Having a healthy immune system is essential for your body to fight off infection. We take a look at 6 naturally effective ways to bolster your body’s defences.
With the current public health crisis we’re all facing with COVID-19, many of us are wondering what we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Everyday precautions such as washing our hands often and social distancing are key to staying well. But what if we told you that there’s a way you can build your body strong internally to face all the crisis? There are ways that can boost your immune system and combat or lessen illness symptoms and we will tell you how to get there.
Our immune system is the first line of defense of our body against bacteria and other harmful organisms entering the body. A stronger immune system means lesser chances of you falling ill. When your immune system is weak, your body is much more vulnerable to viruses, allergies and all the other infections lurking around you. With little change in your diet, lifestyle and daily routine, you can ensure that your immune system is strong enough to protect you against any infection. From sleeping for 7-8 hours to eating a balanced diet, the ways mentioned below are simple but they can really be helpful if followed. Follow them and witness the change in your body’s strength to fight illness.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
One of the best things you can do for your immune system is to prioritize sleep, aiming for a minimum 7 or 8 hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep. Sleep is your body’s time to repair itself and that includes producing T-cells that help fight off infections. There’s a reason beauty sleep is life-altering and you should definitely get the right amount of it.
A regular exercise routine does much more than shape your body, it boosts the immune system and promotes good circulation which aids in better sleep. Regular exercise, especially cardio – running and lightweight exercises boosts the cells in your immune system and reduce inflammation, so your body can use its defenses to fight infection. Other great benefits of exercise include lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes and helping keep your brain sharp.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Staying hydrated by drinking water helps the body function in many ways. From digestion and circulation to organ protection, nearly every major bodily system depends on water. If you are thinking of how to boost your immune system naturally, consuming a good amount of water is the first and the easiest thing to do. Water brings balance to the body and takes care of important everyday bodily functions, such as regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and getting rid of toxins. Your body is made up of as much as 70% water – making it crucial to have enough water in your body. It is ideal to drink 8 glasses or 3-4 liters of water each day.
Aside from water, non-caffeinated beverages like green tea or fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of water such as cucumbers, watermelons or tomatoes can help keep you hydrated. Try to avoid sodas and flavoured waters as these can lead to dehydration.
Watch your Diet
Food and nutrition are key to your health and well-being. A diet rich in whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes will contain nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants that naturally boost your immune system. Opt for brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, berries, apples, grapes, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots.
Your immune system is a complex network of cells that are constantly working to protect you from harmful microbes and toxins. It needs a whole host of nutrients in order to work effectively. Most of the population can meet their nutrient requirements by eating a healthy balanced diet. (The exception, is of course, if you are deficient in a particular nutrient or pregnant or have been prescribed to take a supplement by your dietitian). We do need supplements for lots of reasons, including poor diet, poor gut health, stress, medications, climate, etc.
Control your Stress Levels
There’s a strong link between your immune health and your mental health. When you’re under chronic stress or anxiety, your body produces stress hormones that can suppress your immune system. Although you can’t avoid stress in your life, you can adopt strategies to help you manage it better. You can work on it by some de-stressing techniques like exercising, meditating, listening to music or even trying calming teas. On worse days, get a massage or hit the spa. But the key is to keep yourself calm in the longer run to have a healthy mind and body.