With the COVID-19 wreaking havoc, now’s the time, more than ever, for you to be diligent towards your health and employ techniques that can solidify your immune system. If you possess a healthy immune system, chances of you getting viral infection and the flu get reduced significantly. You must have noticed that many a times, even while everyone is falling sick, some people still stand healthy and do not succumb to any infections. While it may seem confusing, it has a clear answer – it’s all about the body’s immune system. It is the immune system that acts as a first line of defence against any alien microorganism entering the body. With stronger immune system in place, it is less likely that you fall ill. However, that does not make you invincible.
With changes in your diet and routine, it is possible to make your immune system really strong that can fight against viral infections and general illness. In these trying times, it is more relevant now than ever to be fit and immune-strong. Let’s look at how we can achieve that –
- Cut down on stress
If you have chronic stress, the immune response of the body is suppressed by the release of the hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol interferes with the T cells which is a specific white blood cell to reproduce and receive signals from the body. Cortisol is also responsible for the reduction of the antibody secretory IgA, lining the gut and respiratory tract. To better deal with stress, incorporate the practice of yoga, meditation and deep breathing on a regular basis.
- Get your Vitamin D
The sun is one of the major contributors of the production of Vitamin D in our body. Vitamin D is significantly important for the proper functioning of the immune system, as it helps the body in the production of antibodies. Low Vitamin D levels, has been cited as one of the primary reasons for respiratory problems. A walk in the sun for about 10-15 minutes a day ensures that enough Vitamin D is produced in your body.
Working out on a daily basis has been scientifically proven to help boost the immune system. Exercising regularly mobilises the T cells, a type of white blood cell that guards the body against infections. Working out also increases the release of endorphins which is a group of hormones that help with pain reduction and create feelings of pleasure, which is a great way to beat stress.
- Get adequate sleep
Lack of proper sleep can cause the activation of inflammatory immune response, thus slowing down the activity of T cells in the body. This may weaken your immune system, and response to vaccines. When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system may not be able to perform its necessary functions, rendering it less able to defend your body against harmful invaders, and making you prone to get sick more often. Sleep deprivation also results in elevated cortisol levels which is not a good thing for the immune function. Try maintaining sleep for at least 7-8 hours every night and avoid staying awake all night as sleeping during the daytime may not work for everyone.
- Get you A-B-C-D-Es in order
Consumption of vitamins is a very important factor that can boost your immune system. Vitamin C is considered the biggest booster of all and lack of it can lead to several diseases. Have plenty of citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit and additionally, spinach and strawberries. You can also take multivitamins, but it is always preferred that you naturally consume these foods.
- Have your veggies
Fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts are chock-full of nutrients that are very essential to build a strong immune system. Have them daily to boost your immunity. Load up on cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage in your daily diet.
- Consider quitting smoking
No good can ever come from smoking and we are all aware of its negative impact on our lives. Apart from other risks, it also impairs the immune system heavily. Smoking is known to have a bad impact on both adaptive and innate immunity. It may also increase the probability of developing harmful pathogenic immune responses and reduces the effectiveness of your immune system’s defence.
Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. Follow this mantra and take care of your body in this delicate time when your immunity needs to be at its strongest.