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Today, more than ever before the world has realized the importance of having a sound immune system. Nothing seems more important than to nourish a healthy immune system, in today’s diseased world.
Everyone wishes to have a body strong enough to defeat the disease. People are ready to give it all to save themselves and their loved ones from the prevalent deadly virus. If you belong to the same group of people, this article might give your efforts the right direction.
Immunity is defined as the complex system that recognizes the self, to keep it safe. And recognizes the foreign, to fight against it. A strong immune system does not guarantee not getting a disease, but an efficient fight against it.
Immunity is of two types; innate immunity and acquired immunity. Innate immunity is the first line of defense from pathogens (harmful agents). This is usually achieved through protective barriers like skin, mucus, gastric acids, and fighting cells.
On the other hand, acquired immunity is something the body learns. The body cells learn to recognize pathogens and then create antibodies against them.
Both of these immunities can be strengthened by following a healthy lifestyle.
Ways To Boost Immunity
The idea of boosting one’s immunity sounds enticing. But you need to realize that a whole complex system works together to bring about a stronger body. So nourishing a healthy immune system means achieving harmony and balance.
1. Eat Healthy
Like most of the other workers in the body, your fighting soldier cells march on your stomach. Your body needs energy to function properly, and so does your immune system. Providing sufficient energy through food will keep all your body functions working smoothly. Therefore, people on very calorie-restricted diets often have a compromised immune system.
Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains might be the general rule of achieving better immunity. But looking closely at the foods you eat and monitoring the consumption of essential micronutrients will help you a bundle.
You need to take surplus amounts of Vitamin C, E, A, and D and zinc, iron, and selenium. This will do wonders for you and your immune system. Moreover, researches show that the nutrients are better absorbed if taken through diet than if taken through supplements. So a healthy diet should be preferred over immunity-boosting supplements.
The probiotics and prebiotics in your diet also help in maintaining a healthy gut. This, in turn, shows its effect in the form of a healthy immune system
Although little research is done on the relation between nutrition and immunity. Scientists have long established that people who live in poverty and compromised situations are more vulnerable to infection and disease. Evidence also suggests, the deficiency of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E — alter immune responses in animals. Usually the same applies to human beings.
2. Exercise Regularly
Just like a healthy diet, exercise contributes to overall health. Hence, playing an important role in fighting diseases.
Regular exercise improves your cardiovascular health, helps control your body weight, and lowers your blood pressure. These things alone can help you in keeping diseases at bay.
If you exercise regularly, it will improve your immunity by improving circulation in the body. This will cause your fighting cells to reach anywhere in the body with much ease and do their job efficiently.
Exercise also helps in lowering your stress levels, which directly influences the strength of the immune system.
3. Don’t Stress
Have you ever laughed at people trying to divert their minds from the illness they are suffering? Well, their tactic was right all along. Combating stress is absolutely essential to nourish a healthy immune system. If you are ill, stressing over it will only worsen your situation.
Stress whether momentary or chronic compromises your immune system. Stress induces a stress response in the body. This stress response mechanism suppresses the immune responses.
Stress releases cortisol and cortisol reduces inflammation. Slight inflammation is essentially needed to activate white blood cells and the immune system. This proves the harm that stress causes to your immunity.
A relaxed mind and a giggle or two is not only good for your mood but for your overall health. A study found that when people laugh aloud their immune system starts to work better. Whether it results in less illness or not, is yet to be discovered.
4. Stay Hydrated
Your body constantly loses water, even when you are asleep. Even if you are not sweating you lose water through your breath, urine, and feces. To balance this water loss you need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated is of undeniable importance, to maintain a healthy body. Water is also essential to boost immunity.
Your circulatory system has a fluid called lymph. Lymph carries the infection-fighting cells around the body. Lymph is mostly made up of water, making water an essential component of your immune system. Dehydration can lead to poor circulation in the body resulting in an impaired immune system.
5. Sleep Tight
Sleeping is often considered a sign of laziness and the importance of good sleep is often undermined in achieving good health.
You may consider sleeping as a time of inability and inactivity but during sleep, your body carries out various important processes. Your body produces infection-fighting molecules while asleep.
Studies also suggest that people with poor sleep and irregular sleeping schedules are more prone to infection and disease. Moreover, sleep also helps in recovering from an illness. Therefore, doctors suggest sleeping after taking a medicine.
Your body is the home you will always reside in, so it is your duty to keep it clean and healthy. Disease doesn’t come informed. So it is important to be prepared to fight it. The importance of strong immunity and ways that might help you to nourish a healthy immune system, can best be explained if you consult a doctor. The following two tabs change content below.
She is a nutrition graduate from Kinnaird College, Lahore. She is a nutritionist by profession. Her interests lie in medical research and writing. She masters in all topics related to nutrition and health.