How to Boost your Body`s Defenses
Everyone wants good health and a strong immune system that will help the body fight off illness. I`m sure you do too. Attaining this is not as difficult as you think. You can boost your immune health to fight off illnesses. From diets to lifestyle modification and supplements, you can boost your immune health immensely to protect you from various health challenges.
In this article, we`ll discuss various ways to boost your immune health and strengthen your body’s natural defenses. These dietary and lifestyle tips will help you fight harmful pathogens or disease-causing organisms.
8 Natural Ways to Strengthen your Immunity
Get Enough Sleep
Getting adequate sleep boosts immunity. You should aim to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Teens should aim at 8-10 hours, while guardians should help younger children and infants get up to 14 hours of sleep. Insufficient sleep leads to higher vulnerability to sickness. You probably didn`t know that people who sleep for less than six hours every night are more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep for over six hours per night. Sleeping more when you are sick will allow your immune system to fight the illness better.
If sleep does not come easy for you, try limiting your screen time to an hour before bed. The blue light emitted from your devices may disrupt your circadian rhythm or your body’s natural wake-sleep cycle.
There are some other ways to get adequate sleep: try sleeping in a completely dark room or using a sleep mask. You should also go to bed at the same time every night, and exercise regularly.
Eat More Whole Plant Foods
Consume more plant foods that are rich in antioxidants; they will help you fight against harmful pathogens. Such foods include legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Whole plant foods are particularly rich in fiber and vitamin C. These antioxidants help decrease inflammation by battling unbalanced compounds called free radicals which build up in the body at high levels. Chronic inflammation causes heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain cancers.
The fiber in plant foods also feeds your gut microbiome, which is a community of healthy bacteria in your gut. Your immunity is improved with the help of a robust gut microbiome, and harmful pathogens will be prevented access into your body through the digestive tract.
Subsequent intake of plant foods reduces the duration of the common cold and lowers your susceptibility to illness.
Consume More Healthy Fats
The fats in salmon, chia seeds, and olive oil are super healthy. They boost your body’s immune response to pathogens by decreasing and fighting inflammation. Unlike low-level inflammation, which oftentimes comes as a result of a normal response to stress or injury, chronic inflammation may suppress your immune system.
The highly anti-inflammatory olive oil particularly reduces your risk of having chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It may also help your body fight off harmful disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
Eat More Fermented Foods
Eat more fermented foods or take a probiotic microflora supplement. Kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kimchi are fermented foods that are rich in helpful bacteria called probiotics which populate the digestive tract.
A thriving flow of gut bacteria can help the immune cells differentiate between normal cells, healthy cells, and harmful invader organisms.
You have the option of taking probiotic supplements if you don’t eat fermented foods regularly. The work of fermented foods and probiotics is to strengthen your immune system so that it can identify and eliminate harmful pathogens.
Limit Added Sugars
Being overweight and obese are mostly caused by excessive intake of added sugars and refined carbs. Obesity may particularly increase your risk of getting sick often. You`re advised to restrict your sugar intake so you can lose some weight and reduce inflammation. This way, your risk of chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease will reduce.
Added sugars contribute significantly to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, all of which can overpower your immune system. To boost your immune diet, you should limit your intake of added sugar to less than 5% of your daily calories, which is about 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of sugar for someone on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Engage in Moderate Exercise
You don’t have to make your exercise prolonged or too intense. Regular moderate exercise can boost the success of vaccines in people with compromised immune systems, reduce inflammation, and help immune cells regenerate regularly. Moderate exercises you can try out are swimming, light hiking, biking, brisk walking, cycling, and jogging. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
Dehydration can cause headaches and some health challenges. Even though hydration doesn’t automatically protect you from germs and viruses, it is essential for your overall health. Dehydration can make you lose focus, change your mood, affect digestion, and the proper functioning of the kidney and heart. These complications can increase your exposure to illness. Drink some water already! Here`s how to prevent dehydration:
How to Prevent Dehydration
- Limit your intake of sweetened tea and fruit juice because of the added sugar in it. They are also hydrating but have high sugar content.
- Drink adequate water daily. Water is your best option because it is free of calories, additives, and sugar.
- Older adults should drink water regularly even when they don`t feel thirsty.
- If your body gives you a sign of thirst, drink and stop drinking when you’re no longer thirsty.
- People need more fluids for outside work, intense exercise, and a hot climate.
Manage Stress Levels
One of the keys to great immune health is relieving yourself of stress and anxiety. Long-term stress promotes imbalances in immune cell function, as well as inflammation. Continued psychological stress can also suppress immune responses, particularly in children.
Some Immune Health Facts
- The human`s immune system remembers every microbe it has ever fought and defeated. This implies that if a microbe enters the body a second time, the immune system has a record that helps it to quickly recognize and combat that microbe early and effectively enough
- The immune system comprises two systems: the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. The innate immune system is a component that one has at birth, while the adaptive immune system develops after exposure to microbes and the chemicals released by microbes.
- When you have a fever, it means that your immune system is functioning. A rise in body temperature is a response that your immune system adopts to kill certain microbes and trigger your body’s repair process.
- The immune system doesn’t have a particular location in the body like the heart or the brain. The cells that constitute the immune system are produced in organs all over the body, all working to defend the body.
- The immune system gets weaker as we age because immune system tissues begin to shrink and the white blood cell count and activity also decline.
- The skin and the mucous membrane linings of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and genitourinary tracts serve as the first line of defense against any attack by parasites or microbes.