We live in a microbial world, which means that we continuously encounter microorganisms that could harm our health, the human immune system comes to our rescue, and it continually defends us against these threats to our survival. It protects our body from harmful substances, germs, and cell changes that might make you ill. As long as our immune system works well, we are healthy and well, but if due for some reason our immune system fails, we will be prone to sickness and disease. It is essential to keep your immune system in check and running smoothly. Medicine may not be in our hands, but prevention is, which is why we bring you five tips to help you increase your immune system.
VITAMINS- ( C, B6, E )
Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. Lack of vitamin C can make you prone to illness and disease. Grapefruits, kale, oranges, strawberries, and bell peppers are some ingredients that contain vitamin C. The best part about this vitamin is that it is present in many fruits and vegetables and so there is no requirement for oral supplements.
Vitamin B6 plays an important role to support the biochemical reactions in our immune system. Foods that are rich in Vitamin B6 include chicken and cold-water fish like tuna and salmon. It is also present in green vegetables and chickpeas.
Vitamin E also helps the body with its powerful antioxidant properties in fighting off infections. Nuts, seeds, and spinach are some foods that are rich in vitamin E.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep and immunity go hand in hand; you cannot have one without the other. Inadequate or poor quality of sleep can result in higher susceptibility to sickness.
In a study done between 164 adults, it was observed that those who slept 6 hours each night were more likely to get sick than those who slept for more than 6 hours each night. You may have noticed that when sick, you tend to sleep a lot, that is because it helps your immune system fight the virus better. Getting adequate rest helps strengthen your natural immunity. If you have trouble sleeping, you can try limiting your screen time, and put your electronic gadget away an hour before going to bed, as the blue light emitted from these gadgets disturb your circadian rhythm.
Adults should sleep at least 7 hours or more each night, teenagers should sleep 8 -10 hours each night, while younger children and infants up to 14 hours.
DAILY DOSE OF MODERATE EXERCISE
Exercise does not mean hitting the gym or gaining muscles. Daily jogging, yoga, or stretching exercise, helps in burning extra fat and calories, keeps you fit, enables you to sweat which helps in the removal of toxins in the body and skin, and also improves your blood circulation, making it easier for immune cells and other infection-fighting substances as they travel more quickly through the body.
Engaging in daily exercise also helps you drink more water which is very beneficial for the immune system. Studies have shown that even a daily 30 min exercise routine is more than enough to help stimulate your immune system.
WATER is the key to eliminating most of your body problems. Water helps your body remove waste, through defecation, urination, and perspiration. It helps in digestion and helps prevent maladies, helps in keeping you hydrated, keeps your brain functioning optimally, and also keeps your cardiovascular system healthy. Water also protects your joints, spinal cord, and tissues, staying hydrated helps retain optimal moisture levels in the blood, bones, and brain and keeps your body temperature regulated.
There are different types of water that you can choose to stay hydrated –
Alkaline water- contains more hydroxide than hydrogen ions. Contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium which help in neutralizing toxic compounds in the body. Alkaline water strengthens your bones, alters the quality of blood, detoxifies, and helps make your immune system stronger.
Lemon water- Lemons are rich in a variety of nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. It helps ward off diseases and infections, improves your immune system, helps with wound healing, and helps relieve or prevent nausea.
Warm water- Helps in healthier digestion as it breaks down food faster, detoxifies the body, acts as a vasodilator, helps in losing excess weight, and gets rid of nasal or throat congestion.
Stress is nobody’s friend. It drains your ability to stay healthy. Studies show when the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced, it makes us more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system. So try and eliminate stress as much as possible. You can try stress busters such as breathing exercises, counting, walks, naps, massages, etc.
SOME OTHER TIPS
- Do not smoke.
- In case you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Take steps to avoid infections.
- Eat a balanced diet, with lots of fruits and green vegetables.
- Meditation helps keep calm and eliminate stress.
- Check your sleep timings. Please do not go to bed late; it alters your schedule.
- Try and get your vitamins naturally without supplements.