As total number of Novel Coronavirus cases are increasing, more people are worried and wondering, what they can do to improve their chances of fighting the virus. A healthy immune system seems to be the answer. Although, it won’t protect us against the virus. However, it certainly can help us with a speedy recovery. The function of immune system is to defend our body against the germs and micro-organisms. There are various factors which affects the general functioning of the immune system e.g.: age, gender, eating habits, medical status, and fitness level.
Here are the 5 effective ways to strengthen your Immune System:
1. Things to avoid:
Before starting with the things, you should do. Here is a list of things you should avoid:
White Blood Cells (WBC) are responsible for fighting the germs, and oil is the enemy of WBC. While shopping go for the low-fat dairy, along with lean protein like seafood, chicken and beef with visible fat cut off, and go for natural sweet like honey.
Anxiety and stress are not any help to your immune system. Studies have shown that short or prolonged stress both does severe damage to our immune system. Socializing has always been a good stress buster and helps in controlling the anxiety. In this pandemic we are to keep the social distance, but should not stop socializing. In 2020, it’s now even easier to connect to our loved ones than ever before, through internet. Talk to your psychiatrist if it takes a toll on you.
Cigarettes, chewing tobacco or any other source of nicotine are directly harmful to your immune system. It hinders the immune system’s ability to fight germs.
Regularly smoking pot for a long period of time shows same lung problem as cigarettes does. If you smoke pot regularly, the coughing with colored mucus can be seen, just like you when you smoke cigarettes. Its increases the chance of lung infections.
Drinking too much can seriously damage your body’s ability to repair itself. It makes our body more prone to liver disease, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and certain cancers. Try to drink occasionally. And if not, try to drink not more than two drinks.
2. Fruits and Vegetables:
Healthy diet plays a vital role for having a healthy immune system. However, eating fresh fruits and vegetables regularly looks cumbersome for the most of us. But during this time of pandemic, we need to improve our diet more than ever before. A truly healthy immune system depends on a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals over time.
Here are some tips for getting the essential vitamins and minerals for your immune system:
Vitamin C are one of the most important vitamins for a healthy immune system. Orange, Sweet Potato, Mango, Strawberries etc. are some common fruits rich with vitamin C.
Here is a link of the vitamin sources : https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_C
Vitamin E can be a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection, like vitamin C. Spinach, broccoli, including nuts, such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, and vegetable oils, such as sunflower, wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils are the common sources of vitamin E.
Iron helps our body to carry oxygen to cells. It comes in different forms. Our body can easily absorb “heme iron,” which is abundant in lean poultry such as chicken and turkey, plus seafood. And vegetarians can get other forms of iron in beans, broccoli and kale.
Selenium have a powerful effect on the immune system. It has the potential to slow down body’s over-active responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer. The common sources of selenium are garlic, broccoli, sardines, tuna, brazil nuts and barley etc.
Zinc helps to slow down the immune response and control inflammation in our body.You can find zinc in oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, baked beans, yogurt and chickpeas.
When you search the web for correlation between workout and the immune system, you will find it a debatable topic among the researchers.
J-curve, S-curve and Window Theory, these are the most common theories that debates about the effect of workout to our immune system.
The conclusion is that mild workouts like cycling, jumping rope or pushups every other day can help build a healthy immune system. Plus, workout lowers our stress and anxiety level.
Yoga practice have a gentle and natural means of supporting our immune system. Yoga helps lower the stress hormones. It improves our lungs and respiratory system.
Overall, the collection of research indicates yoga has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body.
5. Plenty of Sleep
Studies has shown that not enough sleep could lead lower immune capabilities. It makes our body more exposed to virus attacks. Less sleep also affects the body’s rate of recovery.
While asleep, our immune system releases cytokines protein. Cytokines are necessary when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you are under stress. Thus, having not enough sleep leads to the reduction of infection fighting antibodies.
Lack of sleep increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
But like any other thing sleeping more is also bad for health. For an average adult 6-8 hours of sleep is ideal.