Our body is a complex machine, just like any other machine it requires proper maintenance and every mechanism of it should function properly. Immune system is one of such mechanism (a natural self-defense mechanism no less, how cool is that?) of our body that protect us restlessly from millions of micro-organisms and viruses that try to invade our cells and mooch of our vital resources. So, it is essential that we have a strong immunity to keep us healthy.
Here are 9 tips to boost your immunity in a healthy way.
1. Follow a healthy diet
If our body is the machine, food is the fuel. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that a balanced healthy diet is necessary for the proper functioning of immune system. Essential nutrients like Vitamin A, C, E, B6, B12, zinc and iron are key for strong immunity. Our immune system is made up of immune cells and amino acids, otherwise known as proteins are what cells made of.
Vitamin A – Carrots, tuna, sweet potatoes, spinach, red bell peppers, broccoli.
Vitamins B6, B12 – Poultry, Fish, eggs, bread, Oatmeal. Brown-rice.
Vitamin C – Citrus fruits such as lemon, oranges, kiwi, papaya, broccoli, spinach, tomato, sprouts (several studies claim Vitamin C helps fighting against cold and flu infections
Vitamin E – Vegetable oils , nuts such as almonds, peanuts, hazel nuts, sunflower seeds, spinach and broccoli.
Iron – Beans, Baked potatoes, Spinach and other dark leafy vegetables, beef, lamb meat
Zinc-Oysters, poultry, red meat, baked beans, cashews and almonds.
Green leafy veggies like broccoli and spinach contain multiple essential nutrients, it is suggested to include them in your diet.
2. Stay hydrated
About 50 – 70 percentage of our body weight is made up of water. Along with the good diet our bodies need sufficient water for proper absorption of the nutrients we intake and maintain the PH balance of our body. Adult humans must consume at least 4 liters of water throughout the day.
3) Maintain healthy body weight
Being under weight and overweight comes with whole slew of problems. Our body is complex machine where each system is interdependent on each other, so a problem to one system disrupts the functioning of other. BMI is a good indicator to determine if one is at healthy weight.
BMI calculator – https://www.calculator.net/bmi-calculator.html.
18.5 – 25
25 – 30
When you don’t fall under normal weight, it’s time to make healthy diet plan and cut or include some calories accordingly and start doing necessary exercises for your body type suggested by your trainer. You should consult a doctor if you fall in extremes.
4) Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly not only prevents chronic illness like obesity, type-2 diabetes etc. But also releases endorphins which boost mood and control Stress. Stress negatively impacts immune system, so exercising kills two birds with one stone boosting your immune system and making your happy ☺ . Studies also claim that physical activity may make your immune system more active by distributing immune cells throughout your body to look for damaged or infected cells.
5) Manage your stress levels
There is no shortage of problems for a modern adult to stress over, but one has to find ways to manage their stress. Stress produces a chemical called cortisol, in short bouts the chemical is useful to prevent the immune system from responding to unnecessary stimuli. But when the cortisol levels are constantly high, it prevents the immune system from doing its job.
Exercising regularly, proper diet, good sleep schedule, meditating, indulging in your favorite hobbies like watching movies, gaming, socializing can all help in relieving some of the stress.
6) Getting enough sleep
Studies show that sleeping is closely related to the immunity. When sleeping our body regenerates and heals, replacing our immune and other cells, making sleep essential for immunity.
Furthermore, lack of sleep results in stress and higher cortisol level forcing immune system to not function properly.
Children below ages twelve should get 8-9 hours of sleep and adults up to at least 7 hours of sleep and elderly 6 hours to maintain the balance of our body.
The blue light from the mobile and computer screens may cause sleeplessness and disturb our circadian rhythm (sleep – wake up cycle) , hence it is advised to avoid using your electronics at least an hour or 2 before heading to sleep.
7) Stop Smoking
It a known fact that cigarette smoking is injurious to health, aside from the various carcinogenic toxins the nicotine oxides hinder the growth of blood cells. The smoke from cigarette also makes the infections like common cold and flu persist longer than usual. Even passive smoking has severe health risks.
If you don’t smoke, don’t pick the habit up, if you are, it’s time to start taking steps to quit the nasty habit.
8) Moderate consumption of Alcohol
Like cigarettes everyone knows alcohol consumption has negative effects on health. Alcohol is a toxin and our body treats it as poison, excess consumption of alcohol makes the body too busy in detoxifying alcohol to bother with immune system functions.
if you don’t drink, great! Don’t start now. if you are one, consume it moderately. (about 4-8 ounces of wine per day or equivalent)
9) Practice good hygiene
Although good hygiene doesn’t directly help in boosting your immunity, it lowers the risk of getting infected.
Practice not only personal hygiene, keep your surroundings clean too.
Brush your teeth twice day, bath regularly, wash your clothes often and keep your house and surrounding clean.
Simple changes to your lifestyle and diet choices will boost your immune system significantly and help you live healthier and longer.
Note: None of these tips will prevent you from contracting covid-19, but they strengthen your immune system to defend against pathogens.
Stay home as much as possible, practice social distancing, wear a mask when you need to go outside and sanitize your hands to defend yourself against corona.