HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY
Building immunity means building the natural resistance of your body against the disease-causing pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The food you eat and the lifestyle you follow is what defines your immunity. Including whole plant foods like fruits, nuts, vegetables, legumes, and seeds that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants in your diet, defend your body from the attack of harmful free radicals.
Stress, irregular sleep patterns, disordered food habits, lack of exercise, and age factors are equally responsible for the loss of your immunity. Taking care of your lifestyle is essential in making your body immune to disease-causing pathogens.
- Have a balanced diet
A balanced diet is a mixture of all the essential vitamins and nutrients that are required for healthy living. Immunity can be built naturally by including foods that are rich in antioxidants in your diet. Health bars containing rich nutrients and fibres can also help your body’s defence mechanism.
Here are some of the key ingredients that you must include in your diet to boost your immunity
Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters. It increases the production of infection-fighting white cells and increases the levels of antibodies thereby preventing infections. You can include citrus fruits, oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, chickpeas, pumpkins, and broccoli in your diet to increase your Vitamin C levels. Daily intake of this vitamin is essential for good health as your body neither produces nor stores it.
Zinc increases the production of white blood cells. White blood cells fight infection and help your body to fight against pathogens more aggressively. Whole grains, milk products, oysters, red meat, baked beans, chickpeas, and nuts are fortified with zinc.
Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. A deficiency in Vitamin B6 causes a suppressed immune response. Green vegetables, chickpeas, almonds, chicken, and cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna are rich sources of Vitamin B6.
Carotenoids increase the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T cells, which strengthen the defence mechanism of the body. Carotenoids act as a type of antioxidant to your body. They also convert to immune-boosting Vitamin A in the body. Carotenoids are best absorbed through a source of fat. Foods rich in carotenoids include yams, spinach, watermelon, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, mangoes, and oranges.
Selenium is a key element in strengthening the immune system. Oats, maple syrup, chickpeas, and almonds contain selenium which increases natural killer cells that kill virus-infected cells.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection. Vitamin E enhances the production of B-cells that produce antibodies to destroy foreign bodies. Foods that have an abundance of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, and spinach.
Beta-glucan is one form of soluble dietary fibre found in whole grains, oats, bran, wheat, and barley with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities, which boosts immunity.
2. Have Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep can help to boost your body’s natural defences. Poor sleep can disrupt the natural rhythm of the body and cause the immune system to behave differently. Studies prove that short sleep duration and poor sleep continuity is responsible for the susceptibility to infectious illness. Children should have 8 – 10 hours of sleep per night, while adults must have a sleep duration of 7 – 8 hours.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
There is no direct evidence to prove that hydration builds immunity, but dehydration is sure to put you in trouble. Dehydration can make you susceptible to illness. It can cause headaches, loss of focus, indigestion, mood abnormalities, and affect the working of your internal organs. You should drink enough water to protect your body from illness.
4. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. It improves the efficiency of the body by improving cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure, controlling body weight, and protecting against a variety of diseases. However, highly intense exercise can suppress your immune system. To boost your immunity, you must follow a regular and moderate exercise habit. Brisk walking, bicycling, jogging, and swimming are some of the moderate exercises that you can easily follow.
5. Use Health Supplements
You can choose from a wide variety of health supplements to strengthen your body’s general immune response. Supplements containing Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Elderberry, Echinacea, and Garlic can help fight viral infections
6. Reduce Your Stress Levels
A relaxed mind gives a healthy body with a healthy immune system. Lowering your stress levels through meditation, yoga, exercise, and other practices can strengthen your body’s defence mechanism and make the mind relaxed.
Boosting immunity is as simple as maintaining a good lifestyle. Taking care of personal hygiene and the hygiene of your surroundings can protect you from getting sick. Keep yourself relaxed and develop good eating habits. With a healthy body and a healthy mind, you can resist many kinds of infections even before they set out to attack you.
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