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I’ve been troubled after reading recently that ‘the single best way to prevent serious illness is to get a flu shot.’ Seriously? Single best way? My mother used to tell me to leave off eating sugar so I wouldn’t catch all the bugs going around. And to put my jacket on so I wouldn’t get chilled and catch a cold! So I’ve been mulling this around in my mind. Finally I set about to do some research. I stumbled upon an interesting article and I’m going to share a little of it here. It’s a special health report from Harvard, “The Truth About Your Immune System.” Here is a summary of what they say is a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.
The idea of boosting your immunity is appealing. Researchers don’t know a lot about the immune response though they have learned that it requires balance and harmony to work right. Because they don’t know a lot about it, they cannot say for sure that there are scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and a better immune function.
Quite a number of researchers are studying the effects of diet, exercise, age, mental stress, herbal supplements, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. They are finding interesting results! However, researchers are also still trying to understand what they are finding!
But they do say the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy is following general good-health guidelines. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental attacks and supported by healthy-living choices such as these:
Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
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.
Based on these studies, they feel they can at least show that some links are likely between a certain lifestyle and an improved immune response. So yes, what you do can make a difference.