, copper, iron, and vitamins C, E, B6, A, and B12.

Lower Your Stress Level

It might be hard to stay zen during times like these, but you’ll have no choice if you really want to kick your immune system into high gear. Stress is much more than a mental response; it affects virtually every mechanism in your body.

The main culprit is cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone that is released during times of stress. Cortisol effectively prevents immune response during stressful events to allow the body to allocate all energy resources to escape the threat at hand. When your body is constantly pumping cortisol out, it can block immune function and prevent it from neutralizing viruses and bacteria.

So, if you want to find ways to stay calm, there are a few things you can do. For one, you can take the opportunity to take a much-needed break. Reconnect with those around you, and focus on what you have. Remember that this is only temporary. You should also take the time to learn and work on projects you always wanted to but didn’t have the time for. Who knows, maybe this could end up being a blessing in disguise after all.


Follow these few practices and you’ll not only be able to improve your immune system, but your overall well being as well. Above all, make sure that you treat your body like the temple that it is, get some rest, and focus on filling your body with the type of fuel that it needs.

augusta free press
augusta free press