How to Boost Your Immune System

July 30, 2023
Picture of a variety of fruits and vegetables.

If you constantly find yourself getting sick, you’re probably looking for ways to strengthen your immunity and defend yourself against illnesses. You’ve come to the right place! We’ve compiled five tried-and-true ways to boost your immune system.

1. Eat a More Nutritious Diet

When you think of immunity-boosting foods, your mind probably goes straight to those containing vitamin C—for example, citrus fruits—but there are actually numerous other nutrients that also help support your immune system. Chicken, for example, contains zinc, which can help increase the production of white blood cells. And olive oil can help strengthen the immune system by reducing inflammation throughout the body. Generally speaking, you should aim to eat a diet rich in whole foods and low in processed foods.

2. Stick to an Exercise Regimen

Research shows that exercise can increase the number of certain immune cells, thereby boosting immune function. So, if you don’t already have a regular workout routine, you should consider incorporating exercise into your daily life. Just be sure to consult with a medical provider before beginning a new workout regimen to determine whether it’s right for your specific needs.

3. Improve Your Sleep Routine

When we sleep, our bodies produce T-cells (a type of white blood cell) as well as cytokines (which help fight infection and inflammation), so it’s important that you get a good night’s rest. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may want to try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, making sure your bedroom is dark and cool, reducing your caffeine intake (especially in the afternoon and evening), and limiting the number and length of daytime naps.

4. Quit Smoking

Studies show that smoking can negatively impact the immune system, making smokers more susceptible to numerous illnesses. So, if you currently smoke, you should aim to quit as soon as possible. Nicotine gum, lozenges, patches, and sprays may be able to help you kick the habit.

5. Keep Up With Your Vaccines

While following the steps described above will help boost your overall immunity, receiving vaccines will help protect you against specific diseases. A vaccine works by teaching your immune system how to fight off a certain illness—the vaccine contains a weakened or inactive version of a disease, and when your immune system encounters the vaccine, it begins producing antibodies in response. Then, if you ever encounter that illness again, your immune system will recognize it and remember how to destroy it.

Even if you were vaccinated as a child, you may need to get boosters to protect against certain diseases as an adult. You should also be sure to get a flu shot every year, since the vaccine is updated annually to target the flu strains expected to be most prevalent that year.

What If You End Up Getting Sick?

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to boost our immune systems, we end up getting sick anyways. When that happens, you can turn to PhysicianOne Urgent Care, a physician-founded practice with locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. We proudly treat a wide range of non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, always delivering quality care with ease and speed.

Visit one of our urgent care centers today, and we’ll supply you with customized treatment recommendations to help you feel better as quickly as possible. All of our locations are open 365 days per year with extended hours, and you can choose whether to book a visit online or walk in at the time that’s best for you. We also offer an innovative 24/7 integrated telehealth service that lets you speak to a local provider from the comfort of home.

This was the fastest, easiest, and best doctor's visit. The provider was extremely kind and helpful. I explained my symptoms, the provider asked a few followup questions, and then she issued a script. I will absolutely be using this service again and would recommend to anyone.
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