How to Boost Your Immunity Against Diseases
Keeping us safe from various infections and sickness, making sure the body’s immune system is protected and optimized are a must. Check out these dietary and lifestyle suggestions that help strengthen your body’s natural defenses against disease-causing elements.
How the Immune System Works
The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that’s dedicated to protecting your body from foreign bodies that could make you ill. Its main tasks include:
- Eliminating disease-causing germs such as bacteria and viruses
- Neutralizing harmful substances that came from the environment outside the body
How does the immune system work? Without diving into the more technical details, the immune system can be activated by substances that the body doesn’t recognize as its own. These are antigens. When antigens appear, a specific type of immune cell produces antibodies that help tag these antigens as intruders. Once tagged and targeted, killer T cells are sent to eliminate antigens.
Especially in seasons when the body is more exposed or vulnerable to infections and diseases, taking care of the immune system and making sure it does its job well is a must.
Ways to Boost the Body’s Immune System
While you may have no control over your immune system, there are ways you can help optimize how it works and how immediate it responds to threats. Check out these doable ways to boost the body’s immune system.
1. Get Adequate Amounts of Rest
While you are sleeping, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation results in a decrease of production of these protective cytokines, and infection-fighting antibodies and cells are also reduced. This implies that your body needs sleep more than you think it does, to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. To help strengthen the body’s immunity, make sure you get enough sleep according to these recommendations:
- At least 7 hours per night for adults
- 8-10 hours for teens
- Up to 14 hours for children and infants
Having trouble sleeping? Establishing and following a bedtime routine should help. Additionally, make sure to limit screen time (or exposure to blue light) to at least an hour before bed to induce deep sleep that is needed to generate important nutrients to boost your immunity.
2. Be on Top of Stress
In these uncertain times, more and more people are constantly worrying about something because of not having much or any control over the outcome of the situation. Having responsibilities you can’t overcome because of the constant uncertainty can be draining mentally, but what does stress have to do with your immunity to diseases? When you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. It’s a stress hormone that signals your brain to pull off a fight or flight response. When there’s a surge in cortisol levels, certain body functions are paused. And this includes the immune system. This pause ends once the perceived threat has passed.
Stress is not all that bad. In fact, it’s essential to our survival. But when it becomes chronic or prolonged, that’s when it may cause trouble to not just the immune system but your overall health. As best as you can, manage how stressful events impact you with stress-reducing activities such as practicing meditation, doing breathing exercises, socializing with friends and taking breaks every now and then.
3. Move, move, move
Exercise supports heart health and a fit and healthy weight. But the benefits go beyond because regular physical activity also helps improve immune response and minimize inflammation. Make sure you get enough physical activity according to these recommendations:
- At least 150 minutes brisk walking, steady bicycling, or jogging a day for adults,
- Children and teens aged 6-17 years should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity each day, and
- Preschool-aged children aged 3-5 years should be physically active throughout the day for growth and development.
4. Eat & Drink Healthier
Filling up with the nutrients your body needs helps your body function at its best. For your immune system, make sure to have these in your meals regularly.
Munch on Healthy Fats
Chronic inflammation, like stress, can suppress the immune system. That’s why anti-inflammatory foods such as healthy fats in olive oil and omega-3s can be helpful for the immune system. These can be found in fish or other seafood (especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines), nuts and seeds, plant oils (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts), plant oils (such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil) and fortified foods (such as certain brands of eggs, yogurt, juices, milk, and soy beverages).
Eat Your Greens
Fruits and veggies pack a bunch of fiber and, more importantly, antioxidants. Antioxidants fight off free radicals that can damage cells and affect immune response. Some greens that are high in antioxidants are broccoli, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, avocados, beetroot, radish, lettuce, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, collard greens and kale.
Drink More Water
As with other functions in the body, dehydration or fluid loss can impair the immune system. Water helps to carry oxygen to your body cells, which leads to properly functioning systems. It also works in removing toxins from the body, so drinking more of it could help prevent toxins from building up and having a negative impact on your immune system. Keep the 8×8 rule in mind. That’s eight8 8-ounce glasses of water a day or about 2 liters a day to make sure you stay hydrated..
5. Consider Taking Supplements
Along with a proper diet and exercise, supplements can help your body meet the daily recommended nutrition it needs to keep its performance and defenses up. Supplements such as Sodium Ascorbate + Zinc is equipped with Vitamin C and Zinc Plus Tablet Technology that works in two ways: (1) Ensures a stabilized combination of Vitamin C and Zinc, and (2) Provides a convenient, rapidly dissolving tablet that ensures faster absorption.
Sodium Ascorbate + Zinc also assures the correct daily dose of Vitamin C and Zinc for increased body resistance and enhanced immune system. This combination of nutrients, along with proper diet and exercise, play an important role in ensuring a stronger immunity to reduce the risk, severity and duration of infectious diseases.
Read more health features and tips on how to boost the immune system and more.
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.