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Protecting Your Immune System for Longevity

A necessary part of your longevity is the health of your immune system. As long as it stays in good shape and you are active in protecting it, it will help you stay alive. With age, it naturally weakens and becomes less able to fight off disease.

Your immune system is complex and has many parts to it. Each part of it works together with other parts to identify, target, attack, and destroy various bacteria and viruses that would cause harm. Aging can cause parts of it to fail to work as they should. Once your immune system becomes weak, you become susceptible to inflammation and a wide range of diseases – some of which can kill you. 

Identifying A Compromised Immune System

A weak immune system, also referred to as a compromised immune system, can easily be identified. When it is weak, you will catch a cold easily, possibly getting one after another, wounds will not heal fast, you will have allergies and be sensitive to various things, and your joints will likely ache because of inflammation. 

The T-cells in your body, which are a crucial part of your immune system, do not increase in number. With time, more of them become designated to attack only specific types of infections, which means there are fewer of them to be trained to defend against new types of attack. Your body will keep its number about the same throughout your life. As they age, and as other cells age (senescence), they also become slower to respond to an attack, and older cells will help promote inflammation. 

Things That Will Weaken Your Immune System

In addition to your immune system naturally growing weaker with age, some things will also help to weaken it. If you have some lifestyle habits, they will cause your immune system to become even weaker, making you even more susceptible to disease. 

Two of the most common things that will weaken your immune system are tobacco and alcohol. Vaping is also in that category because it also contains chemicals that have similar effects to cigarettes. Other things include a lack of sleep, not enough vitamin D, not enough fruits and vegetables, stress, being overweight, a high-fat diet, and a lack of exercise. 

How to Strengthen Your Immune System

Some researchers think sleep may be the most important element of maintaining a strong immune system. During COVID-19, they found that those people who had less than six hours a night had more severe cases and were more likely to die than those who regularly slept more. 

Exercise at a moderate level is known to increase the effectiveness of the cells that kill viruses. It also helps your muscles release substances that help control inflammation. 

Eating a wide diversity of foods can be an immune system booster and keep gut bacteria strong and diverse. If you only eat a limited diet of hamburgers, fries, sodas, or pizza, it will weaken your immune system. You can help restore it by eating more fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, and more fish and chicken – the Mediterranean diet. 

As you grow older, you must take steps toward protecting your immune system. By making some lifestyle changes, you can give yourself an immune booster and possibly take immune-boosting vitamins to improve your chances for longevity. The sooner you start getting healthier, the better your chances are of living a longer life. 

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