Signs of a weak immune system
- Frequent colds/infections
- Low platelet count or anemia
- Digestive problems – cramping, loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea
- Autoimmune disease
Our immunity system consists of white blood cells named Lymphocytes, which are formed by Lymph, spleen, bone marrow, etc.
We all heard the term “Germs”.
But, what actually does it mean?
By the term “Germ” what we actually mean is an array of microorganism which can only be seen through a microscope.
Every human body has 10 times more microorganism than the total number of cells in the body.1
Some are good germs. Some are bad germs.
So we must keep our immunity system strong to safeguard our body from the threat of harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
There are two principal members who play a vital role in the body’s Healthy Immunity
The name of the first member is your skin which can kill bacteria on the spot – keeps the outside world out and inside in and finally, the mucous membrane of the skin drives all the toxins that get caught in the mucous cell out and take into the digestive system where they are broken down by the gut flora.
Then your gut flora comes into action in which good germs or microbes work together to ensure that your body is getting the necessary nutrients it needs to push out all the harmful microbes in 6-8 hours it takes to process a meal.2
Naturally, If your digestive system gets weak, it becomes easier for the bad germs to cause bigger problems and make your immunity worse.
Keep on reading this article to learn about the most effective ways in order to have healthy immunity for your overall wellness.
Follow these 10 tips to boost up your Healthy Immunity
#1 Include all the whole plant foods in your diet and other nutritious foods
You must focus on more whole plant foods to strengthen healthy immunity naturally. Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. are full of antioxidants and nutrients that work as immunity boosters.
Remember that colorful foods like carrots, berries, spinach are excellent resources of antioxidants used in reducing oxidative stress. Some foods, including amla, guava, orange, kiwi, broccoli, etc. are rich in Vitamin C.
Vitamin C alone plays a vital role to have a healthy immunity in the body.
Vitamin C can protect you from severe respiratory infections and the common cold. So adding more fresh vegetables and fruits to your regular diet will definitely keep you away from all kinds of harmful diseases.
You must take more probiotic foods that are readily available in fermented foods. Add yogurt, kimchi, keffir, natto, etc. to your plate for having good gut bacteria.
Besides, you must be careful about taking added sugars. Reducing the amount of added sugar from your daily diet will lessen the risk of obesity which ultimately weakens your immune system.
Niket Sonpal, renowned gastroenterologist, observed explained in his research that consuming too much sugar can affect the cells in your immune system that target bacteria in other words sugar affects the way your white blood cells attack bacteria.3
Keep your sugar intake within 5% of daily calories to get rid of chronic diseases.
#2 Maintain moderate exercise regularly
You must follow a regular exercise schedule to live in a healthy way.
Do not go for prolonged exercises, but moderate exercises such as jogging, swimming, steady bicycling, etc. can enhance your immunity power.
It not only does help you to improve your cardiovascular health but also facilitates the process of weight loss.
Regular exercise can safeguard you from several diseases and thus ensures a robust healthy immunity .
According to Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School,
Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases.
Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to healthy immunity.
Exercise may help by promoting good blood circulation in the body which allows the cells and other substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.”4
#3 Get quality sleep at every night
Most of the time, we ignore the fact that sleep is one of the essential factors for healthy living.
If you do not have enough sleep at night, it will undoubtedly impact your immune health.
You must get a minimum of seven hours of adequate sleep every night to sustain your natural immunity.
The researchers found that a good night’s sleep can boost the effectiveness of certain specialized immune cells called T cells.
After taking T cells from some people who slept and some who remained awake, it was found that the T cells of sleeping people had higher levels of integrin activation compared with the same cells taken from people in a waking state.5
# 4 Do not forget to meditate
Stress and anxiety are closely associated with your healthy immunity. To keep your immune system functioning actively, you must reduce your stress level.
When we are stressed, our body turns off its defense system in order to conserve energy and keep our heart pumping and lungs breathing – which is the ideal time for the harmful bacteria or germs to affect our body.
Prolonged stress can cause inflammation, which affects the immune response. Keep yourself relax and stress-free as much as possible for boosting healthy immunity.
Yoga and breathing exercises are good ways to release stress and anxiety problems.
Research says that practicing mindfulness regularly deactivate or calms the stress center or fear or anxiety center of the brain.
Meditation has lots of benefits, which are essential to make a balance between our mental and emotional health. Try to meditate at least for 20 minutes every day.
Sitting for a few minutes and focusing on breathing can calm your mind effectively. Sometimes fear can suppress the natural defense system of our body.
The interconnectedness of the mind and body cannot be stressed enough. One major field of study devoted to this is called psychoneuroimmunology which focuses on how your nervous system, your hormones, and your immune system interact with one another.
