Taking care of your immune system matters at every age, but especially as you get older. Considering the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it has become all the more crucial to protect and boost your immunity.
What is the immune system?
When we refer to the immune system, we are actually talking about a complex network of cells and proteins. This is the body's defense mechanism, and it protects us by fighting infection. A stronger immune system is better able to fight off and defeat any germs that enter the body, allowing us to stay healthy rather than succumb to illness.
Luckily, you do not need fancy tips, tricks or supplements to increase your immunity! There are plenty of natural ways to improve immunity, from adopting healthy habits to incorporating key immunity-boosting foods into your diet. Read on to find out how to increase immunity and keep yourself in tip-top condition.
1. Get Plenty of Immunity-Boosting Foods
Prioritizing a balanced diet full of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants can help support your body when it is fending off infections. Aim to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, particularly those packed with vitamin C such as oranges, strawberries, papayas, tomatoes, capsicums and guavas. Ingredients containing zinc such as chickpeas and lentils are also helpful. You should also eat foods containing natural probiotics like yoghurt, paneer and buttermilk. Junk or oily foods like samosas, nuggets, chips, Maggi etc. are best avoided.
2. Harness the Power of Healthy Drinks
Don't forget delicious drinks, particularly green and tulsi tea, as they are loaded with powerful antioxidants. You can even drink the homemade 'golden milk' that's created with turmeric, ginger and calcium-enriched nut milk (optional). Equally, certain drinks could upset your immune system and are best avoided (or only enjoyed occasionally). These include carbonated beverages, as well as packaged juices.
3. Complement a Healthy Diet with Healthy Habits
Alongside a diet packed with nourishing foods, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to boost the immune system. Start by making sure you are at a healthy BMI index– if you're not, start by avoiding processed meals. The only way to bring about actual change and boost your immune system is to change your habits. Use this time to create discipline in your life, so you wake up and go to bed at the same time every day.
4. Exercise Regularly to Strengthen Your Immune System
You shouldn't only concentrate on food to increase immunity but should focus on improving your overall health. That is because a healthy diet should always be accompanied with some form of exercise. With most of us staying at home to curb the spread of coronavirus, exercising has begun to take a back-seat. However, it's crucial to move about for a healthy body and mind. You can try Yoga Yoga , or enroll in a fitness class, or exercise along with trainers on YouTube.
5. Clear Toxins with Immune Booster Herbs
We may choose to increase our immunity by consuming natural immunity boosting foods such as garlic and ginger. While the former is known for its anti-microbial properties, the latter has anti-inflammatory effects. Both the herbs can be added to your diet and can help improve immunity by purifying blood. Additionally, if you're wondering how to boost your immune system naturally, you should cut down on sugar as it causes inflammation, making you vulnerable to infections.
6. Drink Water and Eat Healthy Snacks
Sometimes you feel hungry when in reality you're just thirsty. When trying to boost immunity, always remember the power of water. You should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day – while you do that, don't go overboard. Drinking too much water can be dangerous as it decreases the sodium levels in your body. Moderation is key! And when you're not thirsty but hungry, opt for healthy snacks like fruits that boost immunity.
7. Sleep Well to Boost Immunity
Getting enough sleep—most experts suggest 7-9 hours per night, with similar bedtimes and wake-up times every day. If you don't rest for the required number of hours, you will impair your bodily functions that need to be in tip-top condition to fight infections. Your body needs rest to refresh your cognitive ability and to keep you active when awake. When you're experiencing lack of sleep, you also reach out for unhealthy snacks and too much coffee - both of which aren't great if you're trying to strengthen your immune system.
8. Manage Stress with These Health Tips
There is an increase in the hormone cortisol when we are under stress. It's the primary stress hormone, which increases glucose in the bloodstream. This leads to high blood pressure, weight gain, anxiety and depression. All of these can lead to an impaired immune system, thereby making us vulnerable to potential threats like viruses and bacteria. To avoid high-levels of cortisol in the body, you should avoid scenarios that cause you stress. Get enough sleep, eat healthy food and avoid coffee to naturally lower cortisol.
9. Practice Meditation to Improve Health
If you're wondering how to improve immunity, you must practice meditation. That's because meditating can help you become more mindful of what you eat and drink and make you aware of your surroundings. It can also help you manage stress and improve sleep. All of these are byproducts of mediation, and you can begin seeing a difference in your life from the moment you start practicing.
10. Easy Ways to Boost Immunity and Avoid Infection
A key way to support your immune system is to avoid scenarios that may compromise it. This includes the following tips for preventing infection. Wash your hands regularly, use hand sanitizer, maintain social distance and disinfect household and personal items that you use regularly. Remember, if you have any concerns about your health, seek medical advice as soon as possible from a medical professional. Being prepared for the future means thinking about life insurance.