A strong immune system is your body’s defence system and helps individuals fight infections and reduce the risk of contracting highly contagious diseases. The complex system is made up of cells in your skin, blood, bone marrow, tissues, and organs that protect your body against potentially harmful pathogens (like bacteria and viruses), and limit damage from non-infectious agents. With COVID-19 persisting all over the world, having a strong immune system is more important than ever. That’s because your immune system defends you against harmful pathogens such as bacteria and viruses that cause colds and the flu.
Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system
Every individual must make their health a priority and work towards building a strong immunity. Follow these health tips to help strengthen your immunity naturally:
- Have a nutrition-rich diet
Eat a balanced diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Have a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green varieties. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with immunity-boosting capabilities, including key nutrients such as vitamins A and C.
- Be physically active
Remember to exercise regularly; even light exercise will go a long way in releasing the toxins from your body. It is recommended to exercise for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your stamina. If you have not started exercising yet, then it is a good time to start. Regular exercise improves metabolism, which has a direct correlation with body immunity.
- Don’t compromise on sleep
Sleep is a time when your body produces and distributes key immune cells like cytokines, T cells, and interleukin 12. When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system may not do these things as well and weakens your immune system. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and sleep for 7 to 8 hours. Avoid screens and late-night eating before bedtime.
- Stay hydrated
Drink up to 8-10 glasses of water every day, to stay hydrated. Hydration will help flush out the toxins from the body and lower the chances of any infections. Coconut water and fresh fruit juices are also other alternatives.
- De-stress yourself
Long-term stress leads to chronically elevated levels of the steroid hormone cortisol. When cortisol levels are constantly high, it essentially blocks the immune system from doing its job to protect the body against potential threats from germs like viruses and bacteria. Here are a few steps to help relieve your stress:
- Practice meditation
- Pursue a hobby
- Connect with family and friends
- Take breaks
- Listen to music
- Avoid Smoking, alcohol, and other addictive substances
Certain habits like smoking, alcohol consumption, and substance abuse have a direct correlation on your weakened immunity. High levels of alcohol consumption can weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and slow down your recovery time. The toxic chemicals released by cigarette smoke interfere with the growth and function of your immune cells.
- Manage your chronic conditions better
Chronic conditions like asthma, heart disease, and diabetes can affect the immune system and increase the risk of infections. It is essential to take care of your pre-existing conditions and manage them with medicine and precautions.
How good nutrition helps boost your immunity
Good nutrition is fundamental to improving immunity. The immune system is the body’s defence against disease and infection and it has long been established as a factor that influences the function of your immune system. Are you concerned whether you are getting the right amount of nutrients from your diet? Here are a few superfoods that can help boost your immunity:
- Vitamin C: This particular vitamin is a crucial participant in the army of immunity. It helps prevent the common cold. It acts as a powerful antioxidant and protects against damage induced by oxidative stress. It is found in citrus fruits like oranges, berries, and vegetables like broccoli, lemon and spinach.
- Vitamin D: Sunlight is the most natural source of this vitamin however not everyone gets enough sunlight every day. Most people are deficient in Vitamin-D, consult your doctor about taking a Vitamin D supplement.
- Zinc: Zinc is a vital component to WBC (white blood corpuscles) which fights infections. Zinc deficiency often makes one more susceptible to flu, cold, and other viral infections. Seafood, lentils and oatmeal are some good sources of this mineral.
- Turmeric and Garlic: The bright yellow spice, turmeric, contains a compound called curcumin, which boosts the immune function. Garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties which enhances body immunity.
It is time to help each other to increase the awareness about the right ways to boost their immunity naturally with small lifestyle changes. Your family and your health is largely dependent on your immune system and a strong immunity helps ward off many diseases. Start living better for a healthier and stronger life ahead.