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The Voice of the Black Community

Health

6 ways to boost your immune system
Donít let your family get sidelined by sickness this summer
 
Published Tuesday, July 1, 2014 6:00 am
by Andrea Royal

Any time someone sneezes or coughs, I instantly get tensed as I think of the many germ particles floating in the air, looking for the perfect body in which to take up residence.

As hard as I try to shield them, they move too fast, even for me. The moment they are released, no running or rolling the window down can save me from them. In these cases, our only line of defense is our immune system, which acts as a protector against germs so that our bodies will not shut down. 

Boosting your immune system so that it works efficiently requires incorporating healthy eating choices into your diet. Having a general understanding of how your body works allows you to develop a more conscious and healthy lifestyle.

The truth is, we inhale thousands upon thousands of germs each day. Take a moment to think about that. Each time you breathe, you are breathing in millions of germs. Knowing this, it makes sense to prep your body for illnesses attempting to attack it.  That's why we boost our immune system. 

The same way a company gives out incentives to its employers to boost or strengthen the morale within the workplace so that everyone is happy and on the same page, we want our immune system strengthened so that when germs (bacteria and viruses) attempt to enter our body and shut it down, it will serve as a blocker against them.

Ways to boost your immune system:

1. Drink water. We want to flush out the toxins from our bodies.  The way to do that is staying hydrated.  Another benefit is it helps digest food.  A strong digestive system allows nutrition to distribute adequately.

2. Eat smart, eat healthy. Eating a boatload of hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, pizza, and drinking soda by the liter sounds like a good time, and it's an even better time for those germs to slip in and take over because your immune system is not receiving any nutrients from these types of foods.  Citrus fruits loaded with Vitamin C, foods rich in protein (chicken, fish, turkey, lean cuts of beef), quinoa, black beans, spinach, lemon, ginger, garlic, broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, all are better alternatives for boosting your immune system.

3. Adequate amounts of sleep. It goes without saying; if you do not get enough sleep, your body will shut down on you.  It needs rest to refuel energy levels so that you can do what you did the day before 10 times better the next day. 

4. Proper hygiene. It is simple; wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, brush your teeth, wash your hair, face and body.  Period.

5. Check ups. It is necessary to make sure your vitals are still vital and your ticker is still ticking. 

6. Exercise. This one is my favorite, naturally.  Maintaining a consistent workout plan throughout your week strengthens your body, while your blood is able to flow easier and pumps rapidly.

In order to stay healthy we have to think healthy and practice healthy habits. Learn how to take care of your body and protect yourself. 

Andrea Royal is a Charlotte-based bikini fitness model. On her blog, "The Royal Truth: A Fitness Model's Story," the self-described shy, awkward, goofy girl from New York chronicles her journey breaking into the world of bodybuilding. Visit her website at qcfitnessmodeling.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @a_royalfit. 

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