With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading rapidly, it becomes increasingly important to take care of one’s health. While there is no cure for the virus, building immunity can be an effective preventive measure. While we have discussed things we should do in order to improve immunity, today, let’s discuss bad habits that are destroying your immunity.
9 Bad Habits That Destroy Immunity
- Not Getting Enough Sleep: Adequate sleep helps the body rest and prepare to fight infections, bacteria, viruses, and other triggers. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body doesn’t have the chance to fight diseases as effectively, Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep daily to keep the immune system at its prime.
- Lack of Exercise: Exercise plays a significant role as this is a very powerful stimulant of the immune system. It enhances the ability to create antibodies and T-cells, which are white blood cells that help the body fight disease. As little as 30 minutes of walking for 5 days a week can help your immune system perform at its best. You can also try these exercises: https://goqii.com/blog/5-simple-exercises-you-can-do-at-home/
- Poor Nutrition: Quality of food is very important and often overlooked cause of immune depletion. Our food supply contains many unhealthy, toxic chemicals which can cause havoc in our bodies. Over time, this depletes the immune system, and if not corrected, will continue to get worse. It can also cause you to be overweight, a condition that makes you more susceptible to disease. A healthy diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk. Try these foods to build your immunity: https://goqii.com/blog/7-foods-that-boost-immunity/
- Stress: High-stress levels can create a hormonal imbalance in our body, weakening the immune system and making us more susceptible to illness. Stress produces the hormone cortisol which impairs the function of infection-fighting T-cells. To de-stress and stay healthy, we must exercise for 30 minutes a day or practice deep breathing and meditation— all these can diminish the effects of stress.
- Excess Alcohol: Regularly overindulging in alcoholic drinks can have a negative effect on our immune system. Drinking too much can wear away the linings of our mouth and oesophagus. It also makes our white blood cells less effective at attacking harmful bacteria and lowers our body’s ability to produce cells that identify and kill bacteria and viruses.
- Smoking: damages the first lines of defence, the linings of our mouth and our nose, which are actually part of our immune system. This makes us more susceptible to cold and flu. Our lungs can be very badly affected by smoking. Coughs, colds, wheezing and asthma are just the start. Smoking can cause fatal diseases such as pneumonia and lung cancer. Smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Not Drinking Enough Water: Our body needs water for every function it performs and so does our immune system. It needs proper hydration to function. Water flushes out harmful toxins and helps our body fight off infection. Plus, it affects our energy levels and even the quality of our sleep. Drinking 3l of water regularly helps one stay well hydrated and healthy.
- High Sugar Intake: Sugary snacks are also bad for our immune system. The blood cells need vitamin C to fight off viruses and because glucose (from sugar) is so similar in structure to vitamin C, when we ingest too much sugar it actually starts competing with vitamin C for space in our immune cells. Thereby limiting our intake of sugar can help to keep our immune system fighting fit. To satisfy your sweet tooth, eat a piece of dark chocolate or dates or sweets made from jaggery.
- Frequent Use of Supplements: A proper balanced diet provides us with all the essential nutrients. We should opt for supplements only when excessive deficiency is seen and it must be stopped after having a prescribed dosage. Too much of supplements may interfere with normal bodily functions, leading to side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue and probably mild nerve damage.
If the above-mentioned habits have been a part of your daily lifestyle, you need to stop indulging in them now! It’s time to make a complete lifestyle change, build immunity and focus more on preventive healthcare.
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