Feel like you get sick a little more than usual? Like it’s just one illness after another, chasing after you? Don’t worry, you’re not dying. Turns out that the causes of a weak immune system may be more normal than you think. If you’re feeling this way, here’s how to change it.
• Slow down on the sugar. Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating approximately 100 grams of sugar (only three cans of soda, or 2 bags of skittles, for example) slowed white blood cells’ ability to kill bacteria for up to five hours after ingestion. Whoa.Water, water, everywhere. Mom and your doctor are right — you need lots of fluids when you’re sick, but also when you’re not. Proper hydration allows for your body to rid itself of any toxins in your system. The rule of thumb is, if your urine is pale yellow, you’re hydrating properly.
• Watch that weight.. Time and again you hear about extra poundage being bad for your brain, heart, and many other parts of your body. Now, studies have shown that it’s bad for your immune system, too. The study found that those who contracted swine flu also tended to be morbidly obese, or have a body mass index over 40. The extra weight can cause inflammation as well as hormonal imbalances, hurting your immune system’s ability to fight infection.
• Keep it clean — Your water, that is. Over 25 million Americans drink well water containing unsafe levels of arsenic. Arsenic has been associated with multiple types of cancer, as well as suppressing your immune system to viruses such as swine flu. A quick fix is to get a filter for your water.
• A wet nose is a healthy nose. Although gross, a runny nose can actually help defend against viruses like the cold and the flu. Mucus traps the viruses we breathe in and rid them from the body. If your nose is dry, those viruses can get in a lot easier. Try a saline solution or a humidifier.
• Stress less. The more stress in your life, the more you are sick. Ever notice that after a long week of tests is when you get sick? Studies from the American Psychological Association have shown that long-term stress weakens your immune system. Worse yet, if you stress while you’re sick, your condition can worsen. Keep stress-free and stay healthy.
Just follow these tips and be on your way to a stronger, healthier, and happier you!
By Aisling Williams
Photo courtesy of www.guardian.co.uk