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How to Keep My Immune System Up During Menses

by
author image Helen Holzer
Helen Holzer is a veteran journalist who began writing in 1972 and has lived all over the country. She has written and edited on nearly every topic for major daily newspapers and other publications. She has also been a book reviewer and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota.
How to Keep My Immune System Up During Menses
Exercise and an iron-rich diet keep you fit during menses. Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

During menses, or menstruation, a female sheds blood during her monthly cycle. This period can be draining for many girls and women, and they do not feel their best. The body can be particularly receptive to outside factors during the menstrual cycle, such as stress and immune system cell changes, notes the United States National Library of Medicine. The body goes through its cyclic repair during menses, as the many molecular and cellular interactions that are part of menstruation take place. Keeping your body healthy and your immune system at its strongest is especially important at “that time of the month.”

Step 1

Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Build up your immune system by following several life strategies. Eat a healthy diet. Get regular exercise. If you smoke, try a cessation program. Drink only in moderation. Sleep seven to eight hours each night. Wash your hands frequently. See your doctor regularly.

Step 2

Begin a healthy diet routine featuring regular nourishment and nutrients. The malnourished have always been more susceptible to disease, yet there are still few studies that prove proper nutrition improves our immune system, notes Harvard Health Publications.

Menstruation requires the intake of more iron-rich foods, such as spinach, nuts, beans, peppers, peas, tofu, fish, poultry and beef.

Step 3

Add vitamins to your diet to assist your immune system in fighting microorganisms. Try selenium, which has been shown to fight some cancers. Take vitamin A for fighting infectious diseases. Avoid possible bacterial infections by taking vitamin B2. Vitamin B6 deficiency can lower the immune response, while vitamin D has been effective in fighting off tuberculosis. Take 15 to 25 mg of zinc daily to keep your immune cells healthy.

Step 4

Exercise regularly. Exercise contributes to general good health just like a healthy diet. It promotes good circulation, which allows the immune system to do its job more efficiently.

Employ each of the three types of exercise to achieve physical fitness. These include flexibility for gentle stretching, such as tai chi or yoga, and strengthening workouts for isometric or isotonic resistance. Cardiovascular exercise involves aerobic rhythmic activities like dancing, swimming, cycling or walking.

Step 5

Cut down on stress. Chronic stress takes a toll on the immune system. Although everyone's markers for stress are different, continued worry affects sleep and relaxation. Take some time each day for a favorite activity that will relax you, such as reading, aromatherapy or listening to music.

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