It is especially important for workers in industrial settings to have a strong immune system which is the key to staying healthy.
Having a strong immune system is the key to staying healthy. This is especially true for workers in many industrial settings. For instance, meatpacking and waste disposal are two industrial work environments where the spread of disease is a constant threat.
While strict safety measures and adherence to workplace protocol are essential for preventing widespread infection among employees, it doesn’t hurt if your workers have the means to naturally fight off bacterial and viral threats. Having healthy employees reduces the chances of sickness spreading throughout your workforce.
Leaders working in industrial sectors where the threat of disease is present can provide employees with the following information in order to help them have stronger immune systems:
What is the Immune System?
The immune system is your body’s defense system. When your body detects a foreign invader, like a bacteria or virus, it sends out signals to the white blood cells to fight these invaders.
Even though our immune system is located throughout our body, the main portion of our immune system is located in our gut. The bacteria in our gut are very important to our immune system and overall health.
Our gut bacteria are collectively known as the gut microbiome, which consists of good and bad gut bacteria. The more good gut bacteria you have, the healthier your gut microbiome is, and the stronger your immune system is. Due to the potential synergistic effects of probiotics with vitamin D, employers may want to encourage workers to take a vitamin D blood test in order to evaluate their gut health. This can serve as a jumping-off point towards getting to the bottom of any disruptions in the gut contributing to a poor immune system. Consider compensating them for the cost of the test as a way to further motivate their involvement.
You can get good gut bacteria from eating the right foods and from taking probiotics. The healthier your diet, the more good gut bacteria you will have.
An unhealthy diet full of fatty foods, oils, and junk food will create bad gut bacteria. The more bad gut bacteria you have, the fewer good gut bacteria will survive, and the weaker your immune system is.
Taking probiotics can help populate your gut microbiome with healthy gut bacteria. By introducing good gut bacteria into your body, they will start to grow and flourish, pushing out the bad gut bacteria. This is how taking probiotic pills helps promote immune health.
Prebiotics and a Healthy Diet
Prebiotics are what the good gut bacteria need to eat in order to multiply and thrive. The more prebiotic foods you eat, the healthier your gut microbiome becomes.
Fiber is probably the most important food you can eat to make sure the good gut bacteria will flourish and overtake the bad gut bacteria. The best foods for a strong immune system are plant foods. Animal foods like meat and dairy have no fiber. You can only get fiber from plant foods like:
- Fruit like bananas, blueberries, and apples
- Garlic, onions, and leeks
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Whole grains
Getting good quality sleep is important for a strong immune system. When you’re run down and tired all of the time, the immune system weakens. It is recommended that we get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
While we sleep, our body repairs and prepares itself for the next battle with viruses and bacteria. During sleep, our immune system makes and releases cytokines, a protein that is part of our immune system, and important to fight off illnesses.
Exercising approximately 150 minutes per week strengthens our immune system. When you exercise, it causes antibodies and white blood cells to circulate more rapidly throughout your body. This helps the immune system find and attack invading viruses and bacteria quicker, so they can take care of them before you get sick.
Exercise also reduces stress, and stress weakens the immune system. When you suffer from chronic stress, your immune system becomes weaker. Reducing stress is a great way to boost your immune system.