The immune system plays a crucial role in helping us fend off attacks from viruses and bacteria. Here’s how lifestyle and diet can enhance your immune system’s ability to shield you from diseases.
How Diet Can Boost The Immune System
Get sufficient vitamins: Nutrition is our primary protection in the battle against infection. Key soldiers in the fight include minerals like zinc, iron, and selenium and vitamins like A, C, E, B6, D.
Some foods that are dense in these vitamins include sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, almonds, strawberries, salmon, avocados, oysters, tuna, and lean chicken breast.
The reason many of these vitamins help maintain a robust immune system is that they are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce the effects of free radicals, which are harmful chemicals that damage genetic material and healthy cells, giving viruses a better hand at reproducing, invading, and compromising our immune system . Antioxidants work to buffer this effect by counteracting the harm caused by free radicals and help our immune system treat, prevent, and suppress viral activity.
According to HHP (Harvard Health Publishing), you need to get at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to prevent getting ill. Not sufficient can have detrimental effects on your T-cells., which dispatch disease-fighting antibodies to bacteria and viruses and are a vital part of the immune system.
Protein also contains large amounts of zinc, which is a mineral that fights infection, and that aids in the production of white blood cells. Right places to find lean protein include chicken, seafood, turkey, beans, and eggs.
Consume prebiotic foods
Prebiotics are present in foods such as garlic, onion, asparagus, and banana. They help in maintaining a balanced gut microbiome, which is a crucial player in how your immune system works. Prebiotics function by increasing the population of “good bacteria” in the gut, which in turn sparks the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, which are little proteins that help the immune system work.
Eat the rainbow
A simple way — though not essential — to make sure you’re getting enough immune-boosting vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals are to eat the rainbow.
This includes a rainbow of vegetables and fruits like potatoes, red apples, grapes or cherries; sweet potatoes, orange, mango pumpkin, tangerines or yams; broccoli, green kiwi, olives, limes or grapes; yellow apples, pears, pineapple or bananas; blueberries, cabbage, kale, raisins or grapes; and tan cauliflower, dates, coconut, sauerkraut or nuts.
The more variety of vegetables and fruits you consume daily builds a broader spectrum of nutrients the body uses to boost its immune system.
How Your Lifestyle Choices Can Boost The Immune System
Sleep, exercise, and keeping smoke-free are surefire ways to give your immune system a higher fighting chance at warding off attackers.
Get sufficient sleep
If you lack sound sleep, you will be more prone to infections since sleep is when your body works it’s hardest to fight infection and inflammation. While at rest, the body is quite functional. During this period, it releases toxins and repairs itself so one can arise feeling rejuvenated. Those that practice irregular sleep habits may struggle with their health simply due to lack of sleep, which can result in chronic inflammation.
This inflammation can overburden the immune system making it less effective at combating bacterial or viral infections. Although the quantity of sleep you will need is highly individual, it’s suggested that most adults get between 7 to 8 hours every night.
Smoking increases the chances of developing infections by destroying antibodies from our bloodstream. Antibodies are protein substances produced by the immune system to fight foreign bodies. Smoking cigarettes also damages your lung’s ability to heal infection as well as damaging lung tissue.
Starting and staying active has been known to help the immune system. A 2019 study found that exercise has an array of benefits, including improving immune regulation and decreasing inflammation, which can minimize the adverse effects of aging. The study also found that regular exercise can reduce the risk of sickness.
It is also pertinent to remember that handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent infections from bacteria or viruses. It may not strengthen your immune system, but it can help keep you protected, nevertheless. You must wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after any risky exposure such as preparing food, caring for a sick loved one, treating a wound, or when you have an active cold, sneezing, coughing, or runny nose.
Step Out In The Sun
Soaking in the natural light is one of the crucial contributors to the production of Vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is vital for the healthy functioning of your immune system as it helps the body to produce antibodies. A low level of Vitamin D in the body has been termed as one of the major causes of respiratory infections. A brisk walk in the sunlight for 15–20 minutes will ensure that enough Vitamin D is produced in the body.
Emylee is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, Ayurvedic, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.