Our immune system plays a crucial role in fighting off illnesses or infections. Sadly, most people don’t pay as much attention to it as they should.
The human immune system is quite complex as it involves many vital organs and cells that work together to achieve immunity.
To put things into perspective, think of a choir. For a member to give a performance that deserves a standing ovation, they all need to sing in harmony. You don’t want one vocal range singing faster or louder than they’re supposed to.
Every single musician in that choir needs to sing according to plan. The same applies to your immune system.
Your immune system’s cells are located in the skin, tissues, bone marrow, blood, and other organs.
In layman’s terms, your immune system controls what gets into your body and what’s supposed to stay out. When the immune system is weak, viruses and bacteria will have a field day.
What indicates that you have a strong immune system?
Your body demonstrates that the immune system is working in various ways. For example, after a mosquito bite, you develop a red, bumpy, and often itchy spot on your skin. That’s a sign of your immune system at work.
Luckily, there are a few ways you can ensure that the cells work in harmony and your immune system is strong.
Some people find it quite hard to boost the immune system. Why? Because they don’t practice the following steps.
Get Plenty of Quality Sleep
Most people don’t realize that sleep has a close relationship with their immune function. You might say that you’re way too busy working tirelessly to earn a living, but what use is that cash if you’ll end up spending it all on healthcare?
Your body heals and repairs broken cells in your sleep. More importantly, your body produces and distributes vital immunity cells when your body is resting.
A lack of quality and adequate sleep has been attributed to lowering immunity. Adults who sleep for less than six hours per night are more likely to catch a common cold compared to those who sleep for six or more.
Getting adequate and quality sleep gives your body a chance to boost natural immunity.
It makes sense then that doctors recommend you sleep more when sick. Your immune system is able to fight the disease better.
Adults are recommended to get a minimum of seven hours sleep every night. As for teenagers, they should aim for 8-10 hours, while infants should sleep for up to 14 hours.
If your efforts to get enough quality sleep always fail, cease your screen time at least one hour before bed. The blue light from smartphones and laptops can interrupt your natural sleep and circadian rhythm.
Ensure you go to bed at the same time every day, sleep in a completely dark room or wear a sleep mask to bed.
Watch Your Diet
Ever heard of “Garbage In, Garbage Out”? When it comes to your immune system, what you feed your body directly affects its ability to perform well.
The nutrients obtained from your food are vital in helping your immune system function in harmony. Consuming wholesome and unprocessed food will work wonders on your immunity.
Here’s a breakdown of some immunity boosters that you should include in your diet:
|Garlic||Garlic contains a compound known as Allicin, that’s a great immunity booster. The best way to ingest this compound is by eating half a raw garlic clove daily. If that’s not for you, try roasting it.|
|Vitamin C||Adults who consume foods rich in vitamin C enjoy robust immunity. Most common sources of Vitamin C include kiwi fruits, oranges, and broccoli|
|Prebiotics||Gut bacteria helps our bodies fight against infections. Consume prebiotics that contain inulin fiber. Great sources of prebiotics include plantains or green bananas, Jicama root, and Jerusalem artichokes.|
|Antioxidants||Antioxidants are substances that delay or prevent cell damage. Cell damage leads to lowered immunity. To prevent this, consume vegetables and colored fruits, such as spinach, carrots, and berries.|
|Protein||Protein is also essential in boosting immunity, as it contains amino acids. These help build and maintain cells in the body. Chicken breast has been quoted repeatedly as the best source of protein. Also eat more lean meat and vegetable proteins too.|
As you may have already noticed, the key to maintaining a healthy diet for boosting immunity is consuming more plant-based foods. Fruits and green vegetables contain essential nutrients. You can also make smoothies and salads, and eat them as snacks.
Exercise More Often
Regular exercise helps your body develop resilience so it’s easier to fight diseases. At the same time, you also lower the chances of suffering from health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes type 2, and obesity.
Exercise also helps increase the release of endorphins. These are hormones that relieve pain and chronic stress. Endorphins also give you a feeling of euphoria.
