1. Health & Lifestyle

Covid-19 Prevention: 7 Natural ways to strengthen your Immune System

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Health
Health (Pic Credit- Bio Space)

Our immune system does a remarkable job of defending against the disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails and a germ invades successfully and makes you sick. The idea of boosting our immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely - a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. The first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Here are some ways to strengthen our immune system naturally:

Tips to strengthen immune system:

1. Eat plant- based Foods and Healthy Fats: 

Plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that may give you an upper hand against harmful pathogens. Eating a low-fat, plant-based diet may help give the immune system a boost. The immune system relies on white blood cells that produce antibodies to combat bacteria, viruses, and other invaders. Vegetarians have been shown to have more effective white blood cells when compared to non- vegetarians, due to a high intake of vitamins and low intake of fat. Eating a low-fat diet may also be protective. Studies have shown that limiting dietary fat helps strengthen immune defenses. Research also shows that oil may impair white blood cell function and that high-fat diets may alter the gut microbiota that aid in immunity.

Healthy Foods
Healthy Foods (Pic Credit- One Green Planet)

2. Get Enough Sleep: 

During sleep, the immune system releases certain cytokines which increase with infection or inflammation, or during periods of stress, to combat illness. If the body is deprived of sleep, it may actually decrease production of these protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies. On those days, the body takes control to combat sickness and people may experience sleep disturbance or overall poor sleep quality, and may feel stronger urges to nap or sleep in. The body uses a lot of energy to fight viruses and eliminate pathogens by kicking the immune system into high gear. That means there is often less energy for other activities. Getting more sleep when sick is paramount to healing the body and conserving energy to fight against diseases.

3. Add Probiotic in Your Diet:

Probiotics are live microorganisms. When taken in sufficient amounts, they can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. Probiotics may help improve symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress and memory, among others. Research suggests that a flourishing network of gut bacteria can help your immune cells differentiate between normal, healthy cells and harmful invader organisms. 

4. Drink More Water: 

Dehydration can cause headaches and hinder your physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, and heart and kidney function. These complications can increase your susceptibility to illness. Hydration is a key element to maintaining a healthy immune system. As most of us are out of our normal routines during this COVID-19 Pandemic, it is important to remember to properly hydrate. Our immune system is highly dependent on the nutrients in our blood stream, and our blood stream is made mostly of water

Water
Water

5. Exercise Regularly: 

Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body's immune system cells that fight disease.

6. Limit added sugar: 

Emerging research suggests that added sugars and refined carbs may contribute disproportionately to overweight and obesity. Curbing your sugar intake can decrease inflammation and aid weight loss, thus reducing your risk of chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

7. Take supplement wisely: 

Though some supplements may fight viral infections, none have been proven to be effective against COVID-19. If you decide to supplement, make sure to purchase products that have been tested by a third party. Furthermore, supplements are prone to mislabeling because they aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Thus, you should only purchase supplements that have been independently tested by third-party organizations like United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, and Consumer Lab.

Although it is necessary to keep the immune system at its best possible condition at all times, opting for natural immunity boosters is what feels most relevant in these unprecedented times. Apart from following the above-discussed ways of boosting immunity, you should simultaneously keep a track of your progress by undergoing regular health checkups. 

Prevention is better than cure.

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