How to Increase Immunity
Worried, how to increase immunity? Is this really possible to increase immunity? Let’s first find out how our immune system works. The immune system of our body is a very complex system that has countless microscopic cells called T-cells. Some T cells which are also known as “killer cells” activate B cells to secrete antibodies, macrophages to destroy ingested microbes and cytotoxic T cells to kill infected target cells. The released antibodies recognize a pathogen and lock onto it along with neutralizing the toxins produced by it.
In simple, the immune system has 3 specialized cells that help the body to fight against disease-causing microorganisms. So, what can we do to increase or maintain the number of these specialized cells in our immune system? Or how can we make our immunity strong enough to fight all sorts of infections?
Researchers have found that a healthy lifestyle is the single best step to naturally strengthen the immune system. Not only the immune system but every part of your body functions well if you follow the following healthy-living strategies:
1. Good Hygiene
Many diseases, including the recent one- Corona, usually spread because of not maintaining proper cleanliness. Therefore, the first line of defence is to keep infection-causing germs at bay by washing your hands frequently and cooking meat or veggies properly before eating. Also, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. And, do not pick at healing wounds or squeeze pimples.
2. Get adequate sleep
Sleep and immunity are closely interconnected. Studies say that people who don’t take quality sleep or enough sleep are more vulnerable to get diseases when exposed to a virus. Even it also affects the period of your recovery if you get sick. Scientists found that a quality sleep boosts the T cells in our immune system.
3. Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables
Clinicians have long observed that people who are malnourished are more likely to get any infection. Therefore, a good diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential for keeping your immune system strong. Nutrition experts suggest adding colourful fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, oranges, kiwi, carrots, leafy greens, papaya, watermelon, etc. in your diet. These foods are full of antioxidants that prevent free radicals to cause any damage to your cells. Incorporate healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, cheese, eggs, nuts, fatty fish, dark chocolate, chia seeds, etc. and dairy products in your diet.
4. Exercise regularly
Studies say that a moderate exercise on a regular basis improves immune regulation and metabolic health. When we do physical activity our body produces antibodies and white blood cells (WBC), which help flush out viruses or bacteria and protect the body from getting any disease. Moreover, regular exercise helps maintain body weight, lowers blood pressure and improves our cardiovascular health.
5. Stay hydrated
Our body needs fluids and electrolytes to function properly. That’s especially true when you have symptoms like diarrhoea, cough, fever or vomiting, which can lead to dehydration. Staying hydrated helps with recovery. Drinking plenty of water naturally eliminates toxins, waste, unwanted materials and other pathogens from the body. If you don’t like drinking plain water, you can flavour it up by adding mint or lemon.
6. Try to minimize stress
Everybody faces some stress in life and it’s normal. But if it lasts over a prolonged period, you should be careful. Studies say that consistent stress can weaken your defence system and make us more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid lowers the number of lymphocytes in our immune system that help to fight infection. So, avoid stress if you can. Keep yourself busy in activities that you like to do.
7. Don’t smoke
According to research, smoking impacts both innate and adaptive immunity. It happens because of the tar and other toxins available in smoke that destroys the antibodies, which help fight off infections. Quitting smoking helps to increase oxygen levels, improves blood circulation, and lowers inflammation- all of which strengthen your immunity.
8. Drink in Moderation
Clinicians have long noticed a link between excessive alcohol consumption and a weakened immune system. However, it is considered that drinking in moderation- defined as two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women- is safe and does not weaken the immune system.
So, before pushing yourself to the brink physically or mentally, follow these steps to strengthen your immune system.