Your first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:

• Don’t smoke
• Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat
• Exercise regularly
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Control your blood pressure
• If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
• Get adequate sleep
• Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly
• Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category

We often hear about Probiotics being a great way to improve one’s immune system. There are hundreds of different species of bacteria in your digestive tract, which do a bang-up job helping you digest your food. Now researchers, including some at Harvard Medical School, are finding evidence of a relationship between such “good” bacteria and the immune system. So you’ll tend to find that probiotic shakes and mixes are pretty expensive in supermarkets, since the world seems to have become fairly health conscious, this new research seems to be helping them increase their profits and give us the sense we are doing something good for our body. It makes me wonder does it work? Or is it more of a psychological thing?

Malnutrition impairs the immune function. French fries, soft drinks and bourbon don’t build strong white blood cells either. No, it’s those virtuous, self-righteous diets high in fruits, vegetables and nuts that promote immune health, presumably because they’re rich in nutrients the immune system requires. Adequate protein intake is also important.

Medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake, maitake and reishi contain beta-glucans (complex carbohydrates) that enhance immune activity against infections and cancer and reduce allergies (cases of inappropriate immune system activity).

Last but by no means the least-Stress Less!

When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands churn out epinephrine (aka, adrenaline) and cortisol. While acute stress pumps up the immune system, grinding long-term duress taxes it. For instance, psychological stress raises the risk for the common cold and other viruses. Less often, chronic stress can promote a hyper-reactive immune system and aggravate conditions such as allergies, asthma and autoimmune disease.

So if you want to live a long and healthy life where your body can take on anything and everything it is vital to try and maintain a good immune system. Hopefully some of these tips will help.