Surprising Ways to Boost Your Immunity, Inside and Out
Between a new skincare collection focused on boosting skin’s immunity (that would be the new and improved SKINLONGEVITY Collection, which helps strengthen skin’s barrier) and just, you know, reading the news, we’ve been thinking about immunity quite a bit, and we know we’re not alone in that. By this point in adulthood, you may already understand just how important it is to eat balanced meals, drink plenty of water and get your nightly rest. But if you’re keen on exploring other ways you can go above and beyond when it comes to skin and the immune system, consider incorporating the following advice into your life.*
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is incredibly important, but it’s also kind of tricky to get enough of it. In fact, it’s estimated that 1 billion people across the globe are deficient in this vital nutrient.
“This vitamin is involved in various functions in your body from immune support to bone and muscle health to metabolism. Numerous studies and trials have demonstrated strong evidence of vitamin D not only being essential for immune function, but also in preventing heart disease and promoting bone health,” says Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist with the Allergy & Asthma Network.
She recommends taking a daily dose of 1000 to 2000 mcg if you’re low, live in a place with little sunlight, or aren’t going outside often. Your doctor can also help you determine if you need a vitamin D boost and prescribe accordingly.
While You’re at It, Take a Multi-Vitamin
Generally speaking, it’s notoriously tricky to get a good balance of vitamins and nutrients. Eating an assort of colorful, raw produce, lean meats and proteins is a great start, but a multivitamin can supplement those efforts.
Dr. Parikh says, “You don’t need a mega supplement, but a multivitamin should be taken daily. Most one-a-day multivitamins are good, but make sure they include vitamin C, zinc, calcium, and/or vitamin D.”
Spend Some Time in Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber
It may sound a little out there, but hyperbaric oxygen chambers might have a positive impact on your body’s immunity.
“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry, and an increase in blood oxygen helps to promote healing and fight infection,” explains Dr. Jason Emer, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills, CA. “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also help increase circulation and oxygenation, triggering repaired blood vessels, increasing collagen production, and improving skin cell turn over.”
Research is still underway, but the FDA has cleared the use of HBOT for treating decompression sickness by divers, and for treating certain pulmonary diseases. Additionally, studies have found promising results when using HBOT for skin rejuvenation and photoaging and cognitive function.
Try Slathering On Topical Turmeric
You know turmeric as the vibrant yellow herb that’s been a trendy favorite for the past few years. While some trends are just clever marketing, turmeric actually lives up to the hype when it comes to skin and the immune system.
“Turmeric is rich in antioxidants, which means it helps fight against free radicals and repair skin damage while also preventing future damage. This is because curcumin [an active compound found in turmeric] changes the immune system response and blocks enzymes that cause inflammation and irritation at the skin level,” says Dr. Emer.
He adds that studies, such as this one from the NIH and this one from the American Association for Cancer Research, have even shown that turmeric targets cancer cells at the skin level, thereby improving the healthy function of your skin’s protective cells.
Sit Back and Relax — However and Whenever You Can
Not only is taking some “you time” a great boon to your mental health, but it’s also been proven to improve your physical health. Studies have demonstrated that ongoing stress can both lower your immunity levels and hinder your body’s ability to heal — a double whammy that can lead to getting sick more often, and staying sick for longer.
Fortunately, there are enough ways to practice TLC for everyone to find something they enjoy. For example:
· Hanging out with furry friends: consider adopting or serving as a foster home.
· Having more (safe) sex: studies indicate a correlation between sexual frequency and the number of protective antibodies in your system to ward of colds, flus and viruses. That said, the risk outweigh the benefits if you’re having unsafe sex.
· Meditation and mindfulness: studies also show that simply taking some time to breathe deeply, meditate, or be more mindful can be beneficial in protecting your immune system. To you this might also look like taking a bubble bath, diving into a good book, or soaking in the pool.
· Spending time in nature: Numerous studies have demonstrated that spending more time in nature settings can boost your body’s immunity, reducing your chances of experiencing numerous diseases, depression, cancer and even obesity. This is your cue to go camping, plan a hike, or just have a picnic on the grass at a local park.
This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Before taking any medications, over-the-counter drugs, supplements or herbs, or obtaining any treatment, consult a physician.