The Immune System
Your immune system is made up of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to keep you healthy. They work together to help the body fight infections and disease.
Bacteria or viruses invade your body cause them to attack and multiply. This is known as an infection. The infection causes the disease which makes you unwell. Your immune system protects you against disease by fighting against pathogens.
The immune system is always in search of threats, so it becomes even more active when you get infected, requiring extra energy, vitamins, and minerals from your food. The immune system prevails over other physiological systems in the allocation of resources.
This causes your immune system to take what is needed but at the cost of other body systems if your diet is insufficient. A sufficient and balanced intake of nutrients is necessary if a correct immune reaction is to be established.
Poor nutrition prevents the immune system from working properly since it affects both innate and acquired immunity and increases your susceptibility to disease.
When you remedy the deficiency(s), your immunity increases and the availability of certain nutrients and immunological defensive performance are inherently related to this.
- The protection with which you are born refers to innate immunity. It’s your body’s first defense line. The skin and mucous membranes are included as obstacles. They remove dangerous substances from the body. It also contains certain cells and chemicals which can attack foreign substances.
- You develop an active immunity, known as adaptive immunity when you are infected with or vaccinated against an alien substance. In general, active immunity takes a long period. For many illnesses, it can last your whole life.
- The presence of antibodies to the disease, as opposed to producing them yourself, involves passive immunity. Such immunity offers immediate protection but lasts only a few weeks or months. The blood products containing antibodies may also be obtained.
Can Food ‘Boost’ Immunity?
First, we must define what we mean by increasing immunity, as many people say you can increase immunity beyond normal levels.
The immunological function is based on the following vitamins: A, B6, B12, folate, C, D, and E, and trace mineral zinc, copper, selenium, and iron.
It was emphasised that the nutrients mentioned above have a dire impact on the immune system due to their lack; however, other nutrients may have an indirect impact on immunity.
The consumption of nutrient-dense food certainly helps to preserve the immune system.
Common Points to strengthen your Immune System
Get adequate Sleep
Sleep and immunity are inextricably linked.
In fact, a lack of or poor quality of sleep has been related to an increased risk of illness.
Eat more whole plant foods
Whole plant meals such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are high in nutrients and antioxidants, which may help you fight diseases.
Antioxidants in these foods aid in the reduction of inflammation by combating unstable chemicals known as free radicals, which can cause inflammation when they build up in high concentrations in the body.
Eat more healthy fats
By reducing inflammation, healthy fats like those found in coconuts, coconut oil, olive oil, and salmon may help your body’s immunological response to infections.
Although inflammation is a typical reaction to stress or injury, chronic inflammation can weaken your immune system.
Eat more fermented foods or take a probiotic supplement
Fermented foods are high in probiotic microorganisms, which help to keep your digestive tract healthy.
Yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir are examples of these foods.
According to research, a thriving network of gut bacteria can aid immune cells in distinguishing between normal, healthy cells and hazardous invader organisms.
Regular exercise might help you strengthen your immune system and fight infections. Your immune system benefits from exercise in a variety of ways.
It can improve blood flow, eliminate bacteria from your airways, induce a temporary rise in body temperature that may be beneficial, build antibodies to help fight infection, and lower stress hormones.
Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity causes chronic inflammation, which compromises your immune system. Chronic inflammation is a serious problem that can lead to a variety of illnesses and disorders, both minor and major.
Obesity and being overweight are unhealthy and can lead to major ailments in the long run. To summarise, a healthy body composition aids in the development of a stronger immune system.
Don’t smoke and No to Alcohol
The immune system is weakened by alcohol and smoking. Too much alcohol weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to illness. Tobacco use weakens the immune system and makes the body less capable of fighting disease.
Although hydration does not necessarily protect you from germs and viruses, avoiding dehydration is critical to your overall health.
Dehydration can cause headaches and impair the physical performance, concentration, mood, digestion, and heart and kidney function. These complications can make you more prone to illness.
Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, lemon juice with salt, soups, and unsweetened black tea or coffee, to avoid dehydration. However, avoid caffeine after 3 p.m., as it may interfere with your sleep.
Stay out of stress
The immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced when we are stressed. As a result, we are more vulnerable to infections. Cortisol, a stress hormone, can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system.
Functional stress is temporary and easily managed, whereas dysfunctional stress is extremely harmful. Feel good about who we are and whatever we have. Gratitude and dissatisfaction cannot coexist. Being grateful is a simple mechanism for living a stress-free life.
Meditation, exercise, yoga, and positive thinking can all help you to manage your stress.