Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against illness and infection. A robust immune system is crucial for maintaining good health, but several factors can affect its function. Age, stress, diet, and lifestyle choices can all contribute to a weaker immune system.
While not an outright cure for a weakened immune system, there are some natural ways that you can improve its functionality.
Whether you have had previous health concerns or are hoping to avoid any issues in the future, looking after your immune system is essential for your personal wellbeing. From lifestyle changes to dietary tweaks and even the addition of natural supplements, these strategies can help keep your immune system functioning correctly.
Why Does Our Immune System Decline as we Age?
Various factors can contribute to a decline in immune system function as we age. This natural process is called ‘immunosenescence,’ which can leave older adults more susceptible to illness and infection.
The immune system is a complex network of tissues, organs, and cells that work in harmony to protect the body from foreign invaders. Our immune systems constantly evolve and change as it encounters new threats.
However, with age, our immune system can become less effective due to certain aging processes, such as:
- Reduced healing ability: Older adults often take longer to recover from injuries and wounds. The production of specific immune cells, changes in circulation, and reduced tissue repair can also reduce as we age.
- More inflammation: Older adults tend to have higher levels of chronic inflammation, which is linked to many age-related diseases. As we age, we also have a higher risk of developing an autoimmune disorder.
- Organ changes: With age, the thymus gland (an organ that produces immune cells) can shrink and produce fewer essential hormones. The spleen (an organ that filters the blood and stores immune cells) also can become less effective.
We all know that aging is inevitable, but there are natural ways to help improve the function of your immune system to ensure that you stay as healthy as possible. Please note, if you are ever worried, you should always seek medical advice if you or a loved one have any health concerns.
Natural Ways to Improve Your Immune System
How we live our lives directly impacts our health and immune system. We are more susceptible to contracting illnesses and infections without a strong immune system. The following natural methods can aid your body’s natural defenses and help give your immune system a boost.
Enjoy a Balanced Diet
Food is fuel for the body, and what we eat directly impacts our overall health. When we withhold essential nutrients, we can become malnourished and deficient in vitamins and minerals. Without these nourishing substances, our immune system will struggle to function properly and produce the necessary antibodies to fight infection or disease
Making sure we eat a balanced and nutritious diet is one of the best things we can do for our immune system. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help support a fit immune system. Conversely, an unhealthy diet high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and processed foods can have the opposite effect.
Take Steps to Minimize Stress
Chronic stress can take a toll on our bodies, both mentally and physically. When we are stressed, our body goes into fight-or-flight mode and releases a hormone called cortisol. While some stress is normal and even necessary, chronic stress can cause our body to remain in this heightened state for extended periods.
Cortisol can also reduce the effectiveness of our immune system by suppressing the inflammatory response, which can lead to issues including anxiety, depression, and decreased immune system functionality .
To help minimize stress, consider incorporating some stress-relieving activities into your routines, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. Exercise is also an excellent way to reduce stress levels and boost your immune system naturally.
Drink Enough Water
Every cell, tissue, and organ in our body needs water to work optimally, including our immune system.
When we are dehydrated, our body struggles to function correctly. Dehydration can cause many issues, including fatigue, headaches, and even some diseases . It can also make us more susceptible to illness, as it decreases the production of vital cells which are essential for fighting illness.
The best way to combat dehydration is to ensure you drink enough water throughout the day. The recommended daily intake is eight 8-ounce glasses, which may vary depending on your activity level, age, and health status. If you are unsure, speak with your doctor to determine how much water you should drink each day.
Take Immunity-Boosting Supplements
In addition to following a healthy lifestyle, there are also natural supplements you can take to help improve your immune system. While not a solution or cure for inherent health problems, they can be a helpful addition, especially if you cannot get all the nutrients you need from your diet.
As previously mentioned, vitamins are essential for a functioning immune system. For example, high-strength vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals in the body. It also helps increase the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting infection.
Other important vitamins for immune health include vitamins A, D, and E, which you can take as a multivitamin.
Alongside incorporating vitamins into your diet, adding certain bioregulators can encourage the body’s natural production of substances necessary for a healthy immune system.
High Dose Carnosine
Carnosine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in our brains and muscles, as well as in meat and fish. It possesses powerful antioxidant capabilities that help protect cells from damage. It is also thought to reduce the effects of aging, including increasing memory and concentration.
A healthy sleep pattern is essential for our health and functioning immune system. After all, when we are tired, our bodies cannot fight off infection as effectively. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain that helps regulate our sleep cycle.
In addition, melatonin has been shown to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. It can also stimulate T-helper cell production, which are white blood cells that play a vital role in our immune system .
Parathyroid Peptide Bioregulators
Calcium is necessary for many processes within our bodies, including cell communication and muscle function. Parathyroid peptide bioregulators lead an important role in the regulation of calcium levels and help reduce peptide deficiency.
Parathyroid peptide bioregulators also help to improve our immunity by increasing the production of cytokines, which are molecules that help fight infection .
Other Natural Supplements to Aid Immune System Function
If taking natural supplements to aid immunity is something you are interested in, there are many different options available. Some other natural supplements that can be used to improve immunity include:
- Natural desiccated thyroid extract
- Thymus regulator (peptide)
- Thyroid peptides
Final Thoughts on How to Improve Your Immune System: Natural Ways to Boost Immunity
While there is no ‘right’ way to improve your immune system, these tips may help you naturally boost your immunity to keep your body healthy and strong. It is important to remember that the points outlined in this article are not a cure but instead a way to support your overall health.
If you are concerned about your health or have any underlying medical conditions, it is always best to speak with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.
If you like the idea of adding natural supplements into your daily routine to aid your body’s immunity, be sure to look through our range of immune support products. Our selection has been mindfully curated with your immune system in mind and is available to purchase on our sister site.
In text references:
Stress, Illness and the Immune System | Simply Psychology
Water, Hydration and Health – PMC (nih.gov)
 Melatonin, immune function and aging – PMC (nih.gov)
A role for parathyroid hormone-related protein in the pathogenesis of inflammatory/autoimmune diseases – PubMed (nih.gov)