First Published on 26 Sep 2020 Updated on 23 May 2021
Immunity or the immune system is not a new term for us. We all are well aware of it. However, it has become a buzzword now days. It has seen a tremendous increase in its searches with associated terms like how to increase your immunity or how to boost immune system on the search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Such a search boost for strong immunity or a strong immunity happened due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, which is continuously going on from December 2019.
What is immunity or an immune system?
Immunity is the state of being invulnerable to or immune from a specific disease. It is a natural or acquired state, which protects a living object, especially human body, from being ill due to the attack of harmful bacteria, germs, and viruses.
An immune system in your body comprises of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues. Together, all these conduct bodily processes that help you fight against the potential pathogens, such as bacteria, foreign bodies, germs, and viruses, and keep you protected from sickness or having a disease. It generates an immune response by releasing antibodies to kill pathogens when your immune system comes into a contact with a pathogen.
How to boost your immune system
In your search on the internet or in health magazines, newspapers, and medical books, you can come across numerous ways on how to increase your immunity naturally. I have done a lot of study and talked to a few health experts in my locality. On the base of my searches and talks with health experts, I have noted down a few ways that can assist you boost your immune system. The ways are as follows:
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet – For better health, having a healthy and balanced diet is crucial for you. Whatever you take in your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or supper, ensure it has all essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. You should take immune boosting foods or food items that can enhance your immunity when you feel you have weak immunity. Blueberries, ginger, garlic, green, dark chocolates, turmeric, oily fish, broccoli, spinach, apples, flower seeds, almonds, kiwi fruits, and healthy beverages such as green tea. Minimize your intake of sugar, processed foods, alcoholic & artificially sweetened drinks.
- Opt for natural food supplements – You can think of taking natural food supplements, like chawanyaprash, protein, giloy, and natural herbs. Talk to an herbalist or an ayurvedic doctor and request him/her to recommend you the best herbal/ayurvedic food supplement.
- Keep hydrated yourself with different healthy fluids – Hydration doesn’t keep you protected from pathogens, such as harmful bacteria, germs, and viruses, including coronavirus (Covid-19). However, keeping yourself safe from the impacts of dehydration is essential to your overall health. It hinders your physical performance, mood, digestion, focus, and kidney & heart functions. Further, it makes you have headaches. So, try to drink 6-8 litres of water and fluids like fruit juices to keep you hydrated.
- Have adequate sleep – There is a close association between your sleep and immunity. Poor or inadequate sleep triggers your chance of being sick. Many studies have found that an adult should sleep for 6-7 hours, infants & young children for 14-16 hours, and teens for 8-10 hours in a day. In brief, you should sleep for hours that can make you feel fresh and energised for the next day. Stay away from blue light & devices and avoid taking tea, coffee, and alcoholic drinks before going to bed. Contact your doctor if you notice that you are not having a sound sleep at night.
- Lower your stress – Stress is a silent killer and weakens your immunity. Long-term stress causes inflammation and imbalances the functionality of the cells of your immune system. You should meditate, yoga, and mindfulness practices to lower your stress level if you feel stressed.
- Be moderately active – Taking moderate exercises assist you boost your immunity or the functionality of your immune system. Moderate exercises, such as jogging, steady bicycling, light hiking, brisk walking, and swimming can boost the effectiveness of the medicines/vaccines you are taking to fight a disease.
A strong immune system helps you stay healthy and fit, as it kills the pathogens that can cause you to fall ill. Apart from the balanced diet and food supplements, minor changes in your lifestyle can make you improve your immunity.