Our body has a complex system of cells, tissues and organs that work seamlessly to protect us from potentially harmful diseases. This is the immune system whose job is to safeguard your body against deadly pathogens and limit potential damage from other toxic agents. Your immune system must work seamlessly like a well-tuned orchestra to get the best performance out of every element. The best way to ensure that your immune system performs optimally is by adopting some good practices. Let’s view at how you can keep your immune system healthy and functioning at tiptop levels in five ways.
Eating healthy is a time-tested and proven way of ensuring that your body gets the proper nutrients from food. A plant-based diet including fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs is vital as they may offer a wide range of antiviral and antimicrobial features to ward off infection. For instance, research reveals herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cumin, garlic, oregano, and thyme, which contain essential properties to fight against microorganisms, harmful fungi, and bacteria. Besides, every vitamin and mineral also plays a unique role in boosting your immunity. Protein is an important aspect to build immune health. Lean sources of protein and zinc from seafood, meat, and poultry are essential for building and maintaining immune cells and fighting infections.
When the body is in a chronically elevated stressful situation, it constantly produces cortisol that can prevent the immune system from doing its duty to defend the body. In short-term bouts of stress, cortisol prevents the immune system from responding until the stressful situation has ended. But, if your cortisol levels are continually raised, your immune system will be unable to do its job and expose your body to potential and harmful threats. Look at effective stress-reduction techniques to find a good plan that works for you. Meditation is a proven stress-reducing activity that can be done at any time during the day to calm stress levels. Other stress-decreasing activities include journaling, drawing, playing golf, fishing and yoga.
When you sleep, your body enters into a process of self-healing and regeneration. This is why it is crucial to get adequate and good quality sleep to build a healthy immune response. Sleep is essential as the body produces and distributes critical immune cells such as cytokines, T cells and interleukin 12 to fight inflammation and regulate an immune response. In the absence of sufficient sleep, your immune system may be unable to defend the body and make you vulnerable to potential harm. Research has also shown that sleep deprivation can also elevate cortisol levels. Hence, ensure that you prioritize good sleep hygiene. Getting at least seven/eight hours of quality sleep every night can be crucial in optimizing your health.
One cannot emphasize the benefits of exercise enough. If you exercise regularly, it lowers the risks of developing chronic illnesses such as heart conditions, obesity and type II diabetes. When you exercise, the body discharges endorphins that reduce pain and enhances feelings of pleasure. Endorphins are excellent in managing stress. And because stress can impact the immune system negatively, exercise is essential in improving your immune response. Regular bouts of physical activity can boost your immune system and make it more vigilant in distributing effective immune cells throughout the body to hunt and eradicate infected cells. Ensure that you receive at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise every week.
Avoid Alcohol and Cigarettes
High amounts of alcohol in the body are always associated with adverse health effects, including decreased immune functions. Since the body is busy detoxifying high amounts of alcohol in the body, it does not pay attention to maintaining standard immunity functionalities. Besides, high alcohol consumption can limit the body’s capacity of fighting infection and slowing down recovery time. Studies show that people who consume copious amounts of alcohol face a wide range of diseases such as pneumonia, some types of cancers, liver disease, kidney failure and others.
And while you can consume alcohol moderately, you may want to avoid smoking altogether. Cigarettes contain toxins that can significantly compromise one’s immunity levels. The chemicals released by cigarette smoke, such as cadmium, nicotine, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, destroy immune cells and interfere with their growth and functions. Even worse, smoking can cause several forms of lung disease and autoimmune disorders. If you currently smoke, now could be an excellent time to kick the habit. Look at several support resources such as nicotine replacement products, counseling, non-nicotine agents and behavioral therapy to ease out of smoking.
To develop and boost a healthy immune system choose a healthy lifestyle. Consider it your first line of defense when it comes to keeping your immune system and naturally healthy and working optimally. As much as we can try to avoid external and environmental assaults on our body, we can take a proactive role in reinforcing our immune system by healthy living strategies and practices.
Karishma is a passionate freelance writer. She enjoys writing about women’s health and overall wellness subjects. Currently she is associated with Nutra Pure HCG, an online shop for pure HCG drops, that helps to lose 1 to 2 pounds per day naturally.
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