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6 Tips to Make Your Immune System Bulletproof

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Many people wonder how best to give their immune system a boost. But have you ever wondered how to help your body fight off illness?

Well, here’s the thing: Optimizing your immunity is usually easier said than done. Nevertheless, making some changes to your lifestyle and diet can help strengthen your body’s defense system and fight off pathogens.

This article discusses six tips that can help make your immune system bulletproof.

1. Get adequate sleep

There’s a close tie between sleep and immunity. Conversely, poor sleep increases your susceptibility to illness.

A study involving 164 adults with no underlying health conditions found that those who had less than 6 hours of sleep per night had a higher chance of catching a cold than those who slept up to 6 hours or more each night (1).

Getting enough rest may boost your natural immunity. Also, humans sleep more when they are sick. This gives our immune system the much-needed rest and boosts to fight off the illness (2).

As an adult, you need up to 7 hours of sleep each night to help your immune system function at optimal capacity. Teenagers need no less than 8–10 hours of sleep, while infants should aim for 14 hours minimum (3).

If you struggle to sleep at night, try staying away from the screens at least an hour before bed. Your TV, phone, and computer emit blue light, which may distort your body’s circadian rhythm (4).

Other ways you can sleep better include sleeping in a dark room, using a face mask when asleep, or going to bed at the same time every night (3). Regular exercise also helps.

2. Enrich your diet with whole plant foods

Whole plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and seeds are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that may give your immune system a better chance against pathogens.

These antioxidants fight off free radicals, thus helping to decrease inflammation. Free radicals are unstable compounds that cause inflammation when they accumulate to high levels in your body (5).

Chronic inflammation is associated with many health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and some form of cancer.

It is important to note that the fiber in plant foods serves as nutrients for your gut microbiome. The gut microbiome refers to your gut flora, that is, the healthy bacteria that live in your gut. A healthy gut microbiome can boost your immunity and prevent harmful pathogens into your body through your digestive tract (6).

It is also worth mentioning that vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamin C and other nutrients, which may protect you against the common cold (7).

3. Eat healthy fats

Healthy fats can increase your body’s immune response to pathogens. It does this by decreasing inflammation. Healthy fats are found in food like salmon and oil.

Although low-level inflammation is a normal response to injury or stress, chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system (8).

Olive oil has very potent anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it is associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil can protect your body against viruses and harmful bacteria (9, 10).

Omega-3 fatty acids in foods like chia seeds and salmon also protect your body against inflammation (11).

4. Supplement with probiotics or eat fermented foods

Fermented foods contain plenty of probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that populate your digestive tract (12).

Examples of foods rich in beneficial bacteria include sauerkraut, natto, kefir, and kimchi.

Studies have shown that a healthy population of gut bacteria can help your immune cells to differentiate between healthy, normal cells and harmful pathogens (13).

If you don’t include fermented foods in your diet regularly, then you may opt for probiotic supplements.

5. Limit your intake of added sugars

Current research suggests that refined carbs and added sugars may make disproportionate contributions to obesity and overweight (15, 16).

Obesity, on its part, increases your risk of falling ill.

An observational study involving 1000 people who administered the flu vaccine found that those who were obese and administered the flu vaccine were twice as likely to have the flu compared to non-obese individuals who received the vaccine (17).

Reducing your sugar intake can aid weight loss and decrease inflammation. This reduces your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes (18, 19).

Given that heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity can weaken your immune system, reducing the amount of added sugars you take boosts your immune system (17, 20, 21).

Your sugar intake should contribute less than 5% of your daily calories. That’s about two tablespoons of sugar for a 2000-calorie diet.

6. Moderate exercise is important

Did you know that moderate exercise is an immune system booster?

Well, studies have shown that even just one session of moderate exercise can make a vaccine more effective in people whose immune systems have been compromised (22).

It is also worth mentioning that moderate exercise reduces inflammation and enhances the regeneration of your immune cells (22).

Moderate exercise includes steady bicycling, brisk walking, light hiking, swimming, and jogging. You must aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly (23).


You can strengthen your immune system by making several changes to your diet and lifestyle. These include exercising regularly, reducing your sugar intake, and getting enough sleep, among others.

Sure, these suggestions do not prevent COVID-19, but they can strengthen your body’s defenses against other harmful pathogens and give your body a fighting chance if you are infected with COVID-19.

Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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