Stay safe and healthy with these immunity-boosting tips.
As the primary defence against infections and disease-causing microorganisms, your immune system does a remarkable job. Sometimes though, an invading microbe party succeeds in overwhelming this system and makes you sick.
So what can you do? For a start, you can bring about some much-needed changes in your diet and lifestyle. When employed with proper care and caution, immunity products too can help boost your immunity. Let’s look at each of these facets and see how they can help keep you safe.
3 Immunity-Boosting Tips to Keep You Safe and Healthy
1. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Essential nutrients cover the gamut of compounds vital for your body’s growth, overall health and immunity. While your body can construct some of these nutrients in limited quantities, it derives the rest from the food you eat.
Micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins are needed in the smallest of quantities, and together they help boost your immunity. While some enhance the skin barrier function at a physical level, others contribute towards the body’s natural defences on a cellular level.
Some of these micronutrients are described below, along with their associated food sources.
Vitamin C is responsible for maintaining the production volume of white blood cells, otherwise known as the ‘muscle of your immune system.’ Food sources rich in Vitamin C include citrus fruits (e.g. oranges, strawberries, grapes, and certain vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, cauliflower and broccoli).
Found in abundance in eggs, chicken, soybeans, cereals and nuts, zinc aids in regulating the health and survivability of the cells in our body. While the mineral is needed in trace amounts, its deficiency directly leads to insufficient production of infection-fighting cells in the body.
Salmon, sardines, nuts and avocado are abundant in the omega-3 component that helps in fighting viruses. The trace nutrient improves the functioning of your body’s white blood cells, particularly the immune cells in general.
Foods like seaweed, yeasts, and Shiitake mushrooms are rich in beta-glucan, a natural antiviral that improves the immune system's attack capability. Additionally, beta-glucan affects the defensive property associated with the successful identification of pathogens in the system.
2. Consider Immunity Supplements
If you suspect that your diet does not cater to all your micronutrient needs, you may want to look at supplements to bridge that gap. Your daily immunity supplement should ideally contain Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and folic acid, and minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, selenium and copper.
Similarly, if you are not taking probiotic foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, you may want to consider probiotic supplements. They essentially replenish the healthy bacteria found in the gut. And since 70% of your immune system resides in your gut, probiotics play an indirect role in keeping that system in top shape.
3. Practice a Healthy Lifestyle
Your immune system is not a function that is under your control. But, you can certainly lend a helping hand by following a healthy lifestyle. Here’s how:
Regular physical exercise, as opposed to being sedentary, maintains the efficiency of white blood cells and antibodies in your body. This, in turn, not only lets the immune system fight infections more effectively but also prevents pathogens from entering your system and settling down.
Stress has a negative impact on your body, and meditation is an effective way to beat stress and boost your immunity. Regular meditation lowers the cortisol and stress levels, and in so doing, it improves your body’s response in battling viruses and other harmful microbes.
Get Proper Sleep
When you are asleep, your body gets the time to repair and replenish cells and proteins, especially those cells which can detect, remember and destroy germs. In turn, this makes your immune system’s defences that much more robust and quicker in dealing with future attacks.
Good Personal Hygiene
Follow daily cleanliness routines such as bathing, brushing your teeth and wearing a fresh pair of clothes. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water before preparing/handling food and using it. You could alternatively use a hand sanitizer in the latter situation. Finally, when you sneeze or cough, remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief. If neither is available, sneeze or cough into the pit of your elbow rather than your hands.
Proper Home Sanitization
Keep the floors, rooms, kitchen-top, and tabletops in your home clean. Use the appropriate cleaning supplies to clean various surfaces. Change your curtains and bedsheets regularly as they tend to attract germs and allergens over time.
Safe Travel Practices
Check that you are carrying a face mask and disposable gloves in your bag or purse, before stepping out of your house. If you are travelling, then bring your own water bottle and food. Only buy bottled water and beverages after checking that the cap has not been tampered with.
We hope you enjoyed these 3 tips on boosting your immune system and staying safe and healthy.
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