The following 5 things will keep your aging immune system as strong as possible for as long as possible:
1. If you smoke, do everything to stop: If you smoke, quit now. It’s hard to do, but this is the single greatest, avoidable negative influence on your immune system. . . . If your immune system is your Superman that shields you from tiny invaders, smoking is its kryptonite. It destroys antioxidants in your blood, increases autoimmune responses and kills antibodies — your body’s fighter cells that stay on alert for infection.
2. Keep drinking under control: Avoid excessive alcohol consumption — that means five or more drinks on one occasion during five or more days in a 30-day period. Not only does drinking too much limit immunity-boosting nutrients in your body, but it also lowers your white blood cell’s ability to kill germs. Drinking boosts your risk of infection. While excessive drinking is detrimental, occasional consumption of red wine, in small amounts, is compatible with the anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet plan.
3. Don’t worship the sun: Avoid exposing your skin to too much sunlight. While vitamin D from sunlight does help support healthy immune function, too much UV radiation can alter your DNA, ultimately boosting your risk of cancer. You also may get more cold sores.
4. Limit your exposure to chemicals and carcinogens: It’s good to limit your exposure to other carcinogens as well. Avoid burning coal and or cooking too much with charcoal. Also avoid man-made chemicals, including hydrocarbons, as much as possible.
5. If you’re overweight, lose those extra pounds: It’s well known that carrying too much weight puts your body at greater risk in many ways. A weakened immune system is one result.