If we think of taking care of our health and wellbeing, we may immediately think of ways we can look after our hearts. It is possible to think of doing a lot of exercises and eating healthy to maintain our weight at the right level or taking in lots of walnuts and oily fish for brain health omega 3 fats. It is possible to think of ways to take care of our mental health like avoiding stress whenever it is possible and focusing on mindfulness. But how often do we consider taking care of our health and immune system?
The immune system of our body is a multi-faceted system composed of molecules, cells, organs, and tissues that move through our entire body, identifying and eliminating pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses, and anything else your body detects as a foreign invader. This system is composed of two branches: an innate immune system as well as the adaptive immune system.
The natural immune system’s role is in protecting against microorganisms, including yeasts, bacteria, fungi, and viruses that attempt to attack us with viruses, including the common flu, cold or vomiting insects. It is the adaptive immune system that acts as the memory aspect of our immunity. It is learning to recognize the pathogenic bugs we’ve come in contact with to produce antibodies to fight them the next time they are in our path.
Diseases, medications that suppress the immune system and being immunocompromised, or suffering from the autoimmune disease can all indicate your immune system isn’t up to adequate. But a diet that is unhealthy or smoking, drinking too much, and leading a life of sedentary living could all trigger our natural defenses against infection to decrease. This could mean we’re more prone to sickness or infection and can frustrating at best, or even life-threatening in the worst case. It’s essential to take care of your immune system particularly in the current time due to the upcoming winter. Here are our suggestions for maintaining a healthy immune system…
Get plenty of rest
We all know that to stay awake and functioning optimally it is essential to get enough rest. A one or two nights of sluggish sleep won’t do any lasting damage, however, we’ll feel tired exhausted, irritable, and tired We’ll likely make unhealthy choices with our food, such as copious quantities of caffeine-rich drinks and sweet foods to stay awake and make it through the day.
But a long-term insufficient sleep can be extremely harmful to your health. It could lead to long-term ailments like heart disease, obesity, and type 2 form of diabetes. Not only that the inability to sleep can lead to an impaired immune system.
Sleep experts recommend that adults have between seven and nine hours of their sleep each night. If we continuously sleep less than that can make us more susceptible to getting sick, touches of flu, colds stomach bugs, and other bugs that seek to eat away our energy and cause us to suffer from a lack of work. It all comes due to cytokines, which are molecules. Cytokines are the proteins produced by the body. They are tiny molecules that transmit signals to the immune system that regulate the body’s reaction to illness and pathogens that cause infection. They inform our immune system as an invader or foreign body, in the order, it turns on the correct immune response to combat it.
The body makes cytokines when you’re asleep. If we’re not getting sufficient quality sleep, the odds are that we’re lacking enough cytokines to create an immune response whenever we require one. Do everything to ensure you get sufficient sleeping throughout the night to ensure that your immune system is functioning properly.
Do regular exercise
Being active isn’t only beneficial to us with regards to fitness, flexibility, weight, and body composition control. Regular exercise also provides positive effects on the immune system. Researchers have found that exercise regularly can increase the number of cells in our immune system such as the T cells as well as the Natural killer cells.
In addition, while the cytokines mentioned earlier are beneficial, there are pro-inflammatory cytokines that could accumulate, leading to inflammation and diseases. Exercise is also a great way to lower the inflammatory cytokines and help to boost the immune response.
It is recommended that the NHS advises 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, with some sessions of resistance training. This could be three half-hour jogging or walking at a brisk pace, as well as two one-hour sessions of yoga, and two half-hour high-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions each week.
If you’re a busy person There are a variety of online fitness classes that are being planned which are designed to be performed at home and require no facilities or space. Check out fitness lessons that are available via YouTube and live streaming through Instagram or Facebook. There’s plenty of activities for everyone, even children who are still trying to stay moving!
Take Control of Your Anxiety
Anxiety and stress are often difficult to get rid of. Life is hectic and filled with the stress of our families and jobs. However, doing our best to improve our mental health is beneficial to our immune system and may be part of the positive effect of helping us prevent illnesses and infections. Stress and anxiety increase levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that reduces the amount of anti-infection white blood cells accessible to your immune system.
Additionally, being stressed or anxious may make us resort to strategies to cope. These are, as we’ll see in this post, are harmful to our immune system. Smoking or drinking, as well as eating processed comfort food are all no-no’s when we’re trying to boost our immune systems.
Therefore, doing things that aid to maintain our peace is essential. The practice of yoga and mindfulness helps our minds to become more mindful and focus on our breathing as well as the present and present. There are numerous websites and apps for free which offer yoga classes and mindfulness exercises for beginners or those who have already practiced these before.
Other methods to ensure our mental health is in good shape are the activities we love to do. Activities like writing poetry, reading, and spending time with our kids or pets are great ways to keep our minds healthy especially in these times. Try to find an effort to dedicate time each day to your mental well-being.
Spend Time Outdoors
The fresh air and taking in the beauty of nature are beneficialcial to our mental well-being and can boost our immune system too.
