People with diabetes must take extra care in leading a healthy lifestyle. High blood sugar levels brought about by unhealthy habits or “immune system busters” can weaken the immune system. Here are some immune system boosters people with diabetes should adopt:
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc that help strengthen the immune system. These include berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Exercise results in positive changes in antibodies and white blood cells, as well as slows down the release of stress hormones that can weaken your immune system. A sedentary person is more likely to get colds than someone who exercises regularly. Exercise can also boost your body’s “feel-good chemicals” (endorphins) and help you sleep better, both of which are good for your immune system.
Keep your weight healthy. Being overweight weakens your immune response against bacterial and viral infections and also diminishes responsiveness to some vaccinations.
Get enough sleep. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses, such as the common cold or flu virus. Inadequate sleep can also hamper recovery from illnesses.
Drink alcohol moderately. Excessive alcohol intake can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to viral infections.
Don’t smoke. Smoking makes you more susceptible to infections such as pneumonia and influenza. Smokers usually suffer more severe and longer-lasting illnesses. They also have lower levels of protective antioxidants such as vitamin C.
Manage stress. Long-term stress results in production of stress hormones that suppress the immune system. Manage stress by learning to relax and meditate, connecting with family and friends, exercising to release tension, and having a sense of humor.
Shop at Watsons for immune-boosting vitamin supplements and other essential healthcare products. Talk to your doctor for more information on how to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
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