How to Help Support Your Immune System
As we go about our daily routines, maintaining the health of our bodies and, more specifically, our immune system is important for taking full advantage of each day. The immune system is made up of cells, tissues, and organs designed to play a role in immune health.i Therefore, it requires balance and harmony to function well, which includes eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables,ii getting enough sleep each night, and supplementing with antioxidants like vitamin C, zinc, and manganese.i, ii See how eating a healthy diet rich in immune supporting nutrients like vitamin C and getting quality sleep can help support a healthy immune system.
To support the immune system, your body requires an ample amount of micronutrients—vitamins and minerals—in addition to the macronutrients you eat, including protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.iii In addition to vitamin C, other micronutrients such as zinc and manganese help support immune function and can be found in a variety of food.iii Try incorporating foods such as lean sources of protein, healthy fats like nuts and olive oil, and a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet to support immune health.iii
Consider dietary supplements that contain vitamin C to help you meet the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is an important essential nutrient, and is a highly effective antioxidant that plays an important role in immune health.i
You can incorporate vitamin C and other micronutrients into your daily diet with immune-supporting recipe ideas. Check out the Emergen-C Sparkling Blueberry-Ginger Lemonade recipe, as well as other recipes such as our Green Dream Smoothie, or our Orange N’ Cream Ice Pops.
Another way you can support your immune system is by getting adequate and quality sleep each night.iv Adults should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and children should aim for nine to ten hours per night.v
Stress management is another important factor in immune health.v While some stressors can help our immune response, chronic stress can actually be detrimental to our immune systems. Find ways to manage your stress like regular exercise, meditation, therapy, spending time with family and friends, or getting out in nature.
Supporting your immune system should take a well-rounded approach. Through a healthy diet and supplementation, sleep, and stress management, you can help support your immune system and take full advantage of each day.
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i. Immunity in depth. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/immunity. Accessed 04/24/20.
ii. How to boost your immune system. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system. Accessed 04/24/20.
iii. Micronutrients have major impact on health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/micronutrients-have-major-impact-on-health. Accessed 04/24/20.
iv. 7 Common Sense Tips for Optimizing Your Immune System. https://njaes.rutgers.edu/covid-19/7-common-sense-tips-for-optimizing-your-immune-system.pdf. Accessed 04/24/20.
v. National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361287/. Accessed 5/2/2021.