It’s still not understood fully what nature and the outdoors promotes good immunity. However, many theories are being proposed. One is that nature assists to turn on the rest and digest’ parasympathetic system. (This is in sharp in contrast with the symptoms of stressful situations that activate the “fight or flight” system, which could cause your immune system to be effectively closed down temporarily.)
The process of digesting and resting is a state of calm, which is triggered through relaxation or by doing something relaxing, such as being in nature for a while. When this portion of our nervous system is turned on, your body can spend time repairing itself and developing your immune system.
Therefore, try to incorporate outdoor time into your daily routine. It could be a morning cup of breakfast in the park, taking a walk to work, or having your lunchtime at the parks. (But be aware of the rules of social distancing in place.)
Make healthy lifestyle choices
Along with eating well and regularly engaging in exercises, the choices we make influence your immune system. Two of the main factors to consider are the amount of alcohol we consume and whether smoking cigarettes or not.
The advice on smoking cigarettes is straightforward – do not smoke. Smoking causes the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These, as we’ve learned previously could cause inflammation, diseases, and a weakening of the immune system. Smoking cigarettes can lead to a persistent lung inflammation that over time will grow which can lead to the destruction of tissues in addition to the production of more inflammatory molecules that reduce immunity.
A safe amount of alcohol isn’t always as simple. Some believe no level is safe for alcohol while others say that there is. According to the NHS Guidelines on Alcohol states that we should not drink over 14 units per week and that we should be able to enjoy at least four alcohol-free days per week.
Researchers have discovered that excessive drinking can “blunt” the activities in white blood cells, also known as monocytes. These cells play a crucial role in the process of boosting immunity. Alcohol decreases how much interferon-a substance which fights viruses that monocytes can create. Therefore, limit the amount of alcohol you drink to a minimum, and make a plan to stop smoking if you smoke.
Eat a balanced, healthy Diet
One of the most effective methods to help maintain a healthy immune system is to nourish it by eating a healthy and balanced diet. This is why we should eat a wide assortment of colorful vegetables and fruits, including:
Citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps strengthen your immune system. Pick from a range of lemons, citrus grapefruits, clementines limes, and kiwis. The human body isn’t able to store vitamin C. Instead, it eliminates excess amounts through urine, therefore make sure you’re taking these fruits and vegetables daily.
The green leafy vegetable It is beneficial to consume your greens! Consuming a variety of pak choi, spinach, and kale is also a great way to boost the levels of vitamin C in your body.
Broccoli is an incredible source of antioxidants, vitamins, and essential minerals, try to consume broccoli at least a couple of times per week to get its nutritional benefits to the immune system. Make sure to cook it as little as is possible to preserve its nutritional quality.
GarlicGarlic can help strengthen your immune system because of the allicin compound which is a sulfur-containing chemical that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be added to your favorite dishes at home!
Get Dietary Supplements
Sometimes, it’s just not feasible to consume a healthy and balanced diet. Stress is a constant factor, as well as being occupied with family obligations and work or a social schedule, and just not having enough time to cook make it so the best of intentions could be thrown out the window. This is why so many depend on supplements for their diets to help boost their diet back to what it should be in terms of minerals and vitamins. (Although they should not be used instead of eating a diverse, well-balanced diet.)
In the winter months season, when flu and cold illnesses are prevalent and in moments like these, where we’re all trying our best to stay healthy, dietary supplements can prove beneficial. Particularly Vitamins C and D zinc, echinacea, and turmeric.
Vitamin C Vitamin C is soluble in water vitamin that assists in maintaining good immunity by increasing the efficiency of white blood cells. If you are taking only one supplement to boost your immunity, choose vitamin C.
Vitamin D can be described as a fat-soluble vitamin that s mainly derived from sunlight hitting our skin. In the winter seasons, it’s recommended to have Vitamin D supplements since we’re all believed to be lacking vitamin D. Researchers have discovered Vitamin D supplementation may be the ability to provide a “mild protection against respiratory illnesses”.
Zinc is an essential mineral that aids in the functions of white blood cells as they’re responding to an illness. Research has shown zinc supplements can cut down the duration of symptoms of the common cold by as much as 33 percent.
Echinacea can be an herb I believe in! The research isn’t completely clear however some studies suggest that echinacea could have a moderate beneficial effect on lower respiratory illnesses. In my case, I manage to fight off colds by using a daily tincture of echinacea.
Turmeric is the spice that provides curries with their golden yellow hue and is a rich source of anti-inflammatory ingredients, specifically curcumin. It’s the subject of extensive current research and has already proven to be beneficial in boosting our immune system.
Water isn’t just useful for keeping our hands free. drinking enough fluids to remain watered also affects our immune system. If we’re sick the body requires plenty of fluids to ensure that the electrolyte balance between sugars and salts remains in the right place. If we don’t, we’ll soon be dehydrated and irritable.
