The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that help prevent infection from external invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins.
It is known as a highly adaptive and complex biological system that requires balance of all parts to function properly. This means that optimal immune health depends on a multifaceted approach that focuses on making healthy lifestyle choices.
Here are some practical tips to incorporate into your daily life to ensure that your immune system is strong enough to fight off external invaders.
1. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Lisa Baller, an osteopathic physician and functional medical practitioner, says the easiest way to ensure adequate availability of anti-oxidants and vitamins and minerals that boost immunity is to eat colorful foods.
“Rainbow foods” include red and yellow apples, potatoes, cherries, grapes or grapes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, mangoes, tangerines, kiwis, broccoli, olives, lemons, pears, bananas, pineapples, berries, cabbage and fruits. Cabbage or broccoli, dates, coconut and nuts.
2. Get enough sleep
If you do not get good sleep, you are more likely to get infections because the body fights inflammation and infection during sleep.
People who experience irregular sleep patterns may suffer from chronic inflammation, and this inflammation compresses the immune system, which is less effective in fighting viral or bacterial infections.
Although the amount of sleep you need is personal, most adults recommend getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
3. Make sure you eat enough protein
According to Harvard Health Publishing, you need to get at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to stay healthy.
Lack of protein in the body can harm T cells, which are an essential part of the immune system because they transmit immune antibodies to viruses and bacteria.
The protein is high in zinc, which helps build white blood cells that fight infection.
Zinc-rich lean proteins are found in oysters, crab, chicken, chickpeas and baked beans.
4. Do not look for foods that contain prebiotics
Prebiotics are found in foods such as onions, garlic, bananas and asparagus. They help maintain a balanced gut microbiome, which plays an important role in how the immune system functions.
Prebiotics work by increasing the number of “good bacteria” in the gut, which stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, small proteins that help the immune system function.
5. Stress management
There is a large research organization that combines stress levels with immune function.
And when we feel stressed, our immune system does not work properly. This is because stress releases hormones into the body such as adrenaline, dopamine, norepinephrine and cortisol, which reduce the body’s ability to make lymphocytes, white blood cells that help fight viruses or harmful bacteria.
Meditation and yoga are some of the activities that can help relieve stress.
6. Get enough vitamins through your diet
Nutrition is our primary defense in the fight against infection. Key players in battle include vitamins such as A, C, E, B6, and D, and minerals such as zinc, iron, and selenium.
Because many of these vitamins help maintain a strong immune system, they are antioxidants.
Some foods rich in these vitamins include carrots, sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, strawberries, almonds, butter, salmon, oysters, tuna, lean chicken breast and beef.
If you are vitamin deficient, you should consult a healthcare professional about whether taking nutritional supplements will help you.
7. Be moderately active
Being active has been shown to contribute to immune health. According to a 2019 study, exercise has many benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving the immune system, which can delay the negative effects of aging. The study also found that moderate exercise such as walking, dancing or yoga can reduce the risk of disease.
8. Stop smoking
“Smoking increases the risk of infection by destroying antibodies from the bloodstream,” Baylor says. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to fight foreign infections.
He added, “Cigarette smoking affects the ability to get rid of lung infections and destroy lung tissue,” which makes smokers particularly susceptible to respiratory illnesses such as influenza and “Govt-19”.
Source: Business Insider
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