Human bodies are under constant threat from viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other microbes. These pathogens are invisible to the human eye and are present almost everywhere. They are always looking for a host to grow and multiply. As such, they try to enter our bodies and invade our cells and tissues. Once they get in, they build and multiply in numbers to cause damage, which if not treated in advance, can even prove fatal.
Our bodies are naturally built to fight these germs, and our smart immune system acts as the first line of our defense. The immune system consists of tissues, cells, organs, and proteins throughout the body.
The immune system easily recognizes the foreign cells and tissues. As soon as it spots an invader, it immediately acts to fight against it. Once the battle is over, it even analyses the dead cells and acts to clear them away.
We are bound to get ill and remain unhealthy for longer periods if our immune system is weak and unable to defend us. Without the immune system, even the smallest infections can prove to be fatal for our lives. It is important to keep our immune system strong since a well functioning immune system provides immunity from diseases and keeps you healthy.
The Functioning of the Immune System
The functioning of the immune system is a complicated and detailed process. The immune system gets immediately activated whenever a foreign object enters into our body. It reacts by analyzing the foreign cells and differentiating them from the body cells. It starts producing cells and proteins to fight the invader cells.
These fighter cells, proteins, and tissues then travel throughout the body along with the bloodstream. They kill the pathogens, which are then filtered out with the dead cells. Besides, the immune system also keeps a record of all the microbes which it has once defeated and quickly acts to destroy them using its memory if they enter the body again.
Whenever the immune system gets activated, the B and T cells immediately start producing memory cells, which remain in the body even after the infection is cured and the enemy is defeated. These memory cells store all the information regarding the invaders. When the body is exposed to a similar threat, these memory cells enable the immune system to act quickly and in the best way to kill the pathogen cells even before they start multiplying.
Boosting the Immune System
Our immune system is constantly fighting a lot of battles for us, and it is our job to help it by keeping it as strong as possible. By adopting some healthy behaviors, following the right diet, supplying immunity boosters, we can improve our immunity naturally
Our body is a reflection of whatever you put inside it. The food you eat has a major impact on the way your body will function. So, it is necessary to eat nutritious food and have good dietary habits.
The immune system derives all its energy to work efficiently from the food you eat. Eating a nutrient-filled, low fat, and a plant-based diet can go a long way in improving your immunity. Certain food items that have vitamins, antioxidants, and other minerals can help your immunity more than others.
Some recommended food items that are boon for the human immune system include:
- Citrus Fruits All the citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit amongst others have an abundance of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is the key ingredient in production of white blood cells, which are very important in fighting infections.
- Broccoli is rich in multiple vitamins such as Vitamin A, C and E. Besides, it also has a lot of antioxidants and fiber. All these nutrients make broccoli a great source to strengthen our immune system.
- Garlic Garlics have a staggering 200 chemical compounds within them, including sulphur containing allicin which boosts immunity and helps to fight multiple infections.
- Spinach is rich in Vitamin C, and also has an essential compound known as beta-carotene which work together to enhance the capability of the immune system to fight the attacking infections.
- Bell Peppers Bell peppers, especially the red ones, are a great source of Vitamin C. It has multiple health benefits, including making your skin better, improving your eyesight and strengthening your immunity.
- Ginger The come with a chemical compound that is known as gingerol. Gingerol works similarly to capsaicin by helping to reduce pain and inflammation. It aids the immune system by doing so.
- Turmeric Turmeric is widely used as a spice across the globe, and its anti-inflammatory properties and high antioxidant presence is known to all. It is a rich source of beta-carotene, which improves the immune system’s functioning and capabilities.
- Yogurt Yogurt has a lot of live creatures aka the microbiomes which increase the good bacteria in your gut. These microbiomes stimulate the immune system in our bodies. Besides, it also has Vitamin D which helps in regulating the immunity.
Besides including these immunity encouraging food items in your daily diet, also make sure to cut back on junk and fried food. Avoid aerated drinks such as cola or soda, and rather drink alkaline water, which helps to maintain overall health, reduce inflammation, and increase immunity. You can also try making an alkaline coffee, which has numerous health benefits.
Your body constantly performs so many functions, and thus it needs rest to heal itself. Despite your busy schedules and long working hours, it is very important to rest properly and have a good night’s sleep.
It is advised that one should sleep for at least 8 hours. While sleeping, the body and the immune system get the time to regenerate and be ready for the battles that lie ahead. As per a recent study, it has been found that not getting enough sleep weakens the response of your immune system.
Another research survey has claimed that deprivation of sleep can increase levels of cortisol, which further wears our immune system and makes it weaker. The same study emphasized that young adults who didn’t get 7-8 hours of sleep fall sick to the common flu much easier, even if they are vaccinated.
It is advised to prioritize sleep and consider it an important part of the schedule. With decent sleep and a stronger and better performing immune system, you are sure to observe a positive and healthier change in your lives.
We all know the importance of exercise for the human body. Regular exercise and physical workouts are essential for keeping the body healthy and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.
When you exercise every day, your body releases hormones known as endorphins. These hormones reduce body pain and stress levels. Also, regular physical activity leads to an efficient and effective distribution of immune cells throughout the body, which ensures better functionality of the immune system.
You should target different body parts and do different types of exercises such as aerobics, yoga, strength training, running, playing sports, and cycling. Also, try and work out in a natural environment and fresh air as it helps to lift the mood and reduce blood pressure and inflammation.
Stress is one of the worst enemies of the human body. It is a silent killer that impacts our immune system and leads to various health problems in the long term. A research conducted by scientists has concluded that stress is one of the biggest reasons for most of the chronic diseases.
When you have stress bouts for a long period, your body releases an anti-stress hormone known as cortisol.High levels of cortisol are a hindrance to the functioning of the immune system. Cortisol, which is also the primary stress hormone, blocks the immune system from kickstarting during stress bouts, hence leaving the door open for the pathogens to attack our body cells without much resistance.
Stress management is as important as any physical activity. Both mental and physical health should be taken care of, as they both affect your overall health. You should deal with stress by trying stress-busting techniques and methods to better deal with your daily life struggles. Methods such as yoga, meditation, and chanting work better for stress reduction than any drug. These activities along with soothing music will calm your mind and relax the body.
Also, try spending time with your loved ones, travel, take breaks at regular intervals, remove or control the situations that trigger stress and anxiety, avoid cigarettes and alcohol, and remember to drink plenty of water every day. You can also try drinking alkaline water which gets easily absorbed into cells and detoxifies the body while improving general health.
It is vital to have a strong and efficient immune system to lead a healthy life. The immune system ensures protection from pathogens and microbes like viruses and bacteria and stops them from invading our bodies.
Now that you have a guide to immunity increasing foods and tips on how to easily adopt a healthy lifestyle with good habits such as exercising, stress-relieving, and having proper rest, you can naturally boost your body’s immunity.
In addition to boosting your immune system, adapting to the suggestions mentioned above and taking the right lifestyle choices will also improve your overall happiness and quality of life.