Boosting our body immune system means body fighting against illness.
It is easier to boost immunity by changing our lifestyle and several dietary activities that can help fight disease-causing organism or harmful pathogens. It strengthens body’s natural defence.
9 ways on how to boost immune system
Eating more whole plant foods
Whole plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and seeds are very rich in antioxidants and nutrients that fights against harmful pathogens.
Antioxidants in food will help in decreasing inflammation by preventing free radicals that causes inflammation when they multiply to high levels.
Furthermore, the fibre in food helps in feeding healthy bacteria present in the gut. Healthy bacteria can prevent harmful pathogens entering the body through digestive tract. Moreover, vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamin C that reduces the duration of common cold.
2. Getting enough sleep
Immunity and sleep are closely tied.
In fact, poor quality or inadequate sleep is directly linked to susceptibility to sickness.
Natural immunity boosted after getting enough rest. Also, it is common that the ill person sleeps for more time that help body fight against the illness. Infants and younger children should at least sleep for 14 hours, teens for 8-10 hours, while adults for 7 hours or more.
Try avoiding screen time one hour before bed time like the blue light emitted from TV, computer or phone can interrupt sleep. One can try sleeping in dark room or sleep mask.
3. Eat more probiotic supplement or fermented foods
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria present in fermented foods which populates digestive tract. These foods include kimchi, yogurt, natto and kefir.
Research suggests the high level of gut bacteria help immune cells differentiate cells between harmful invaders, harmful invaders and healthy cells. If no regular fermented foods eaten then probiotic supplements is optional.
4. Intake of healthy fats
Healthy fasts such as salmon and olive oil, can boost immunity against pathogens by decreasing inflammation.
Moreover, low-level inflammation being normal response to injury, chronic inflammation or stress can decrease immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids like chia seeds and salmon will fight inflammation very well.
Olive oil, highly anti-inflammatory can prevent attack of chronic disease like type II diabetes and heart disease. Also, olive oil even help body fight against harmful viruses and bacteria.
5. Moderate physical activity
Prolong intense physical exercise surpasses immune system, but immunity boosted with moderate exercise.
Studies have shown that a small session of performing physical exercise can increase effectiveness of vaccines in people having compromised immune system. Moderate physical activities help immune cells to regenerate on regular basis and reduces inflammation.
Moderate exercise examples include swimming, jogging, light hiking, brisk walking and steady bicycling. At least 150 minutes per week these moderate physical activity should be performed.
6. Minimise added sugars
Research suggests that refined carbs and added sugars can contribute disproportionately to obesity and overweight. Further obesity leads to other chronic health complications like heart disease and type II diabetes.
These chronic health complications can weaken the immune system of the body. Hence limiting added sugars is very important in immune-boosting diet. Studies proven that after administration of flu vaccine to obese people are likely to get flu again than other normal individuals who received vaccine.
Therefore, sugar intake should get limited to less than 5% of daily calories. That equals to 25 grams (2 tablespoons).
7. Managing stress levels
Receiving anxiety and stress is key to good immune health. Stress for long-term can imbalance the functioning of immune cell and can also promote inflammation. Psychological stress for a prolonged duration in children can impact on immune response.
Stress is manageable by activities like yoga, exercise, mindfulness practices, meditation and journaling. One can get benefit by seeing a therapist or counsellor.
8. Stay hydrated
Hydration doesn’t protect from viruses and germs, keeping body hydrated is important for overall health.
Dehydration causes headache, hinder physical performance, mood, focus, digestion, kidney and heart function. Complications like these increases susceptibility to illness.
Drinking fluid daily will prevent dehydration that makes urine pale yellow. Usually water is preferred because it is free of sugar, additives and calories. Tea and juice also hydrates body but it contains sugar hence one should limit the intake of them.
General guidelines says, drink when thirsty and stop drinking if no longer thirsty. More fluids are needed if one exercise intensively, lives in hot climate or work outside. Moreover, older adults should drink water regular basis even if they don’t feel thirsty because usually their body do not signal thirst.
9. Supplement wisely
According to NIH (National Institutes of Health), no evidence supports that supplements can treat or prevent COVID-19.
But studies shows how to boost immune system by supplements:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
Furthermore, these supplements not effective against COVID-19 but it boost immune system of the body to fight against viruses.
There are several ways on how to boost immune system of the body by changing dietary habits and life style. Includes staying hydrated, reducing sugar intake, getting enough sleep, managing stress level and working out on regular basis. Any of these options cannot prevent COVID-19, but they reinforce body’s defence against harmful viruses and pathogens.
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