Give Your Immune System a Helping Hand for Better Health

No one likes being sick but many of us don't take the necessary steps to really help our bodies prevent and fight off the harmful viruses and bacteria that can make us feel that way. Whether you are rarely sick or have a bit of a habit of catching colds, helping bolster your immune system and your overall health can go a long way in keep you feeling good and without any sniffles or upset stomach. So how can you give your immune system a boost? There are a few simple things that will get you on the right path.

First, eating well is essential to helping your body be as healthy as it can be. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes you need to keep your body running in top form. Just as you should seek out healthy foods, avoiding bad ones can also help your immune system. Caffeine can cause dehydration and refined sugars can cause highs and lows in your energy level that can wear you down, besides causing you to gain weight and adding little nutrition to your diet.

Certain foods in particular can help you to boost your immunity. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are great for getting additional Vitamin C, though to help your body stay healthy and illness-free. Experts also recommend foods like yogurt, barley, garlic, fish, chicken soup and green tea to keep your body balanced, healthy and ready to kick into gear should any germs come its way.

Aside from eating the right kids of foods, getting enough sleep and letting your body rest is also a great way to give your immune system some help. While the relationship between sleep and the immune system is not quite clear yet to scientists, research has shown that not getting enough rest can increase your chances of getting sick. Lack of sleep can not make it more likely you'll get a cold but can make it harder for your body to fight off if you do get sick, impairing the reactions that usually work to kill harmful contagions.

Small changes in how you eat, rest and treat your body can make a big difference in your chances of getting sick. While there are no guarantees that you'll avoid all illness, having a stronger immune system will make it easier to fight off any colds or flu you do get, helping you feel better sooner. That's a win-win for both you and your immune system.