Contributed by: Healthians Team
If you are trying to boost your immune system, chances are someone — your mom, your best friend, the internet — has shared some out-there immunity tips meant to help. But before you shrug these off as immunity myths, it is important to gather all the relevant information about the immune system.
Ways to Boost Immunity
Your immune system is your first line of defence against common cold, flu or other cold-weather illness. A well-working immune system aids in healing and overall health by producing millions of antibodies to kill germs such as bacteria, micro-organisms, viruses, fungi, and toxins (chemicals made by microbes). An underactive or overactive immune system can lead to allergic diseases, immune deficiencies and autoimmune disorders.
Let’s explore the various parts of the immune system along with steps that act as an immunity booster.
Parts of the immune system
The immune system comprises of
- white blood cells
- complement system
- lymphatic system
- bone marrow
Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system
Doctors and scientists all over the world have identified immunity as the internal police force which is vital to life. Yet most people often take it for granted and don’t give it a second thought.
Adopting healthy habits can keep your immune system ticking along well and can help you acquire the right ammunition to fight bacteria and viruses. So how can you support your immune system and balance its response so you are less vulnerable to diseases?
If you are contemplating some healthy living strategies that you can implement in your everyday life to ensure that your immune system keeps running smoothly, read on:
- Quit smoking.
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy body mass.
- Avoid alcohol or consume it only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep, as sleep is a natural immunity booster
- Exercise regularly to help your immune system do its job more efficiently.
- Manage your stress levels and focus on mind/body wellness.
- Practice relaxation methods, breathing practices, yoga asanas and meditation practises.
- Make sure you’re up-to-date on vaccines.
- Enjoy moderate exposure (15-30 minutes) to mid-day sunlight a few times each week
There is significant evidence indicating that the foods you eat can enhance your body’s innate ability to stay healthy and give you a well-working immune system. A diet that is lacking in one or more nutrients can severely impair the production and activity of immune cells and antibodies. Hippocrates rightly said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” While bolstering your immunity is easier said than done, consuming immunity-boosting foods help you fight harmful pathogens, and strengthen your body’s natural defences.
If you are contemplating some healthy eating strategies that you can implement in your everyday diet to ensure that your immune system keeps running smoothly, read on:
- Eat more whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants so that you get an upper hand against harmful pathogens.
- Eat more healthy fats, like those found in olive oil and salmon, in order to boost your body’s immune response to pathogens by decreasing inflammation.
- Eat more fermented foods like yoghurt, buttermilk, kimchi, kombucha, idli, pickles etc. or take probiotics that are rich in beneficial bacteria.
- Limit added sugars and refined carbs as it may contribute disproportionately to overweight and obesity.
- Sip some immune-boosting teas like turmeric teas, ginger teas, chamomile teas, liquorice root teas, peppermint teas etc. as these are high in antioxidants, and often contain beneficial properties.
Immunity is your body’s defence against various infections and diseases. By eating a well-balanced diet with foods of all groups included in your plate, and following some lifestyle modifications, you can help your immune system take care of you.
If you often fall sick, feel fatigued, have frequent infections, or have other nagging symptoms you can’t figure out, you may have a weakened immune system. To figure out what’s going on with your health, it is important to consult your doctor.
The doctor may advise a blood test in order to determine if you have typical levels of infection-fighting proteins in your blood and measure the levels of blood cells and immune system cells.