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4 Things That Weaken Your Immune System

By Donna Stark

We hear an awful lot about how to improve our immune systems during this time of year, but we don't hear much about what can weaken it, do we? And that's a problem, because if we did, we may be able to reduce the risk of catching those darn colds and flu. By learning what to stay away from and maintaining healthy habits each and every day of the week, you may be able to stay out of your doctor's office. Take a look at a few of the things you need to be paying attention to.

Stress

Because stress produces an inflammatory response in the body, it can be temporarily beneficial for fighting germs. But the key word here is temporarily. Persistent, or chronic, stress can actually weaken your immune system and contribute to the illnesses you want to avoid. If you are dealing with excess stress in your life and can't seem to manage it, ask for help. Your immune system will thank you for it.

Sleep Deprivation

Think your sleep has nothing to do with your immunity? Think again. A severe lack of sleep can diminish your body's white blood cells, the first line of defense in your immune system. Don't let your love of binging TV shows put you at an increased risk of getting sick. Get to bed and maintain a consistent sleep schedule from here on out.

Excess Sugar

You need to reduce your sugar intake, but that doesn't mean to stop eating foods that are good for you. The sugar we are talking about here is the processed kind. Processed sugar can compromise the immune cells that target bacteria and can also inhibit your body from absorbing Vitamin C. So, keep eating your fruit, but skip the pre-packaged food, treats, and sodas.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Vitamin C isn't the only nutrient you need to worry about. There are several more that should top your priority list. Take a look at them below and then ask your doctor for advice on how much to take of each.

  • Vitamins A, B6 and 12, D, and E
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Folate
  • Copper
  • Magnesium

Back to the Basics

A healthy lifestyle doesn't require much. Just think back to all the things you were taught from the very beginning ... reduce your stress, get plenty of quality sleep, and eat well. And even though it wasn't mentioned above, don't forget to exercise every day too! By taking these steps, you can increase your chances of surviving the cold and flu season unscathed!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Culver City, Calif. 

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