Health & Wellness Articles

6 Steps to Strengthen Your Immune System

Boost Your Body's Defenses


5. Quit Smoking
In an older but still relevant study published in the 1983 edition of the Medical Journal of Australia, immune system markers in 35 smokers were analyzed before they quit smoking and then again three months after they had quit. Compared with a control group who continued to smoke, the ex-smokers had significant, positive changes in many measurements of their immune systems. Smoking and using tobacco products contributes to a host of health problems, and this is one more you can add to your list for reasons to quit.

6. Consume Alcohol in Moderation
Chronic alcohol abuse is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as the use of alcoholic beverages despite negative consequences. Besides the social and economic consequences of chronic alcohol abuse, a 1998 article in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research states that alcohol abuse can also cause lead to immunodeficiency, making you more susceptible to bacterial pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other communicable diseases. But the moderate use of alcohol (one drink daily for women, and two for men) has not been associated with negative effects on the immune system. In fact, according to a 2007 article in the British Journal of Nutrition, there is an increasing body of evidence linking health benefits linked with moderate consumption of polyphenol-rich alcoholic beverages, like wine or beer. The article states that, while heavy alcohol use can suppress the immune response, “moderate alcohol consumption seems to have a beneficial impact on the immune system compared to alcohol abuse or abstinence.” So for the time being, the advice remains: everything in moderation.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • Sleep and stress??? Have too much of one and not enough of the other!!! - 10/13/2015 4:04:38 PM
  • LOL

    Pre the article I was doing pretty good with improving my immune system until today . . . and then I had wine.


    - 10/10/2015 11:39:49 PM
  • Keep in mind that most of your immune system is in your gut. Healthy gut equals healthy everything.

    The foods that make you fat ALSO ruin your immune system. Obesity is a symptom NOT a cause.

    The biggest culprits are the empty calories in grains and starches. Most people think that they only need to cut out sugar to improve their health, but it's almost impossible to cut JUST sugars. You'll be starving, crabby, and having constant cravings.

    Starch is the enemy - it feeds all the wrong gut bacteria, makes your body store energy as fat instead of using it, and gives you almost no nutritional bang for your caloric buck! - 10/10/2015 8:34:47 PM
  • BERCH1981
    Share with you the 4 best ways to support your immune system naturally, that will help you have better health and lower health care costs.
    turally.html - 2/5/2015 7:45:42 AM
  • SSMITH7606
    Now, more than ever it's vitally important to support your immune system. You can find an amazing assortment of premium, high quality, all natural nutritional supplements to support immune defense (Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Colloidal Silver, Green Tea Extract, SUPER ANTIOXIDANT OPC and more): http://www.antiag
    upport.html - 11/3/2014 6:01:29 PM
    I was hoping for something more. My son has struggled with a weak immune system most of his life, and none of this is going to help him. - 10/24/2014 8:25:20 AM
  • What a fantastic naturopathic website! Thanks so much for the referral. - 9/28/2014 10:31:54 AM
    Great information provided. In addition I have also came across a great article that focuses on ways to check if you have a low immune system as well as how to boost your immune system.Thought it would be worth the share: http://www.drdnat
    Enjoy! - 12/4/2013 11:21:28 AM
  • I still recall that when I was a smoker I ALWAYS had to stop when I got a cold or the flu.
    - 11/3/2013 8:31:54 PM
  • ...duh. Fluff piece. - 1/15/2013 6:52:31 PM
  • Pretty much things in moderation & not to abuse our bodies with smoking & alcohol - makes sense. - 9/8/2012 10:13:26 PM
  • Really enjoyed this article! The 6 tips were great! Definetely will put them to practice! Good thing I am not a smoker, so that is one less thing to worry about! - 2/23/2012 10:42:16 AM
  • Definitely need to follow this advice! - 12/8/2011 10:24:25 PM
  • Good article! Clearly I need to find ways to stress less and exercise more. I'm glad to see that I'm doing most of the other things right. - 12/8/2011 11:09:28 AM
    Great article. I know we have heard so much of this info before, just need to apply it! I catch colds way too often, now I have some immune ammo to build up my body with. hugs deb - 8/29/2011 6:28:22 PM

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