With the Omicron variant looming over our heads, there’s one very important thing to realize – the virus attacks people with a compromised or low immune system. A strong and properly functioning immune system helps by protecting you in your daily life as you come into contact with germs and bugs from other people, pets and the environment around you. Without a healthy immune system, you could pick up infections and infectious diseases more easily, and the effects could be serious – even fatal. So let’s look at ways in which we can improve immunity naturally!
Tips to Improve Immunity Naturally
1. Healthy Diet
Following a HEALTHY DIET rich in ANTIOXIDANTS is essential to supporting your immune system. Include more fruits and vegetables, as they are rich in antioxidants. They help combat free radicals—chemicals by products known to damage DNA and suppress the immune system. A few examples of immunity building food items includes – Citrus fruits, Lemon, Amla, Kiwi, Papaya, Bell peppers, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Spinach, Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Yogurt, Nuts and Seeds, Seafood and Green Tea.
Choose healthy fats (such as the omega-3 fatty acids available in oily fish, flaxseed, and canola/soya bean oil) over saturated fats (found in meat and dairy products). Also, healthy fats may help increase your body’s production of compounds involved in regulating immunity. Drinking plenty of water helps our cells operate efficiently and allows the body to process food and eliminate waste. Reduce your intake of Alcohol and avoid smoking as well.
2. Regular Exercise
Incorporating a regular workout regime, in your daily routine, has been scientifically proven to boost our immune system. Research continues to support a link between moderate, regular exercise and a healthy immune system. Regular exercise mobilises the T cells, a type of white blood cell which guards the body against infection. However, Intense exercise seems to cause a temporary decrease in immune system function. Research has found that during intense physical exertion, the body produces certain hormones (Stress hormones) that temporarily lower immunity. If you are training for ultra-endurance events, a key component of your training should be including enough rest and recovery days to allow your body (immune system) to recover.
3. Reduce Stress
Chronic stress can leave you with a low immunity by suppressing the immune response of your body as it releases the hormone cortisol, when in a stressful situation. Cortisol interferes with the T-cells to reproduce and receive signals from the body. Cortisol also reduces the antibody secretory IgA, which lines the gut and respiratory tract, which are our first line of defense against various pathogens. To keep your stress levels in check, you should follow the practice of Yoga, meditation or deep breathing in your regular routine. Take up a hobby or involve yourself in some recreational activity. Talk to friends/ family about your concerns and seek professional help, if required.
4. Sleep Well
Another healthy habit vital to preventing sickness is getting a full eight hours of sleep each night. Sound and sufficient sleep help regulate the immune function. Several studies have shown that those who sleep less than six hours per night or who have a sleep disorder were more likely to have colds and other respiratory infections. Try to sleep for 7–8 hours and avoid having a late-night too often.
5. Good Hygiene
The first line of defence against germs is following good personal hygiene! It lowers your risk for diseases and illnesses commonly spread through viruses and bacteria. Your hands come into contact with bacteria/virus every time you cough, use the restroom, touch your pet, or touch surfaces such as stair railings used frequently by others. Failing to wash your hands and body regularly can cause the bacteria/virus to multiply, increasing the risk for infection and other health problems. Here’s the right way to use a hand sanitizer: https://goqii.com/blog/the-correct-way-to-use-hand-sanitizer-to-kill-99-9-germs/
You can stop an infection before it begins and avoids spreading it to others with these easy measures:
- Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food and after using the restroom, after coming back home from or whenever you feel they are dirty.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, or cough into your elbow rather than your hand.
With little change in your diet and routine, you can ensure that your immune system is strong enough to protect you against the virus infection. Eat as little or no junk food at all! Hope these tips help you witness the change in your body’s strength to fight illness.
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Improve immunity naturally and #BeTheForce!