Healthy Immune Systems:
4 Best Practices for Men
Getting sick, even with an innocuous common cold, can severely disrupt your day-to-day life
October 20, 2021
It starts as a tickle in the back of the throat or slight congestion in your nostrils. You play it off as a reaction to dust or a flare-up of allergies, and forge ahead with your day. But it grows in size – slowly at first. Then, after you wake up from that first night’s sleep, it hits you like a dump truck.
Support your immune system with these best practices to strengthen your body’s defences.
Getting sick is always surprising, always ominous and always unwelcome. This is especially true in the past year-and-a-half, as getting sick – even with an innocuous common cold – can severely disrupt your day-to-day life. What can men do to avoid these unwelcome interruptions?
Ultimately, there’s nothing you can do that will 100% protect you from getting sick. Rather, you have to view your immune system as a defence mechanism, like a castle gate, in need of continual maintenance and refortification.
4 best practices for supporting a healthy immune system
The Usual Suspects: Diet and Exercise
Doctors often recommend diet and exercise as a universal panacea for all your bodily troubles. They aren’t wrong. Multiple studies show in clear terms that exercise helps support a healthy immune system.
Physical activity appears to achieve its immune-boosting capabilities in a roundabout way. It contributes to general health by lowering your blood pressure, lowering stress, improving heart health and controlling weight. In turn, these general health benefits may prime your body to fight infections.
‘You have to view your immune system as a defence mechanism, like a castle gate, in need of continual maintenance and refortification.’
Diet is crucial too. Your body needs various nutrients and micronutrients to aid in the production and activity of immune cells and antibodies. Experts recommend foods rich in probiotics, prebiotics and micronutrients like vitamin C, vitamin D, iron and zinc.
Sip on Chaga Tea
Another best practice is to take a cue from ancient practices. For centuries (millennia, probably), humans have used the chaga mushroom to support a healthy immune system. A superstar in East Asian herbalist practices, chaga has recently caught on here in the West too, and you can now find organic chaga mushroom powder online in easy-to-dose packets.
Chaga also contains abundant antioxidants and nutrients, including the nutrients mentioned in the “diet” section above: vitamins C and D, zinc and iron. Just mix a packet of powder into your morning coffee or hot water, add whatever sweeteners or dairies you like, and help your body support its natural immune response.
Take it Easy on Alcohol
Studies on alcohol and the immune system draw a clear link between binge drinking and lowered immune responses. Experts are usually quick to point out that moderate to minimal alcohol consumption does not generally affect your immune system (and may even have overall health benefits). So before you head out for that wild Friday night, remember to think about your immune system.
‘Experts recommend foods rich in probiotics, prebiotics and micronutrients like vitamin C, vitamin D, iron and zinc.’
The last practice on this list is both the easiest and the hardest: relax. Research shows that stress can negatively affect your body’s immune response. Next time you get worked up over something small – a work deadline, relationship spat or rush hour traffic – remember to breathe.
There are several other things you can do to support your immune system, but the four best practices above are the perfect place to start. You can’t cure the common cold, but you can strengthen your defences against it.
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Who is the author, and do they have any conflicts of interest in promoting chaga mushroom powder?