Lately, boosting the body’s immune system and being healthy has become a hot topic and a matter of great concern. But, how do you become healthy? How can you boost your body’s natural defences?
Understanding Body’s Immune System
Your body has a built-in fighting mechanism called the immune system that defends against the disease-causing microorganisms. If this system fails, the microorganism can invade successfully and you get sick. But, can you improve or boost your immune system to prevent your body from falling prey to infectious diseases? Science does not have a certain answer yet. However, making some changes and following a healthy lifestyle is a good way to give your immune system an upper hand in such situations.
Immune System and Your Age
With age, the immune system of people becomes weak and they become prone to getting infectious diseases and cancer. The exact reason for this is not yet known, but scientists speculate the decrease in T cells or the inefficiency of bone marrow to produce stem cells for the immune system as possible causes. Another possible reason could be “micronutrient malnutrition” that occurs mainly due to consumption of a less diverse diet.
What to Do for Strengthening Your Immune
The best way to strengthen your body’s natural defences is to adopt positive habits and lead a healthier lifestyle. That’s why the following suggestions on improving the immune system are centred on the basic formulas of focusing on nutrition, getting moderate exercise and staying away from unhealthy habits.
1. Don’t Drink or Smoke
Smoking, drinking and other intoxicants are bad for your immune system. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, cataract and a host of other conditions. Similarly, alcohol consumption has been linked to pulmonary diseases, including tuberculosis, respiratory syncytial virus and ARDS. It also impairs the function of immune cells, i.e. alveolar macrophages and neutrophils. Therefore, even though the task may be tough, quitting smoking and drinking is the best option for your long-term health and better immune system.
2. Limit Your Stress
Long-term stress is not good for your immune system and it also promotes inflammation. It is especially bad for children. However, there are several ways, including meditation, yoga, journaling, psychotherapy and more, which can help you manage your stress.
3. Get Good Sleep
You may have noticed that when you get a cold or fever, your body requires more sleep and it, eventually, helps in the recovery process. This is a testament to the importance of having good sleep for an improved immune system. As a helpful benchmark, a minimum of 7 hours of sleep for adults and 8 to 10 hours for teenagers is recommended.
You should also focus on the quality of sleep. The biggest threat to it is the blue-light that the screens of our digital devices emit. It can adversely affect your circadian rhythm and, consequently, your sleep cycle. Hence, make sure to avoid the use of digital screens for one-hour before going to sleep. You can utilize this time by engaging in good habits like reading or practising meditation.
4. Stay Hydrated
Hydration does not necessarily provide you with extra tools to fight-off harmful germs or microorganisms, but it is crucial for the maintenance of vital processes like digestion, kidney and heart function. Drinking adequate fluids could make you less vulnerable to sickness by keeping the body systems healthy and thus, promotes good health and a healthy immune system.
5. Eat More Whole Plant Foods
Eating whole plant foods is good for your immune system. Sources like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and seeds provide antioxidants and fibre to your body that can help combat inflammation and promote healthy gut-bacteria respectively. This eventually helps in the betterment of your overall health and body’s ability to defend it.
6. Exercise Regularly
Regular moderate exercise is an essential part of healthy living, as it improves your cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure and protects against several diseases. It contributes towards a healthier immune system by promoting good circulation and hence, allows the cells of the immune system move through the body in a free and efficient manner.
7. Eat More Healthy Fats
Healthy fats like those found in olive oil, salmon and chia seeds are also associated with anti-inflammatory properties and a healthier immune system. This is because chronic inflammation suppresses your immune system and therefore, the intake of healthy fats like Omega 3 fatty acids that help fight inflammation becomes crucial.
8. Wash Your Hands
You should actively take steps to avoid infection and keep your health in a good condition. Steps like washing your hands and cooking meats thoroughly can help you with that and prevent harmful microorganisms from entering your body as well.
9. Health Supplements
As per available evidence, deficiency of essential vitamins or minerals like Zinc, selenium, iron, copper, Vitamin A, B6, C and E can alter the immune responses in animals. Even though there is no evidence yet for the same in humans, nutrient deficiency is a great health concern. If a person is nutrient deficient, taking vital supplements (after consulting a practising physician) is a good idea. It would help in the proper functioning of your vital bodily processes and also boost your immune health.
The bottom line is that giving up bad habits and adopting a healthy lifestyle is crucial for a healthy immune system. Focusing on getting adequate nutrients is also important, as people often ignore it. Having supplements from trusted brands like Protinex can solve such a problem. Protinex provides you with adequate protein and other nutrients so that your body gets the kind of nutrition it deserves and your immunity also stays in a good condition.