7 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO BOOST OUR BODY IMMUNE SYSTEM


At this period when Covid-19 has caused a global pandemic, it is important we put our immune system at optimum level. Even without corona virus diseases scare, a strong immune system gives our body great security from infections, sickness and diseases.

The following are the 7 effective ways to boost our immune system

1. Take a Healthy Diet
The nutrients you get from food — in particular, plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices — are key to keeping your immune system up and functional to the optimum level. Most plant-based foods have antiviral and antimicrobial properties, which help us fight off infection. Some of the plants include, garlic, Tumeric, Ginger, Ginseng and Chiefly Aloe Vera Plant (especially the medicinal Specie Called Aloe Barbadensis Miller). For example, research shows that spices like clove, thyme, cinnamon, and cumin contain antiviral and antimicrobial properties that prevent the growth of food-spoiling bacteria like Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens, harmful fungi like Aspergillus flavus, and antibiotic-resistant microorganisms like Staphylococcus aureusaccording to a review published in June 2017 in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Furthermore, the zinc, folate, iron, selenium, copper, and vitamins A, C, E, B6, and B12 you get from the food you eat are the nutrients your immune system needs to do its job, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Each one plays a unique role in supporting immune function. 
Research suggests, for example, that vitamin C deficiency may increase the likelihood of infection, according to a review published November 2017 in Nutrients. Our bodies do not produce this essential, water-soluble vitamin on their own, so we need to get it through foods (such as citrus fruits, kiwis, and several cruciferous vegetables). You can get 95 milligrams (mg), or 106 percent of the daily vitamin C you need by snacking on a half-cup of red pepper, according to the NIH.
Protein is also critical for immune health. The amino acids in protein help build and maintain immune cells, and skimping on this macronutrient may lower your body’s ability to fight infections. In one study published February 2013 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, mice who ate a diet consisting of only 2 percent protein were more severely impacted by the flu than mice who ate a "normal protein" diet with 18 percent protein. But once researchers started feeding the first group a "normal protein" diet, the mice were able to get rid of the virus.
When it comes to a diet that supports good immune health, focus on incorporating more plants and plant-based foods. Add fruits and veggies to soups and stews, smoothies, and salads, or eat them as snacks. Carrots, broccoli, spinach, apricots, citrus fruits (such as oranges, grapefruit, tangerines), and strawberries are all great sources of vitamins A and C, while seeds and nuts will provide protein, vitamin E, and zinc, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Additional sources of protein and zinc include seafood, lean meat, and poultry, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
2. Minimize Stress
According to a review published in the October 2015 issue of Current Opinion in Psychology, long-term stress leads to chronically elevated levels of as the steroid hormone cortisol. The body relies on hormones like cortisol during short-term bouts of stress (when your body goes into “fight-or-flight” response); cortisol has a beneficial effect of actually preventing the immune system from responding before the stressful event is over (so your body can react to the immediate stressor). But when cortisol levels are constantly high, it essentially blocks the immune system from kicking into gear and doing its job to protect the body against potential threats from germs like viruses and bacteria.
There are many effective stress-reduction techniques; the key is to find what works for you. Get engaged in activities that help you unwind like, listening to country music and oldies, journaling, and any activity that you enjoy (such as fishing, playing golf, or drawing). House chores are not a stress reducing activity. Try to do at least one stress-reducing activity every day. Short on time? Start small. Set aside five minutes at some point each day for fun and increase it when you can.
3. Get Plenty of Good Quality Sleep
Your body heals and regenerates while you sleep. This is the Rejuvenation Phase of the food/body cycle. Research and experience has shown that adequate sleep is important for healthy, responsive immune system.
In sleep mode, your body produces and distributes key immune cells like cytokines (a type of protein that can either fight or promote inflammation), T cells (a type of white blood cell that regulates immune response), and interleukin 12 (a pro-inflammatory cytokine), according to a review published in Pflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system may not do these things as well, making it less able to defend your body against harmful invaders and making you more likely to get sick. One study published in the July–August 2017 issue of Behavioral Sleep Medicine found that compared with healthy young adults who did not have sleep problems, otherwise healthy young adults with insomnia were more susceptible to the flu even after getting vaccinated.
Sleep deprivation also elevates cortisol levels, which of course is also not good for immune function. With less sleep, our immune system wears down as a result, and we tend to have [fewer] reserves to fight off or recover from illness.
Adults must get at least seven hours of sleep per night to optimize health. To ensure you get quality sleep, prioritize good sleep hygiene: Turn off the electronics at least two to three hours before bed, and avoid violent or stressful books or conversations.
4. Regular Exercise and work Out (Outdoors, When Possible)
Regular exercise lowers your risk of developing chronic diseases (like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease), as well as viral and bacterial infections, according to a review in Frontiers in Immunology in April 2018. Exercise also increases the release of endorphins (a group of hormones that reduce pain and create feelings of pleasure) making it a great way to manage stress, as stress negatively impacts our immune system. Hence, exercise can improve immune response.
And while there is some evidence that very long or intense exercise sessions may suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and infection in the hours immediately after your workout, I will suggest that unless you are a sport man preparing your body for a competition, do not get involve in rigorous workout.
At a minimum, try to meet the physical activity guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adults should be getting at least 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (like walking, jogging, or cycling) or 75 minutes (one hour and 15 minutes) of high-intensity aerobic exercise (like running) every week. You should also be doing strength training at least twice a week. Note: you can break down the weekly requirements to daily activity to promote consistency
For even more immune system benefits, experts recommend taking your exercise outside. Spending time in nature has been shown to support mood, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and support immune system health. Sunshine also boosts vitamin D in the body, which plays a key role in immune health, too.
5. On Alcohol, be Moderate
Drinking high amounts of alcohol is associated with a range of negative health effects, including lowered immune function. When you drink high amounts of alcohol, your body is too busy trying to detoxify your system to bother with normal immune system function.
According to a review published in the journal Alcohol Research in 2015, high levels of alcohol consumption can weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and slow down your recovery time. As a result, people who drink high amounts of alcohol face a greater likelihood of pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, alcoholic liver disease, and certain cancers, according to the same review.
If you don’t already drink, don’t start. If you drink occasionally, limit your alcohol consumption.

