Keeping a strong immunity is key to not getting sick. Our body is constantly exposed to foreign bodies, including fungi, bacteria, parasites, and viruses like coronavirus. The good news is we can get protection against these disease-causing microbes, thanks to our immune system.
However, we’ll likely have reduced immune response capability as we age. Our immune system can also weaken if it encounters certain antigens that it hasn’t met before. As a result, despite being our body’s natural defense system, our immune system may still be unable to protect us from harmful pathogens and substances, causing us to fall sick.
That’s why we should make an effort to strengthen our immune systems. In this article, we look at ways to strengthen it and live a healthier life.
Improve Gut Health
Research has shown that 70-80% of immune cells are in our gut. This made several medical professionals claim that nutrition is a key modulator of immune function. While individual foods can unlikely offer special protection, having a balanced nutritious diet can help prepare our immune system for microbial attacks and inflammation.
Specifically, avoid a highly processed diet with lots of animal proteins, sugar, and saturated fats. It likely causes less-diverse gut bacteria and promotes inflammation and chronic disorders.
Our gut bugs are healthiest and can support stronger immunity if we consume plant-based sources rich in fiber. These include:
- high-fiber legumes (e.g., soybeans, lentils, and mung beans)
- high-fiber vegetables (e.g., potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins)
- high-fiber fruits (e.g., avocados, bananas, and oranges)
- high-fiber nuts and seeds (e.g., chia seeds, almonds, and pumpkin seeds)
- whole grains
To increase the amount of fiber we get in our diet each day, here are some tips:
- Don’t peel vegetables. Their skins are rich in fiber, including cellulose.
- Choose wholemeal bread over swap white bread.
- Choose brown rice over white rice.
- Choose rolled oats or steel-cut over instant oats.
- Get at least two cups of vegetables and fruit each day.
- Choose starchy vegetables
- When you can’t meet an adequate intake through diet, take psyllium husk or other fiber supplements.
One of the pillars of optimal healthy living is regular exercise. It helps control body weight, lowers blood pressure, promotes cardiovascular health, and protects against various diseases. Since it contributes to general good health, it’s also beneficial to achieving a healthy immune system.
A 2019 study showed that moderate-intensity exercise could stimulate cellular immunity. However, when we exercise, we increase the movement of blood and lymph nodes that contain white blood cells (WBC), our body’s immune system cells that fight disease. In other words, exercising may increase the movement of more immune cells throughout our body.
Apart from getting the immune cells circulating throughout the body during activity, exercising can also promote a lasting presence of these immune cells. They usually last for up to three hours after a workout is completed. This gives extra time for the immune cells to determine unwanted foreign bodies that’ll likely keep you from getting sick.
Additionally, working out increases your body temperature. This brief rise in body temperature is believed to prevent microbes, specifically bacteria, from growing. It’s also helping our body better address infections, similar to how a fever works. Still, it’s important to note that there’s no sufficient scientific evidence to support this claim.
Drink Enough Water
Staying hydrated plays several crucial roles in our body, including supporting your immune system. Primarily, water helps blood and lymph circulate throughout our body. As mentioned, these two contain immune cells in them. The smoother blood and lymph circulate, the more immunity you’ll likely get.
We constantly lose water, even if we’re not sweating or exercising. For example, breathing, urinating, and defecating are all natural situations in our bodies, making us lose a lot of water. Hence, it’s important to keep drinking water not only to replace water loss and help your body organs to function well but also to help improve your immune system.
Sleeping is known as the natural reboot of our system. It repairs, restores, and re-energizes our body and brain. Not only that, but it can also keep our immune system strong. When we sleep, our body produces cytokines. They’re small proteins that target inflammation and infections, creating an immune response.
Sleeping also helps our bodies produce T lymphocytes, commonly known as T-cells. They’re WBC that develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They’re critical in our body’s immune response to infections and infectious diseases.
Research mostly agrees that adults, including people over 65, should get at least seven hours of sleep per night. In contrast, babies, young children, and teens need even more sleep to ensure growth and development.
Our immune system can protect us, but vaccines train our immune system to be even stronger and even smarter. Up-to-date vaccines can teach our immune system how to determine and defend us from disease-causing illnesses. It’s far better for it to learn and get trained via vaccination than through infection caused by harmful foreign bodies.
However, if you’re anxious about vaccinations, see a doctor and ask for alternatives. They usually recommend drugs that can help your immune system get boosted and stay calm, especially if you’re suffering from infectious diseases and autoimmune conditions.
Compared to free vaccinations typically offered by the government, these medications can be costly, averaging $130.00. But if you have discount cards or coupons, such as Hydrochlorothiazide Coupon, or your insurance covers it, you could pay $19.74 at a participating pharmacy or nothing at all.
A weak immune system poses a huge threat to your overall health. Since our body heavily depends on our defense system for the healing and regenerating of new cells, we have to ensure it’s working at full capacity. Giving yourself a fair shot at a healthy lifestyle is deemed necessary to boost your immune system. This includes embracing healthy habits, including having a healthy diet, regular exercise, enough water, enough sleep, and necessary shots.