Your body has the power to modulate the immune system by regulating its natural inflammatory response and increasing the number of your natural killer cells.
But they can only do this when your stress hormone levels are low enough for the body to resume its self-healing abilities.
The release of serotonin from doing regular meditation helps you to release of serotonin which can strengthen your immune system by fighting inflammation in the body.
Serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter, plays a major role in mood regulation. A deficiency of serotonin is associated with depression, and a study revealed that serotonin knockout mice, with the deletion of a serotonin receptor, IA, exhibited more fear.6
#5 Have Supportive Food Supplements
Nowadays it has become imperative and the necessity to take food or dietary supplement on a daily basis because of so many practical reasons, e.g. lack of fresh fruits and vegetable, cooked and processed foods which devoid of nutrients.
Of course, we must be careful enough while choosing the right kind of food supplement.
The companies who follow the innovative organic farming technique in their own certified organic farm, process those in their own factory and market, simply the companies who have total control from seeds to finished products, are the right choice.
Moreover, taking these following supportive supplements can ensure healthy immunity for your wellness —
Antiviral and antibacterial herbs
- Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea or angustifolia): Echinacea is one of the most powerful herbs for fighting off upper respiratory infections. Studies have shown that taking it at the earliest signs of the cold or flu can reduce the severity of illness. Extracts of echinacea can stimulate immune function, and may even be as effective as the flu drug without potential adverse side effects. The most common way to consume echinacea is as a tea or capsule.
- Turmeric (Curcuma Longa): A spice known for its bright orange color is rich in curcumin, a compound with known disease-fighting and antioxidant-rich characteristics. Turmeric can lessen inflammation in the your body, make heart and brain healthy, and even prevents your body’s toxicity.
- Aswagandha (Withania somnifera): It has also demonstrated excellent immune-boosting effects on our immune system. It encourage anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting immune cells to combat illness. As Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory ingredient it is very effective in painful conditions such as arthritis.
Studies in humans have found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy. 7
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum): Cinnamon Cinnamon is full of polyphenols and antioxidants and is a known anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer, and heart-healthy spice. You can add it to tea, baked goods, hot cocoa, coffee, and warm stir-fries
- Garlic (Allium sativum) and ginger (Zingiber officinale): Garlic and ginger have potent antiinflammatory and immune-optimizing properties. As a side benefit, ginger can help settle your stomach and reduce the pain associated with migraines, while garlic may reduce cancer risk.
- Vitamin D3: Vitamin D is another essential nutrient for healthy immunity.
A study published in the British Medical Journal showed that people who had optimal vitamin D levels and who took vitamin D during the winter had lower rates of flu than people who received flu vaccines.8
People who have vitamin D deficiency are 11 times more prone to get a cold or flu. Vitamin D supplementation can reduce colds and flu by up to 42%.
- Zinc: Our immune system needs zinc just about everything. A deficiency of zinc actually collapses several parts of the immune system. The number of lymphocytes diminishes and the functions of many white cells is severely decreased. Besides, the levels of the thymic hormone, which is a strong stimulus of the immune system, goes down.9
The excellent sources of zinc are oatmeal, tofu, cashews, sunflower seeds, peanuts, lentils.
Fish Oil: Our immune system requires inflammation in order to heal wounds and fight illness. However, sometimes the process becomes deregulated. This is where the essential oils, or fish oil, in particular, come into play. These oils contain essential fatty acids called omega-3s.10
In the last ten years, nearly five thousand studies have been conducted on omega-3 acid alone. These studies have researched the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for everything from heart disease to cancer, psoriasis, autoimmune disorders, and even kidney disease.
If you take 1 to 2 grams of fish oil containing no fillers on a regular basis, it will boost up your natural defense.
Both fish oil and olive oil contains healthy fats that work as an anti-inflammatory and improve your immune response as well.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in Salmon and chia seeds can make your body strong to fight off illness.
- Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus): Mushrooms, including the commonly consumed varieties, like white, crimini, and Portobello, have been studied for their immune-modulating and enhancing abilities.
There’s so much evidence that mushrooms are good for your immune system that they’ve even been studied as a potential treatment for cancer. 11
Besides, mushrooms may increase a vital immune-balancing compound called secretory IgA.
#6 Overcome your addictions
You must conquer your addictions in order to live a healthy life. It’s definitely a threat to your healthy immunity.
Most of the people around the world are addicted to several things, including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, junk foods, and more.
Long-term struggles with alcohol or drugs can lead to considerable damage to many systems in the body, especially the immune system.12
These do nothing well but weaken our immune system badly.
Meditation is one of the best ways to come out of these addictions.
You have to follow a healthy lifestyle and keep a positive attitude to strengthen your healthy immunity.