Now more than ever, keeping an eye on your immunity is part of everyone’s routine. As we get older, our immunity systems naturally get weaker, and it’s essential for us to ensure that we’re consuming our needed nutrients, getting regular check-ups, and staying active. If you’re one of those people who get sick easily, it could either be linked to bad habits that you have to quit, or you could be suffering from vitamin deficiencies that are actively affecting your immune system. Here’s how to naturally and easily strengthen your body’s ability to combat illnesses.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Your body will not be able to fight off infections if it doesn’t get its needed rest. Recent studies show that poor quality of sleep is linked to the susceptibility of catching illnesses. If you tend to sleep six hours or less, you may want to speak to your doctor if you’re taking any medications or supplements that may be interrupting your sleep. On the other hand, if you’re naturally insomniac, there are natural ways that help you induce a state of rest, such as consuming herbal teas and meditating. If, however, these natural methods don’t work for you, you may want to consult your physician about using sleeping aids.

You may also try limiting your screen time before bed, as the blue light emitted from television and phone screens can harm your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. That said, if you have a habit of sleeping through your alarms, you might want to leave your curtains open, seeing as natural light is nature’s best alarm system.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Veggies aren’t just nutritious for children. Whole plant food, including fruits, legumes, nuts, vegetables as well as seeds are packed with antioxidants, which are known to fight off the free radicals in your body and thus prevent inflammation and illness. If not controlled, inflammation can become chronic and can be a cause of a myriad of serious medical conditions including cancer, heart disease, and dementia.

On the other hand, it’s not just the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants in these superfoods that help boost your immunity. These foods are loaded with fiber, which aids in maintaining a healthy gut. When you’re on a fiber-rich diet, a healthy gut microbiome fights off pathogens from infecting you through your digestive tract. That said, fruits and vegetables contain great amounts of vitamin C, which naturally boosts your immunity and keeps common illnesses at bay.

Take Supplements

Supplements are a great way to keep your health in check. You should always speak to your doctor if you’re always feeling drained or unwell to see if you have any vitamin deficiencies that you may take a supplement for. One of the most common deficiencies that affect the average sedentary individual is vitamin D deficiency, and while you can always take a pill for that, you can also head outside and enjoy some sunlight. The nutritionists of stress the importance of opting for natural solutions that are easily absorbed by your body, and steering clear from any supplements that may contain harmful additives such as flavor, artificial sugar, and preservatives.

That said, if you’re not big on swallowing pills, supplements come in various other forms, such as gummy bears and chewable pills. If you’d like to opt for something that specifically targets your immune system, always go for vitamin C and E.

Stay Away From Stress

Avoiding stress in our day and age is pretty much impossible, but there are always ways to reduce our exposure to it. If your work environment tends to be loud and stressful, take your headphones with you to block out the noise. If any particular people in your life bring you down, try to stay away from them for a while.

Although it’s all easier said than done, you want to avoid letting the stress snowball, and instead give yourself a break from anything or anyone that may be stressing you out more than usual. Make sure you enjoy your days off and to treat yourself with a vacation every once in a while if you can.

Making sure you get enough sleep and that you include all your needed nutrients in your diet is crucial to keeping your immunity system in its best shape. While supplements are a great option for those who may suffer vitamin and mineral deficiencies, you’ll want to incorporate leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits into your diet if you want to see a significant improvement in your body’s ability to fight off infections.