The human immune system is an important bodily function that consists of a complex network of cells and proteins that work together to defend the body from any infection. The immune system keeps a record of every germ (microbe) that it has defeated so if that same microbe re-enters the body again, it can destroy it quickly.
In order to maintain a healthy body, it is important for us to care for our immune system to ensure it does a good job of protecting us from any harmful infections or sickness.
However, there is no one standard action to take in order to immediately boost our immune system. Due to its complex nature, there are a lot of parts that compromise our immune system. However, research has been done to observe the effects of lifestyle on an individual’s immune system.
At present, general healthy living strategies are seen to help give your immune system the upper hand.
Foods that Strengthen Your Immune System
The nutrients from your diet are key players at ensuring your immune systems can function at its best capacity. There are some foods that you can add or increase in your diet to help enhance the nutrients that you body needs to help fight of germs and other bacteria.
Most citrus fruits have high vitamin C content, which is exactly what you want when trying to help your immune system. Vitamin C is said to help with the production of white blood cells — which play an important role when it comes to fighting of infections in your body.
Have a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning or finish off with some grapefruit for dessert after dinner.
Spinach is not only high in vitamin C, it is also rich in antioxidants and beta carotene which are said to help the infection fighting ability of our immune systems and replenish the blood cells.
Ginger is another favourite as it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Aside from that it is also anti-bacterial which will be a massive help to the immune system. It is also great for helping with nausea and relieving an upset stomach.
This multi-beneficial herb can be easily taken as a soothing ginger tea with a little bit of lemon and honey to help with taste.
Overall, even just maintaining a well-balanced diet with enough leafy greens and fruits can assist in keep your immune system healthy.
Stress and Your Immune System
Stress, especially ongoing and chronic stress, can have an effect on your health in numerous ways and research has shown including the immune system. Ongoing stress can make us more susceptible to illness due to how your body reacts during this experience. When stressed, the brain sends defence signals to the endocrine system which releases a number of hormones that activate our fight or flight response and prepares us for emergency situations. One side effect of this response is that it depresses our immunity at the same time.
It is important for us then to be aware of our day-to-day stressors and trigger points in order to better manage our response to stressful situations. One of the ways to help is to engage in mind-body therapies. This includes:
- Mindful meditation practices
- Yoga routines
- Behaviour modification techniques
- Creative Therapies
Find one that best suits your lifestyle and take slow, simple steps to better manage the stress in your life for a better immune system and overall well-being.
Exercise for Healthier Immune System
Individuals who take up regular exercising have seen a whole host of benefits to their health and general wellbeing. Exercise is said to improve circulation, decreases your chance of developing heart diseases and releases hormones that make you feel happy.
The general consensus within the medical community is that regular, moderate exercise can be very beneficial for your immune system.
A healthy lifestyle helps create a healthy immune system
Your immune system can be affected by many things, but if you put in the effort to maintain a healthy mental and physical lifestyle, it may help improve the performance of your immune system and help improve your quality of life.