Knowing how to boost your immune system is vital today, where germs are everywhere. A robust immune system protects the body against various disease-causing organisms. This system comprises cells, tissues, organs, and proteins that perform bodily processes that fight pathogens. When something weakens your immunity, disease-causing microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and foreign bodies, can quickly enter your body and cause diseases or infections.
Contact with any pathogen triggers the immune system to respond by releasing antibodies that attach to the antigens on the pathogen, killing it. So, a robust immune system is vital because it prevents you from getting sick, and if you fall ill, it helps your body recover faster. But how do you boost your immune system?
Here are 15 tips to strengthen your immunity.
1. Maintain Healthy Hygiene
Practicing healthy hygiene habits is the first tip for boosting immunity. It enables you to stop an infection before it starts. Therefore, practice washing hands frequently with clean water and soap after going to the bathroom and when preparing or eating food. Also, clean and cover wounds and cook foods thoroughly. Moreover, use clean utensils when cooking and serving food.
2. Manage Stress
The inability to manage stress can weaken immunity. Prolonged stress affects the immune system longer. Under normal conditions, the body releases stress hormones in response to stress. According to your body, stress is an emergency that prompts it to release cortisol and adrenaline hormones to boost energy levels and blood sugar so the brain can manage the additional glucose.
But cortisol suppresses the immune system. Once the body has cortisol in large amounts, lymphocyte production reduces, lowering the immune system’s effectiveness. Since the body doesn’t differentiate stress from modern life and emergencies, it may be under constant pressure. Therefore, your immune system will weaken due to natural responses whose purpose is to protect you. Nevertheless, proper stress management can boost your immune system.
3. Get Adequate Quality Sleep
Unhealthy or inadequate sleep takes a toll on the body, weakening the immune system. Lacking adequate sleep prompts the immune system to respond the way it does to stress. Getting sufficient sleep enables the immune system to keep white blood cells within the healthy range. Chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of immunity impairment.
4. Maintain a Healthy Diet
It’s no secret that most people depend on fast food due to busy schedules. Unfortunately, an unhealthy diet can weaken your immune system. On the other hand, eating more fruits and green vegetables will boost your immunity. It’s a natural way to enhance your overall health, including improving your immune system.
5. Add Spices to Your Food
Adding spices to your food can also boost your immunity. Such spices may include ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and garlic. People have used spices to strengthen immunity and reported positive results.
6. Drink More Water
Keeping your body hydrated can significantly impact your immunity. Fluids help body systems function more effectively and efficiently. Moreover, water helps the kidneys flush out toxins, ensuring they do not build up in the immune system. Also, water enables the digestive tract to eliminate waste, allowing the body to draw sufficient vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that boost the immune system.
7. Choose Plant-Based Foods
Fruits and vegetables boost the immune system naturally. Besides supplying minerals and vitamins to the body, they contain antioxidants, phytonutrients, healthy acids, and oils that give them colors, flavors, and immune-regulating properties. The bioactive compounds in vegetables and fruits enable the body to fight harmful bacteria and inflammation. Also, they support the immune cells’ function while increasing antibodies.
8. Increase Your Probiotics Intake
Probiotics strengthen the immune system by preventing or fighting gut inflammation. A significant percentage of immunity is in the gut, and probiotics keep it healthy. They ensure your gut has adequate flora to retain a strong barrier against pathogens. Probiotics promote the survival of intestinal cells while strengthening the cell barrier’s function. Also, probiotics alleviate excessive gut inflammation, boosting immune function. Eating cultural and raw fermented food, as well as high-quality supplements, add probiotics to the diet.
9. Eliminate or Lower Sugar Intake
Excess sugar can affect your health negatively since it’s an immunosuppressant. Consumption of 3.5 ounces of sugar suppresses immunity by up to 50%. Moreover, sugar metabolism requires nutrients, which depletes the minerals your body needs to function optimally.
10. Avoid or Quit Smoking
Smoking affects your health negatively, including weakening your immune system. When you smoke, you decrease cells and antibodies’ effectiveness. Thus, your immune system can’t effectively protect your body from foreign invaders. Moreover, cigarette smoke has cancer-causing chemicals that damage the immune response once they enter your bloodstream. For instance, once the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke enters the body, it lowers the oxygen supply to the heart, brain, muscles, and organs, affecting the immune system’s functioning.
11. Exercise More Often
Regular exercise improves the overall health. The heart becomes more potent when you exercise, enabling it to pump blood better. Also, the lungs strengthen, enhancing their ability to supply oxygen to various organs. Exercising also boosts the disease-fighting cells, strengthening the immune system. People who don’t exercise have less efficient disease-fighting cells.
12. Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can weaken immunity. Too much alcohol can damage the immune system since it prevents the immune system from receiving sufficient nutrients for the diet. Once it gets into the bloodstream, alcohol lowers the white blood cell count, making it challenging for the body to fight disease-causing organisms.
13. Spend More Time Outdoors
Getting at least 10 minutes of sun exposure can strengthen your immune system. It encourages the body to produce Vitamin D, which activates infection-fighting T-cells. Vitamin D is like a light switch for the body that turns processes and genes on and off. Also, immune cells require vitamin D since they have its receptors.
14. Maintain Healthy Weight
Research shows that even if you exercise and eat healthy foods, you’re at risk of a decreasing immune function if you’re obese. That’s because obesity impairs immunity, increasing the risk of infections. Therefore, maintaining a healthy body weight can boost your immune system.
15. Use Herbal Remedies
Some herbs support immunity. They include ginseng, echinacea, dandelion, and turmeric. These have natural healing properties; consuming them can revitalize and energize your immune system and overall body. Also, some herbal teas have antioxidants like saponins, terpenoids, and flavonoids, making the body more resistant to infections.
The immune system is not a single entity. Therefore, your body must maintain harmony and balance of the organs, cells, tissues, and proteins that protect from disease-causing organisms. Follow the tips in this guide on how to boost your immune system to keep it strong, effective, and efficient in safeguarding your body.