6. Cigarettes and Tobacco Smokers Die Faster

Like alcohol, cigarette smoking can also affect immune health. “Anything that’s a toxin can compromise your immune system,” an expert says. In particular, the chemicals released by cigarette smoke — carbon monoxide, nicotine, nitrogen oxides, and cadmium — can interfere with growth and function of immune cells, like cytokines, T cells, and B cells, according to a November 2016 review in Oncotarget.
Smoking also worsens viral and bacterial infections (especially those of the lungs, like pneumoniaflu, and tuberculosis), post-surgical infections, and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the joints), according to the CDC. More importantly, avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible.
7. Manage Chronic Conditions Effectively

Chronic conditions like asthmaheart disease, and diabetes can affect the immune system and increase risk of infections. For example, when people with type 2 diabetes don’t manage their blood sugar properly, this can create a chronic, low-grade inflammatory response that weakens the body’s defense system, according to an October 2019 review in Current Diabetes Reviews. Similarly, people with asthma are more susceptible to catching — and even dying from — the flu, and often experience worse flu and asthma symptoms as a result of the infection, according to a study published in the July 2017 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Living with a chronic condition can be like trying to drive a car that has only three tires. If you get sick with a virus, it’s going to take more effort for your body to recover,” he explains.
If you manage your chronic conditions better, you'll free up more reserves to help your body fight off infection. So be sure to stay on top of any medications, Nutritional supplements, doctor visits, and healthy habits that keep your symptoms at bay. Your immune system will thank you.
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