“Take cover and send the defense army! The Pathogenic Gang is attacking the base.” However, the thoroughly under-nourished defense army was nowhere to be found, and the base was effortlessly defeated.
This is an extremely simplified version that paints the picture of the importance of your immune system, and it’s healthy functioning. The immune system is responsible for protecting your body against diseases and illnesses by fighting against harmful pathogens like bacteria and viruses and limiting damage from other conditions.
It is essential to realize that the immune system is a system instead of an isolated entity functioning independently. This system is built from bone marrow, tissues, organs, blood cells, and skin cells, and for the entire system to perform well, you have to ensure that every constituent works in harmony.
The complexity of the immune system means that researches are still working to establish a direct link with the immune system and lifestyle changes; however, effects of diet, exercise, stress, and other factors are shown to alter the immune response. In this article, we will walk you through ways to boost your immune system naturally with superfoods and other factors.
1. Citrus Fruits are your Pals
Citrus fruits are known to be rich in vitamin C, which is known to stimulate the formation of white blood cells. This is also why we are told to boost ourselves with vitamin C when we catch a cold.
Citrus fruits give you a wide variety to choose from and can be easily made a part of your meal or dessert or as a fresh morning drink! Boost your defenses with the addition of lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and limes in your diet.
2. Healthy Fats
Of course, there is such a thing as healthy fats – people misunderstand these innocent fats.
Fats in foodstuffs such as olive oil, chia seeds, and salmon decrease inflammation as they contain Omega-3 fatty acids. There is an established link between the consumption of healthy fats and decreased risk of diabetes and heart diseases.
Leafy green vegetables, grass-fed meats, dairy, and seeds are the key to boost your immune system through healthy unsaturated fats.
Probiotics – more like brobiotics because of the support to your immune system – are found in yogurt, kimchi, miso, and pickles.
They boost your immune system by decreasing the growth of harmful bacteria in your digestive tract. Moreover, they stimulate immune cells such as T lymphocytes and the natural killer cells and are also known to promote the production of antibodies.
You can make a natural addition of probiotics in your life by consuming yogurt or pickled vegetables as aside.
4. Eat your Greens!
Spinach, kale, cabbage, beet greens, lettuce, bok choy, turnip greens, and, yes, even broccoli are essential vegetables to boost your immune system.
These greens ensure that immune cells in the gut and skin are functioning well. Vegetables like broccoli are full of healthy minerals, vitamins such as A, C, and E, and fiber as well. Such plants also help reduce inflammation – a factor that is known to suppress your immune system.
It is important to note, however, that steaming them is the best way to consume these vegetables. Overcooking, or even cooking, is known to kill off the nourishment you seek.
It is imperative to get nourishment from natural sources, but in some cases, it becomes essential to take the help of supplements to consume a healthy balanced diet.
Supplements that will help boost the immune system include vitamin C and D, Zinc, Garlic, and Omega-3. These supplements will bridge any gap arising from a diet that is devoid of these vitamins and minerals.
We managed to brief you up with the foodstuff you should consume, but it is equally essential to be mindful of the foods that weaken the immune system and steer clear of them.
6. Avoid Sugars!
Added sugars weaken your immune system, which is why they should be limited in your diet. Apart from causing obesity, sugar intake is known to cause inflammation. Sugar is also known to negatively impact the way your immune system and the white blood cells attack the harmful bacteria.
As a whole, this can easily lead to chronic diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, which bring down your immune system. This is what makes it necessary that you stay away from sodas, drinks, and anything that has added sugar.
We can hear the groans on this one from a mile away. Data indicates that the coronavirus pandemic has spiked alcohol consumption, but you should be aware of how alcohol is contributing to weakening your immune system.
Alcohol affects the cells of the immune system by impairing the response of the system against various diseases.
Moreover, it can cause inflammation and destroy the healthy microorganisms that reside in your gut, reducing the protection against infection.
While you may not need to cut out alcohol from your diet immediately, you can take steps to get there slowly because it would boost your immune system and overall health.
There are some other factors to take into consideration for a naturally healthy immune system:
Of course, exercise has benefits to boost your immune system too!
Physical movement is known to impact the antibodies and white blood cells in your body’s immune system. It causes them to circulate more rapidly and flush out the bacteria from airways as well. Not only this, but, exercise lowers the release of the stress hormone, and lower stress is known to contribute to the wellness of your immune system.
You do not need to engage in a high-intensity workout. Still, the physical movement is imperative, and a moderately energetic lifestyle would benefit your immune system in more than a single way.
If you’re not receiving adequate sleep, you may weaken your immune system. The immune system release proteins called cytokines during your sleep, which protect against inflammation and infections.
Poor sleep can also mean an increased risk of insulin resistance, weight gain, cortisol, and cardiovascular diseases.
Protect your heart, brain, and other vital organs, as well as your mental and emotional health and resilience with a good night’s sleep.
A healthy immune system will help you lead a healthy, happy life. If you feel overwhelmed by the information, it is best to pick out small changes you can make to your lifestyles, such as introducing greens to your diet and ample hours of sleep. Starting small will help you reach a well-boosted immune system eventually!