Be careful while exercising as long and intense exercise sessions can cause your body harm, lower your immunity, and make you more susceptible to infections and diseases. On the other hand, moderate exercise is ideal for boosting your immunity.
Aim to do at least two and a half hours of jogging, walking, or cycling every week—that’s around 30 minutes per day. Include one hour of high-intensity exercise, such as running, weekly.
For your high-intensity workouts, consume shrooms before training. Medicinal mushrooms have been found to help balance the immune system. They stimulate it when there’s an infection to fight, and deprecate it when it's overactive.
During your workout, shrooms delay body fatigue and boost your mind’s focus.
Always consult a healthcare professional to provide medical advice before introducing supplements into your workout schedule.
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The more physical activity you do, the more your immunity strengthens.
If you want to enjoy even more health benefits, consider exercising outside. Nature has a way of boosting your mood, reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and reinforcing a healthy immune system.
Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol and drugs are arguably your immune system’s biggest enemies.
It’s rather obvious that huge amounts of alcohol have detrimental effects on immune health. If you’re prone to drinking a lot of alcohol, your body is always working hard to detoxify your system. This has negative effects on your immune response.
In simpler terms, excessive consumption of alcohol lowers your body's ability to fight diseases. It also slows down your immune cells’ recovery time.
It’s therefore common to see alcoholics suffering from pneumonia, liver disease, and some cancers.
If you don’t drink alcohol, keep things that way. If you do, keep your consumption low. The recommended amount per day is one glass for women, and two for men.
Cigarettes have the same adverse effects on the immune system as alcohol.
The toxins released into the body while smoking, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide, hinder the growth and performance of immune cells.
Smoking also worsens bacterial and viral infections, and intensifies tuberculosis, pneumonia, and flu. If you’re recovering from a surgical operation, you’re most likely to suffer from post-surgical infections if you smoke.
If you’re a smoker, your immune system will benefit greatly if you stop. You can start counseling or even use nicotine replacement therapy.
Stay Hydrated and Drink A Lot of Fluids
The term “water is life” has been used a lot since all living organisms depend on it for survival. So does your immune system.
Staying hydrated isn’t going to protect you from infections, but will boost your overall health and immune function.
To understand how important water in your body is, you have to know about the lymphatic system. That’s the one responsible for carrying and distributing immune cells in the body.
Lymph fluid is largely made of water. Being dehydrated affects the function of the lymph and leads to a weakened immune system.
Dehydration also causes headaches and affects many functions, such as digestion, mood, and focus.
You’re constantly losing water in your body even when you’re not exercising or sweating. That’s right. Besides urinating, you also lose water just by breathing.
You need to replace this lost water as much as possible. Make sure you drink about 8 glasses—half a gallon—of water per day.
For those of you who find it hard to drink plain water, consider other healthy fluids such as soups and broth.
Limit the number of juices and fizzy drinks you consume as sugar content affects your immune system negatively.
Consume Natural Immunity Boosters
Most times, people are willing to go out of their way and give their all to boost their immune response.
Here are some extra natural measures to boost your immune system:
- Dietary Supplements: Most adults lack vitamin D because they barely spend time in the sun. Go out as often as you can. If that’s not easy, incorporate a daily dose of vitamin D supplements into your diet. Taking vitamin C also reduces the duration of a common cold.
- Essential Oils: Some natural essential oils, such as tea tree and eucalyptus oils, contain antiviral properties. These can help boost your immune system. You can inhale them using an oil diffuser or use them as hand sanitizer. Lavender essential oil has also been found to have a calming effect that can help improve the quality of sleep and reduce anxiety.
Ready to Have a Healthy Immune System?
To improve the quality of your life and ensure positive body health, be kind to your immune system. The steps we’ve covered above will help strengthen your immune system. Visit our shop for more immunity-boosting supplements.
Ask your doctor to include an immune system check during your annual visit, you’ll be glad you did.