Having a sound immune system has received greater importance since COVID 19 has begun to affect our lives. The body’s immune system is built with your blood, bone marrow, tissues, and skin cells. All of them collectively protect your body against illness, disease, potentially harmful pathogens, and noninfectious agents like cancer, sunburn, etc. Having a strong immune system keeps your body’s first line of defense prepared to protect yourself from illness. Peptides are an essential constituent of a strong immune system.
Here are seven ways in which you can boost your immune system:
Eating a healthy diet
The nutrient consumption from food, mainly from plant-based foods like fruits, herbs, vegetables, and spices, helps make the immune system function properly. According to doctors of medicine, plant-based foods also have antimicrobial and antiviral properties which help us fight infections. For instance, spices like cinnamon, clove, cumin, oregano have antiviral and antimicrobial properties that prevent food spoiling bacterias like Bacillus subtilis and harmful fungus-like Aspergillus flavus to spread in our body. According to a study, vitamin C increases the possibility of infection. The human body does not produce essential water-based vitamins on its own, so we need to make those vitamins reach our body through citrus fruits like oranges, kiwi, etc. Doctors nowadays suggest that more than 80% of our immune system is in our gut. Protein is also essential to have good immune health. The amino acids present in protein help the body improve immune cells’ functioning and increase its ability to fight infection. Having a wholesome diet and has anti-processed foods and antioxidants improves the immune system to a great extent. Having a rich diet can also reduce inflammation and promote good gut bacteria’s growth to develop a strong immune system within the body. To improve the immune system, one should focus on consuming fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, legumes, healthy fats, and whole grains.
Many theories prove why working out regularly is essential for developing your immune system. Exercising helps flush out bacteria and reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and viral and bacterial infections. Working out also increases the release of endorphins, which reduces feelings of pain and increases pleasure. It is an excellent way of managing stress. An adult should either indulge in high-intensity aerobic exercises like running for about 75 minutes a week or do medium-intensity aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, or cycling for at least 150 minutes a week. Adults who do strength training at least twice a week have found it helpful for the immune system.
Don’t forget to shower.
It is essential to shower after working out because, in addition to the foul smell, the sweat left on your skin lets the growth of bacteria. Sweat helps in breeding fungus is like yeast infections. So any abrasions on your skin are prone to infection. Hence to avoid them, you must shower after exercising.
We know it is easier said than done, but you need to reduce your stress level. Stress affects the body’s immune response and produces the extra level of cortisol and cytokines, increasing information in your body. Long-term stress can lead to an increased level of the steroid hormone cortisol, which blocks the immune system from performing its job to protect your body against the threat of germs like viruses and bacteria. To reduce your stress, try at least one short-term stress-reducing activity every day. If you have just begun doing stress-release activities, you don’t need to spend too much time on it in the beginning. Just spend 5 minutes of your time every day. As you begin to like it, you will automatically increase your time towards it. Yoga and meditation are also beneficial in calming the nervous system and reducing stress, which reduces your body’s inflammation.
Sleeping well is the natural report system of the body. You must sleep well for your body to heal and develop a healthy immune response. To state it more precisely, you must sleep at a particular time when the body produces and distributes critical important immune cells like cytokines and T cells; it is a type of white blood cell that regulates the body’s immune response. If you do not get enough sleep, the body will not be able to protect itself from harmful infections and viruses, making your immune system weak. Studies show that adults with a healthy sleep schedule can better fight diseases than people who had insomnia despite getting vaccinated against flu. The body depends on a whole night’s sleep and rests on replenishing the cells and the proteins.
Bring your alcohol consumption to a moderate level.
A higher amount of alcohol consumption associates with adverse health effects and reduces immune function. When you drink too much alcohol, the body becomes busy detoxifying as a system rather than making the normal immune system function. Consumption of alcohol can lead to face diseases like pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, liver diseases, and certain types of cancer to a great extent. If you don’t drink yet, do not start. Doctors recommend that social drinking for women includes a 4-ounce glass of wine, and for a man, it is two glasses of wine.
Give up smoking
Smoking cigarettes can also affect the immune system of your body like alcohol. Cigarettes contain carbon monoxide nitrogen oxides, cadmium, and nicotine, interfering with your immune cells’ growth and function like T cells, B cells, and cytokines. Smoking has a high adverse effect on bacterial and viral infections, especially lung associated diseases like tuberculosis, pneumonia, and flu. If you are a smoker, many resources and practices might help you eliminate the habit. Also, remember to avoid secondhand smoking (passive smoking) whenever possible.
The immune system of the body is like an orchestra. To have a good show, you need every musician to play the instruments properly. Similarly, to have a healthy immune system, you need everybody component to function correctly.