To avoid getting sick, to begin with, It’s equally important to drink plenty of water. As you’ll notice in the humidifier section the nasal cavity depends on moisture to stop breathing in harmful pathogenic viruses and bacteria which can make us sick. The more we’re hydrated, the more effective our nasal cavity is at protecting itself against the ravages of bugs.
Water also helps to keep our kidneys in good working order. The more we drink water the more toxins that the kidneys eliminate in our urine, which means less work our immune system has to fight against the toxins. The body also benefits from water by helping it make lymph fluid. This is a part of our immune system that is responsible for eliminating toxic substances. Also, green tea can be effective for keeping us hydrated. It is loaded with immune-boosting antioxidants.
Beware of Energy Drinks as well Caffeinated Sodas
It’s not necessary to tell you how sugary fizzy drinks, as well as caffeine-rich energy drinks, can be harmful to our health. In addition to the dozens of tablespoons of sugar in every can as well as the caffeine and other stimulant ingredients like the amino acid taurine (an amino acid) are also questionable.
Caffeine is considered a healthy food due to its antioxidant compounds called numerous polyphenol which is believed to help support the immune system to be healthy. However, more than two cups of coffee per day (preferably real coffee that is not instant, as it could include processing chemicals) can be harmful to the immune system.
Caffeine, specifically a large amount of it in one go for example, like an energy drink can increase the levels of cortisol. Cortisol is an inflammatory hormone that creates that wonderful after-coffee joy. However, as with all things, too much of it isn’t beneficial. The cortisol level can weaken the immune system. Additionally, caffeine may reduce the number of T cells created by our body. T cells are white blood cells that play a vital role in the immune system.
Diet sodas, although they might contain no sugar, however, contain caffeine and artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose, saccharine, and aspartame. These substances can alter the delicate balance of gut bacteria, which researchers now understand are essential to regulate our immune system. Therefore, avoid all kinds of drinks whenever possible.
Avoid processed food
Processed food such as pizzas, meats, pies ready meals crisps, sweets biscuits, cakes, and cakes all taste delicious We know that. But they’re only good because they’re made for this purpose. These types of food items are typically made with MSG as a flavor enhancer that gives processed and fast food items their addictive taste. However, MSG is known to be harmful to our health.
MSG has been discovered to alter the function of the thymus as well as the spleen. Both organs are essential to immunity through the production of antibodies and white blood cells. When we consume large quantities of MSG that causes an increase in oxidative stress in the spleen and thymus, which leads to the production of fewer white blood cells. Additionally, MSG reduces the levels of interleukin created, which is vital in transmitting signals to and out of our immune system.
It’s not only MSG that can affect the immune system. foods high in fats, sugars, and salt may cause an increase in inflammation and weakening of your immune system. Therefore, treat these foods as treats that are only enjoyed occasionally and consume the nutritious foods mentioned earlier.
Utilize a humidifier
This isn’t something that’s often included in lists of ways to help support the health of your immune system however, it is vital having a humidifier in your home can assist you in breathing easier and also help you avoid getting infected with viruses and bacteria which can impact your respiratory system.
Within our nasal passages, there are tiny hairs called cilia which can catch every bit of dust, dirt, and particles that we take in every day. Alongside this is a myriad of viruses and bacteria determined to pass to our nostrils, and into our respiratory system, where they can cause us to get sick.
They are vital to trap the persistent bugs, to let us blow them out into a tissue and dispose of them. If the air we breathe is humid, the cilia will not be able to accomplish their work as efficiently and allow dirt, dust, and insects to get in the airways.
While a humidifier can’t help your immune system in any way, but it does make the air more humid. This allows the cilia to do their job correctly to avoid infections and, in turn, the immune system will have less work. Make sure you have a humidifier installed throughout your principal areas, including your bedroom, to aid in maintaining healthy immunity.
Maintain a good hygiene routine
The hygiene hypothesis suggests exposure to a wide variety of fungi, bacteria, and viruses during our time as infants and children is vital to creating a healthy immune system. It’s true. Being exposed to a range of microorganisms during our lifetime aids in the development of an effective and healthy microbiota. This is the term used to describe the microorganisms that are found in our digestive tracts which are also known as probiotics. The gut is believed to be directly related to immunity. The healthier the gut, the better the immune system.
However, exposure to all sorts of bacteria and viruses can be harmful, as some are harmful, while some are extremely harmful. In the present, we’re always being warned of the dangers of contracting especially coronavirus. We need to all ensure that we are in good health so that we decrease the chance of contracting it.
The UK Government has issued the guidelines on hygiene that are based on good practice:
* Cleanse your hands with soap and water frequently and for a minimum of 20 seconds
* Use hand sanitizer gel when water and soap are not readily available
Make sure to wash your hands immediately after you arrive home
Cover your nose and mouth by using a tissue or your sleeves (not the hands) whenever you cough or sneeze.
* Throw the tissues you have used in the bin right away and wash your hands following.
We hope that our advice for boosting your immune system has been beneficial. It’s not anything out of the norm, and they’re all aspects of making healthy eating and lifestyle choices that help you maintain good overall health and healthy immune system health.