A strong immune system is pivotal to a healthy body.
With hundreds of viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms entering the body every day, you need a powerful immune system that can take on the incoming attacks and come out victorious.
While the body does all of this on its own, you can do your bit to make sure that your immune system stays strong.
Adopting a few lifestyle and dietary changes can go a long way in boosting your immune system naturally and keep you healthy.
What to do to boost your immune system?
The very first thing that you need to do to help boost your immune system is to eat well.
If you eat well, your body will receive the nutrients it needs to fight with deadly pathogens.
That is why you must include food items in your diet that are known to have medicinal and immunity-boosting properties.
This includes garlic, bone broth, mushrooms, black elderberry, Reishi, Echinacea, Chaga, astragalus, Panax ginseng, etc.
The body doesn’t only need a variety of nutrients, it also needs vitamins in proper amounts for the proper functioning of the immune system.
Consumption of sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, squash, peppers, mangoes, cantaloupe, apricots, liver, milk, pasteurized butter, lard and tallow, cod liver oil, etc. provides Vitamin A that the body needs to fight infectious diseases.
Food rich in Vitamin B6 like ricotta cheese, milk, liver, eggs, avocado, banana, etc. are also important for an immunity boost.
Next comes the most important immunity booster, Vitamin C which is found in citrus fruits, bell peppers, amla, etc.
Sufficient intake of Vitamin C is important to treat infections and prevent them as well.
The body also needs sufficient amounts of Vitamin D, E, and K which can be obtained from salmon, egg yolk, pastured lard, nuts, seeds, animal fats, fermented foods, etc.
The inclusion of the right amount of vitamins is important for good immunity.
Try supplements and probiotics
If you think that you are not getting enough nutrients and vitamins in your diet, you can try taking supplements.
Talk to your doctor if you have a deficiency and he should be able to suggest the right supplements.
In some cases, however, supplements may not be as good as a natural source like in the case of Vitamin D.
Taking probiotics is another way of boosting your immune system. Probiotics improve your gut health where about 70% of the immune cells reside.
Gut flora ‘communicates’ with the immune cells to shape metabolic and immune functions.
Naturally, good gut health is important for your immune system.
Stress not only burdens you psychologically, but it also affects your immunity. The more stressed you are, the weaker is the body’s immunity.
This is no longer a myth. So, if you want to improve your immunity, you have to manage your stress.
Although it is not as easy as saying it, yet it is important if you do not want to fall prey to the pathogens that surround us.
Do whatever it takes to reduce stress and you will surely benefit.
If you want your body to win the fight against disease-causing microbes, you must sleep well.
Not only should you get enough sleep (at least 8 hours for adults), but also good sleep.
Deep sleep helps the body to restore itself. When you sleep, the body works hard to create proteins that are essential for combat.
Less sleep or poor sleep quality can affect the restorative process and your immunity takes a hit. So, good sleep is vital for your immunity.
Try to get enough sleep every day to win the fight.
Hydrate your body
You may be tired of seeing water as a solution to many health problems, but there is no getting away.
Water is way to good health and your immunity is no different.
When you drink enough water, your body can easily flush out toxins that hamper the normal functions of the body.
Moreover, water helps in the production of lymph that aids the transportation of WBCs and other cells of the immune system.
You can also include foods like celery, cucumber, watermelon, etc. that supply water to the body.
However, avoid beverages like coffee, tea, etc.
You may not be a fitness freak, but that doesn’t mean that you will be a sack of potatoes.
Daily exercise is essential if you want to improve your immune system and keep diseases at bay.
A 30-minute daily workout session should be enough. It can be at a gym, at
home, or outdoors.
You can machine train yourself, exercise at home, or walk or play outdoor games.
Anything that works out your body is fine. During exercise, WBCs circulate rapidly. As such, they can reach different parts of the body more easily.
This helps in quick identification of harmful foreign bodies. Also, as you exercise, the body releases endorphins that make you feel good.
This reduces stress and further boosts body immunity.
Note that you shouldn’t strain yourself too much as this can negate the benefits of working out.
Regulate alcohol consumption
If you want your body immunity to stay strong, you must consume only moderate amounts of alcohol.
Excess consumption of alcohol can put up a mammoth task in front of your body systems; they will be busy flushing out toxins when they should be prepping up your body immunity.
Naturally, your body will be too weak to fight infection or recover from an attack.
So, while abstinence isn’t necessary, do not go overboard
with your alcohol consumption.
Smoking has several side-effects on the body, including a poor immune system.
When you smoke, chemicals like nicotine, carbon monoxide, cadmium, nitrogen oxides, etc. are released.
These chemicals hamper the growth and activity of immune cells like B-cells, T-cells, cytokines, etc.
Moreover, smoking can make conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, post-surgical infections, bacterial and viral infections worse.
That is why it is suggested that you quit smoking altogether if you want a strong immune system.