Wondering why every person has different outcomes when infected with the same virus? While some people remain asymptomatic, some have mild symptoms, some are hospitalized while some fail to survive. What are the mechanisms driving this massive diversity? While this needs more research, medical suggest that apart from existing medical conditions an individual’s immune system has an essential role to play. The stronger your immune system, the less chance you’ll have of falling ill and if you do, the quicker you will recover. It is crucial to boost your immune system, as it protects your body from harmful substances, germs, and cell changes that could make a person sick.
Strengthen your immunity
Having a healthy immune system ready to fight off any germs and infections has become even more important now than ever before due to the pandemic. Your immune system gets older just like every cell and system in your body does, reducing your body’s ability to fight infection as you age and making the elderly more prone to illness. Several dietary and lifestyle changes can help strengthen your body’s natural defenses, however, this is a slow process and does not happen overnight. Adapting good and healthy habits can significantly benefit our immune function to work better. Some health tips include:
- Manage stress
High levels of stress weakens your immunity. Take steps to cope with stress better, take up meditation, yoga, exercise, enjoy a hobby, and other practices that can help keep your immune system functioning properly.
- Sleep well
Inadequate or poor-quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness. Getting adequate rest helps repair your body and strengthen your natural immunity. Adults should aim to get 7 or more hours of sleep each night.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
Excessive tobacco consumption and drinking alcohol impairs immune health and increases vulnerability to lung infections.
- Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can boost your mood and improve sleep quality. Both of these factors are vital to improving immunity.
- Stay hydrated
Drinking water helps improve your body’s immunity as staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate the bacteria and toxins that cause infection.
- Eat plant-based foods
Whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich in nutrients, antioxidants and fibre and help fight harmful pathogens.
- Eat more healthy fats
Healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3s are highly anti-inflammatory. Since chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, these fats help fight diseases.
- Limit added sugars
Added sugars contribute significantly to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, all of which can suppress your immune system.
- Maintain personal hygiene
Washing hands and feet thoroughly can help you stay at bay from cold and infections.
- Regular health checkups
It is important to take out time to schedule regular health checkups. Health conditions like asthma, diabetes, cholesterol, health diseases, etc can affect the immune system.
Immunity boosting foods
Several superfoods have been used for ages in India to help boost your immunity. Here are some of the common kitchen ingredients that when used regularly, help strengthen your immune system:
- Turmeric or Haldi – Most of its immunity-boosting properties come from curcumin, a compound it contains that has strong anti-inflammatory effects.
- Pepper – Piperine, the compound in the spice, is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that cleanses the body of harmful toxins.
- Tulsi – Also called the holy basil, its antiviral and antibacterial properties are believed to relieve fevers, headaches, sore throats, and cough. Besides boosting immunity, tulsi is also said to improve digestion and help with respiratory ailments.
- Amla – A rich source of Vitamin C, amla is known to boost immunity by increasing the body’s white blood cell count and help prevent viral infections like the flu.
- Cinnamon – It is loaded with antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is said to help reduce the risk of infections and diseases. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of cinnamon make it a strong immunity booster.
- Honey – Organic raw honey contains numerous medicinal properties, is antibacterial and also boosts gut immunity. It can be used as a substitute for refined sugar and is known to increase your immunity and cleanse the digestive system.
Choose to eat healthier, adapt healthy living practices, stay fit as maintaining a strong immunity is a life-long process. Your immunity helps protect you from getting life-threatening infectious diseases.