All You Need To Know About The Immune System

You may be wondering how to help your body fight infections if you want to improve your immunological health.While improving your immunity is easier said than done, making a few dietary and lifestyle modifications can help you enhance your body's natural defenses and fight disease-causing germs.

Here are 9 natural ways to boost your immunity.

1. Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep and immunity are inextricably linked.

A study of 164 healthy people found that those who slept less than 6 hours per night were more likely to acquire a cold than those who slept 6 hours or more each night.

Getting enough sleep might help to boost your natural immunity. When you're unwell, you may need to sleep more to help your immune system combat the condition. Adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, while teenagers require 8-10 hours and smaller children and newborns require up to 14 hours. 

If you're having difficulties sleeping, consider restricting screen time for an hour before bedtime, since the blue light generated by your phone might make it difficult to fall asleep. Sleeping in a fully dark environment is another sleep hygiene suggestion.

2. Increase your Intake of Whole Plant Foods

Whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are high in nutrients and antioxidants, which may help you fight diseases. Antioxidants in these foods aid in the reduction of inflammation by combating unstable chemicals known as free radicals, which may cause inflammation when they build up in high concentrations in the body.

Meanwhile, the fiber in plant meals supports your gut microbiome, which is your gut's colony of beneficial bacteria. Healthy gut microbiota can boost your immunity and prevent viruses from entering your body through your intestines.Additionally, fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients like vitamin C, which may help to shorten the duration of a cold.

3. Increase your Intake of Healthy Fats

Healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil and salmon, can help your body fight germs by reducing inflammation.Although low-level inflammation is a typical reaction to stress or injury, persistent inflammation can cause your immune system to be suppressed.

Olive oil's anti-inflammatory properties have been related to a lower incidence of chronic illnesses including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory characteristics may aid your body in fighting dangerous germs and viruses that cause sickness.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in salmon and chia seeds, are also anti-inflammatory.

4. Take a Probiotic Supplement or Eat More Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are high in probiotics, which are healthy microorganisms that fill your digestive tract.According to research, a thriving network of gut bacteria can aid immune cells in distinguishing between normal, healthy cells and hazardous invading species.In a three-month trial of 126 children, those who consumed just 2.4 ounces (70 mL) of fermented milk daily had around 20% fewer pediatric infectious illnesses than those who did not.

Those who supplemented with probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis had a greater immune response and lower levels of the virus in their nasal mucus than a control group in a 28-day trial of 152 patients infected with rhinovirus.

5. Keep Added Sugars to a Minimum

According to new studies, added sugars and processed carbohydrates may have a disproportionate role in overweight and obesity.Sugar restriction can reduce inflammation and promote weight reduction, lowering your risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Limiting added sugars is a crucial aspect of an immune-boosting diet since obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease may all damage your immune system.Sugar consumption should be kept to less than 5% of total calories consumed each day. For someone on a 2,000-calorie diet, this is around 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of sugar.

6. Exercise Moderately

Although vigorous activity for lengthy periods of time might depress your immune system, moderate exercise can strengthen it.According to studies, even a single session of moderate exercise can improve vaccination efficiency in patients with impaired immune systems.Furthermore, frequent, moderate exercise may help your immune cells rebuild and minimize inflammation.

Brisk walking, steady bicycling, running, swimming, and gentle trekking are all examples of moderate exercise. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week for most people.

7. Drink Plenty of Water

Dehydration can induce headaches and impair your physical performance, attention, temperament, digestion, and heart and renal function, among other things. These issues might make you more vulnerable to sickness.

To avoid dehydration, drink enough water each day to make your urine pale yellow. Water is suggested since it is calorie-free, additive-free, and sugar-free.While tea and juice are both hydrating, fruit juice and sweetened tea should be used in moderation due to their high sugar content.It's vital to remember that as people become older, their bodies stop signaling thirst properly, and they lose the desire to drink. Even if they do not feel thirsty, older folks should drink on a regular basis.

8. Take Control of Your Stress Levels

Stress and anxiety relief are essential for immunological health.Long-term stress causes inflammation and immune cell function abnormalities. Long-term psychological stress, in particular, can inhibit the immunological response in youngsters.Meditation, exercise, writing, yoga, and other mindfulness practices are some of the activities that may help you manage your stress. Seeing a qualified counselor or therapist, whether remotely or in person, may also be beneficial.

9. Choose your Supplements Carefully

There is no evidence to recommend the use of any supplement to prevent or treat COVID-19, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

However, some research suggests that taking the following substances will help your body's overall immune response:

  • Vitamin C - Taking 1,000–2,000 mg of vitamin C per day shortened the duration of colds by 8% in adults and 14% in children, according to a study of over 11,000 participants. 

  • Vitamin D deficiency can raise your risk of becoming sick, so taking supplements can help. Taking vitamin D when your levels are already enough, however, does not appear to give any further advantages.

  • Zinc - Supplementing with more than 75 mg of zinc per day shortened the duration of the common cold by 33% in a study of 575 patients with the common cold.

  • Elderberry - According to one short review, elderberry can help with viral upper respiratory infections, but further research is needed.

  • Echinacea - In a study of over 700 participants, it was shown that those who took echinacea recovered from colds somewhat faster than those who got a placebo or no therapy, although the difference was minor.

  • Garlic - Supplementing with garlic decreased the frequency of the common cold by roughly 30% in a high-quality 12-week trial including 146 participants. More research, however, is required.

The Bottom Line

You may enhance your immune system by making a few lifestyle and nutritional modifications right away.Reducing your sugar intake, remaining hydrated, exercising frequently, getting enough sleep, and managing your stress levels are just a few of them. Although none of these tips can protect you from COVID-19, they will help your body's defenses against hazardous microorganisms and opportunistic pathogens.


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