When you have a busy schedule, there is just no time for getting sick. Plus, anyone would agree, it’s not very much fun.

With cold and flu season right around the corner, you will want to do as much as you can to strengthen your immune system.

Your body’s immune system is powerful, but sometimes it just needs a boost.

Image courtesy of Marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To avoid getting the sniffles this season, take a few steps to boost your immune system:

1. Get Enough Sleep

The body naturally needs sleep. Sleep gives the body time to rest and recuperate. If you are not getting enough sleep at night, your immune system may suffer. Lack of sleep can suppress immune system function, increasing the likelihood of catching the cold or flu. It’s important to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night to keep your body and immune system working properly.

2. Reduce Stress

Too much stress takes a toll on the body, including the immune system. Stress can affect our health greatly. The good news? You can take action to control your stress levels. Practice techniques such as yoga or meditation to reduce stress and build up your immune system. Even taking 5 minutes to practice breathing exercises can help bring your stress level down.

3. Eat High-Protein Foods

High-protein foods such as meat, beans and nuts contain zinc, a mineral that helps fight off infection. Protein also provides other benefits because it helps keep you full and energized. Be sure to include high protein foods in your meals and snacks, especially in your breakfast, to fuel your body for the day and boost your immune system.

4. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are natural foods offering a vast amount of nutrients for the body. Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants to help fight infections and diseases. Blueberries, strawberries and apples are just a few of the fruits you can add to your diet to help ward off the cold, flu and other infections. Some of the best vegetables to eat include kale, broccoli and spinach. These foods are all easy to add to smoothies or salads every day. If you eat your daily serving of fruits and veggies, your immune system will work more efficiently to keep you healthy.

5. Get Vitamin D Levels Checked

Unfortunately, there are limited foods providing vitamin D, yet it is a vitamin that improves immune system response. We can get vitamin D from the sun, but when winter comes around, it is likely vitamin D levels will become low. Ask yourself, do you get sick often in winter? Before you start taking any supplements, you will want to talk to your doctor to get your vitamin D levels checked.

No one likes getting sick. If you get sick often during cold and flu season, you will want to take action to prevent illness. Overall, just taking better care of your health can make all the difference in helping the immune system function.

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