As the world reels from the novel Coronavirus pandemic, there is also a continuous debate on how we can improve our immune system to lower chances of getting the disease.
Overall, our immune system does a wonderful job of fending off bacterial and viral invasions. However, sometimes it fails and we get sick.
Even though the idea of a strong and healthy immunity is enticing, the ability to create one has proved pretty elusive thus far. That’s because our immune system is not dependent on a single factor; it is a whole interconnected system which requires balance and harmony to work well.
For hundreds of years, scientists have been researching the effects of diet, exercise, stress, and abstinence on the immune systems. Although, there is no exact formula to boost your immunity, scientists say following a good lifestyle habits can give your immunity the boosts it needs.
Some lifestyle factors that are common in people with good immune systems are listed below. Let’s check them out:
Eat Fruit and Vegetable
You may have heard doctors and nutritionists say that you should incorporate a rainbow of fruit and veggies in your diet. Colorful whole fruit and vegetable are rich in antioxidants that protect our body against the inflammatory effects of harmful radicals, reduce the risk of carcinogenic cells and contribute towards overall health and wellness.
On the other hand, if free radicals are allowed to proliferate, they can cause numerous diseases like heart conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, and some cancers.
Additionally, fruit and vegetables are also a rich source of natural fiber which your gut microbiome feeds on. A healthy level of these good bacteria in your body prevents dangerous pathogens from entering your body and keeps your immune system health.
When many people hear hydration, some people take it to mean anything that has water in it, including cola and coffee. However, the caffeine and sugar does not replace all the essential fluids you lose when you perspire.
That’s why it is important to drink water or non-caffeinated herbal teas to get enough water in your body. Although hydration doesn’t necessarily act as a barrier between pathogens and your body, preventing dehydration has an overall positive effect on your body.
Dehydration can cause liver, heart and kidney issues, headaches, dizziness, lost focus, and digestion issues. These issues can increase your susceptibility towards certain illnesses. To prevent dehydration, consume enough fluid so that your urine is pale yellow to clear.
The best source of hydration is water since it is free of calories, sugars, fats, and artificial additives. A rule of the thumb is that you should drink when you are thirsty and stop drinking when you have quenched your thirsty. If you are an athlete, work outdoors, or live in hot places, your water intake should be higher.
Everyone knows that sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D which is essential for your bones, but do you know that it also provide powerful benefits to our immune system?
Researchers have found that sunlight energizes T-cells that play a major role in thwarting infection in our body. The blue light from the sun is the safest form of vitamin D and does not promote skin cancer.
Research is still going on to understand the full impact of these findings but scientists are hopeful and suggest patients deficient in Vitamin D should be exposed to blue light to boost their immunity.
When our ancestors were threatened by the saber-toothed tiger, they learnt that stress aka the fight-or-flight response was good. However, chronic stress is the opposite and if it is allowed to prevail, will wreak havoc on your immune system by promoting inflammation and system-wide imbalances.
Relieving stress is the key and mindfulness activities like meditation can help with that. Since our brain is intimately connected to our immune system, practicing meditation is not a purely psychological activity but also taps into our physical body function. This eases day-to-day stress and leads to healthier immune system and slower aging.
There has been a lot of fake news floating around claiming that vitamins will prevent you from contracting the coronavirus. These assumptions have no basis in science and are untrue. However, it is true that taking multi-vitamins and certain minerals is good for over your overall general immunity.
Vitamin C: According to a study, people who took 1,000 to 2,000 mg of Vitamin C everyday were successful in reducing the duration of their cold. However, taking the vitamin did not prevent them from contracting the cold.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is a vital vitamin which is important for the proper biochemical reactions in the body. This vitamin is found in chick peas and green vegetable.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that help destroys free radical in the body. Sources rich in vitamin E include seeds, broccoli, and nuts.
Your immune system requires proper amount of sleep so that it can work in an optimal way. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 6 hours a sleep are more susceptible to colds than people who get at least 6 hours of sleep.
When your body is seep deprived, it produces cortisol, the stress hormone to keep your awake. This can suppress your immune system and lower the activity of the T-cells.
To help you in sleeping, limit your screen time before bed and set a schedule for going to bed each night.
Exercise affects all physical function of our body including improved cardiovascular health, controlled blood pressure, and body weight maintenance. It also contributes towards lowering stress but does it boost our immunity?
There is a wealth of studies that show that people who do moderate exercise regularly have lower incidents of sicknesses like diabetes 2, cancers, and certain infections. Research suggests that an active lifestyle affects your body on a cellular level by activating the T-cells throughout the body and hence boosting immunity.
To strengthen your body’s immunity system, you can make these lifestyle changes today. As you can see, these things can be easily incorporated in your life without a lot of sacrifice on your part.
Although none of these things can prevent Covid-19, they may still reinforce your body defense mechanism against infections.
Written By: Elevate Founders, Jillian Salomone and Paul Salomone