Your immune system is always at work, whether you are working at the office or even traveling on holidays. The tiny warriors of your body work tirelessly to fight away the different kinds of disease-causing microbes. And only when you stay fit and healthy can you give your best at work or enjoy yourself in the best possible way during vacations.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, you might have enjoyed staying back at home and playing in a virtual escape room or watching movies to spend your time. But apart from the digital entertainment and distant working comfort we got during this time, we must also learn to care for ourselves and stay fit to battle diseases. It is vital to strengthen your immune system to fight away notorious disease-causing viruses or bacteria to remain safe and protected in today’s time.
Various nutritional supplements and products are readily available in the market, claiming to help people boost their immunity in no time. But the process of supporting your immune system is not as easy as just popping in a few nutritional supplements now and then.
And so, to make things a bit easier for you, in this article, we bring before you the 5 best ways that can help you to strengthen your immune system in no time. Simple, practical, and easy-to-follow, you can stick to these small and impactful tactics to enhance your body’s immune system without consuming expensive supplements or medicines!
1. Always remain updated on the recommended vaccines
The most important and beneficial ways to strengthen your body’s immune system and propel it to fight off diseases is, of course, through vaccines. While you may think that your immune system is strong enough to fight off any disease, it would be tomfoolery not to take recommended vaccines on time.
Vaccines are essentially a weakened version of a particular disease-causing microbe, which starts to train your immune system once injected into your body. Your immune system is smart enough and thus starts preparing antibodies in response to this injected weakened microbial body. Once your body can fight off the given microbe, the rest of the antibodies stay behind in your body to protect your body against further attacks from the same microbe.
The entire process of vaccination gears towards helping your immune system recognize particular disease-causing microbes and knowing the way to fight them. Your body’s immune system gets a mock training period with the help of the vaccine to remain prepared for when the disease-causing microbes attack!
Thus, you must remain updated on the vaccinations that doctors and scientists recommend and take them on time. Especially when it comes to your Covid-19 vaccinations, boosters, or even your annual flu shots, always take them on time.
2. Always strengthen your immune system in the ‘natural’ way
While taking supplements seems easy and rapid to boost your immunity, it is always better to choose natural methods. You can find several kinds of such supplements when you go grocery shopping that would claim to support your immunity. But, don’t be taken by them!
It is often a common practice amongst athletes to indulge in a process called blood doping. In this process, they pump extra blood into their bodily systems, thereby increasing the number of red blood cells in their bodies. It helps them enhance their performance while participating in different programs. Though, artificially boosting the number of cells in your body is not a ‘healthy’ practice to indulge in and may even run the risk of strokes.
The idea of even attempting to boost the number of cells in your body becomes an incredibly complicated process, given the sheer kinds of cells in the body! Also, each type of cell present in the human body has its way of responding to different disease-causing microbes.
When scientists are also not confident about which cells need to get boosted and which ones do not, how can you be so far confident about it? Nobody knows for sure which kind(s) of cells and in what number is required for the immune system to function at its optimum level.
The only fact that we know for sure is that the body is always in the process of producing more new cells (including lymphocytes) than it possibly needs at the moment. The body is also versatile in removing all the extra cells through a process of cell death called apoptosis.
3. Perpetually maintaining a healthy diet plan
Consistently focusing on consuming a healthy balanced diet is another essential step you must consider. Having a healthy diet is the key to the process of strengthening your immune system.
So, instead of consuming your favorite pizzas, burgers, or subway sandwiches now and then, ensure that you also consume some leafy vegetables and fruits. Consuming a sufficient number of fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean proteins, and even healthy fats is beneficial to the human body.
For your body’s immune system to function regularly on a healthy basis, you need to provide it with regular nutritional nourishment. Several studies since time immemorial have suggested how people who thrive in abject poverty and are perpetually malnourished remain more vulnerable to diseases.
Studies on animal specimens have revealed how different micro nutritional deficiencies may alter the body’s immune responses. However, it is still unclear how exactly these altered immune responses affect the health of the animals in question. Although, we know the lack of zinc, selenium, iron, folic acid, and vitamins like A, B6, C, and E generally causes it. But the study however still needs conduction on human specimens.
Micronutrients play an essentially vital role in maintaining and strengthening your immune system. Thus, in addition to consuming a healthy balanced diet daily, you also need to ensure that your body gets the required micronutrients in the desired quantity. Some of the essential micronutrients that you need to incorporate into your regular diet are:
- Vitamin B6 – is found in chicken, bananas, potatoes (with the skin), green vegetables, and fish like salmon and tuna.
- Vitamin C – is found in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges and vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach.
- Vitamin E – is found in almonds, oils like sunflower oil and safflower oil, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and spinach.
- Iron – is found in dark chocolate, broccoli, red meat, legumes, green leafy vegetables, tofu, whole grains, and pumpkin seeds.
- Zinc – is found in sesame seeds, oysters, beef, chicken legs, firm tofu, lean pork chops, lentils, oatmeal, and mushrooms.
- Selenium – found in Brazil nuts, tuna, shellfish (oysters), lean pork chops, beef, lean chicken breasts, firm tofu, whole wheat pasta, shrimp, and mushrooms.
- Folic acid – is found in asparagus, turkey liver, sunflower seeds, broccoli, avocado, peanuts, bananas, tomato juice, oranges, peppermint, papayas, beetroot, and brussels sprouts.
4. No better medicine than regular exercise!
Several studies have proved that there can be no better alternative to exercising regularly over time. Push out those thoughts in your head that perpetually tell you that regular exercise is only for building muscles or releasing stress from your mind.
Regular exercise is essential to ensuring that your body remains fit and healthy. It helps you in supporting a healthy immune system. Exercising regularly helps in improving blood circulation all around your body. It thereby helps make it easier for your immune cells and other infection-fighting molecules to travel all around your body smoothly.
Regularly exercising certainly does mean that you need to engage in one to two hours of vigorous workout sessions. You can commit to as little as 15 to 30 minutes of moderate to lively workout sessions based on how much your body supports in a day.
While working out, remember never to push your body too much to complete a particular exercise if you feel your body is not ready to take the pressure. Instead, you need to start with small baby steps by doing beginner levels exercises at the start. Then, gradually as your body gets used to the workout sessions, you can then move from the beginner level exercises to moderate and even advanced levels!
5. Drink plenty of water all day round!
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is a crucial process for your bodily functions, including your immune system. Lymph, which is fluid in your circulatory system, is mainly made up of water. It is a vital part of your body, as it carries your disease-fighting immune cells all around your body!
Now, when your body does not get sufficient water and thereby becomes dehydrated, the movement of the lymph gradually slows down. The slowing down of the movement of the lymph means your immune cells would not be carried around in your body when needed. Thus, dehydration would naturally impair the immune system of your body.
Thus, it is always essential to keep drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even if you are not sweating or exercising.
So, these are the 5 best ways to strengthen your immune system. You can develop your ideas based on your health routine and needs and add these strategies to keep your body fit and healthy in the long run. And while you are busy putting armor on your immune system, don’t forget to take the necessary steps to minimize your stress levels and sleep properly at night, as they are also vital to ensure the well-being of your bodily functions.