Immunity has become a hot topic for discussion and people are looking at ways to boost their immunity. It’s actually not prudent to wait till one is sick to find out ways to boost immunity. High inflammation, stress, wrong dietary habits, certain diseases can all compromise one’s immune system and increase the risk of developing infections too frequently. Boosting one’s immunity is a multi-pronged approach – lifestyle and dietary modifications and alterations need to be put into place to up body’s defense mechanism.
How Immunity is Compromised:
Immunocompromised state is a condition where one’s body is not able to effectively ward off invading pathogens and infections. A good immune system fights germs and harmful microbes on its own without the need to take medications. Bone marrow, white blood cells, antibodies, thymus, liver, lymphatic system, and spleen are part of the immune system in a human body and if any of these are malfunctioning, then one’s immunity would be in a weak state.
What’s the Function of Immune System:
The immune system is body’s natural defense mechanism that protects an individual against disease.
- Fighting invading pathogens, germs, and infections.
- Removing toxins, excess fluid from the body.
- Formation of white blood cells and antibodies to fight infection.
20 Ways to Boost Immunity Naturally:
1. Strengthen your Gut: The healthy bacteria that reside in your intestines help to fight pathogens and unhealthy bacteria. Taking prebiotics and probiotics will help maintain the healthy bacteria in your gut. Yogurt, curd, and fermented foods help to maintain the perfect balance of gut. Whole grains provide the necessary prebiotics. A healthy gut flora will improve your immunity and keep harmful pathogens away.
2. Take food rich in vitamin C: As we all know, vitamin C boosts one’s immunity by a great degree. Vitamin C protects body cells from the damaging effect of free radicals and fight inflammation in the body. Consume food rich in vitamin C, for example, oranges, lemons, red capsicum, broccoli, papaya, kiwi, etc.
3. Elderberry: Though there is no concrete study available yet on Elderberry, we do know that it is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help in creating a robust immune system.
4. Eat a healthy and balanced diet: Eating a healthy and nutritious diet is the best way to boost immunity. Keep a food journal to make sure you are getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals, protein through your daily diet. Deficiency of nutrients is one of the major reason why someone is in a immunocompromised state. A healthy diet will prevent infections and future illnesses as well.
5. Drink lots of Water: Keep yourself hydrated because human body is made of 60% water and it’s essential to provide enough hydration to vital body organs, including the immune system so that it flushes out pathogens.
6. Include Turmeric in your diet: Turmeric is highly anti-inflammatory in nature and has been used as a natural antibiotic since ages in India. It is a vital ingredient in Indian cuisine and considered auspicious in Indian rituals. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, has amazing anti-bacterial properties. Turmeric can make our immune system stronger.
7. Don’t be Vitamin D Deficient: Vitamin D is a vital vitamin which your body can only synthesize upon exposure to UVB rays from the sun. Vitamin D helps to prevent diseases and also boosts immunity.
8. Make Exercise a part of your Daily Routine: Sedentary lifestyle can greatly compromise your immune system. Exercise boosts the production of microphages which are cells that attack invading pathogens. Walking, jogging, cardio, yoga all can increase blood circulation in the body and help the body fight germs effectively.
9. Essential Oils: Essential oils such as rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, cypress, etc. help to boost body’s immunity. Here’s how you can use essential oils without any harm; however, if you have any underlying disorder, do not take essential oils without consulting your doctor.
10. Drink More Green Tea: Green tea is not only great for weight loss, it’s good for immunity too. Green tea is packed with flavonoid antioxidants. It also has epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is an antioxidant that has shown to improve immune function.
11. Get good night’s sleep: Our bodies go into reset mode when we sleep, flushing out the toxins, repairing damage to cells, etc. The same applies to the immune system, a good night’s sleep, of at least 7 to 8 hours is a must. Keeping the phone away before hitting the bed will help you sleep better because the blue light emitted from phone screens can disturb the circadian rhythm of body
12. Reduce stress: It’s easy to say that reduce stress levels, but a lot of factors on which you do not have any control over might be making you feel stressed out, but once you weigh in all the consequences (including compromised immunity) that crop up due to high stress levels, you would definitely look for ways to alleviate high stress levels. Engaging in your favorite hobby, yoga, meditation all can help you reduce unwanted stress.
13. Detox once in a while: Detoxing is a great way to reset the immune system. Here are 8 ways to detox your system.
14. Get good supply of antioxidants: As we have mentioned before, antioxidants get rid of free radicals that compromise the immune system. Here’s an antioxidant rich diet which you can follow.
15. Make your body Alkaline: An alkaline body wards off disease more effectively, reduces inflammation in the body, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and here’s a little bonus – helps with weight loss. An alkaline environment also promotes healthy bones, strengthens immune system, and leads to absorption of vitamins and minerals.
16. Eliminate white sugar: Overconsumption of white sugar is one of the major reasons why one’s body gets inflamed and becomes a breeding ground for harmful pathogens and bacteria. Eliminate refined sugar to reduce inflammation and boost immunity.
17. Don’t forget Vitamin E: Vitamin E doesn’t get it’s due importance in fighting immunity. Including foods rich in vitamin E such as almonds, nuts, avocado, etc., are good sources of vitamin E.
18. Zinc is essential: It’s a mineral that studies have found out improves T-cell immunity.
19. Identify Immune-Boosting Foods: Certain plant food sources have more immune-boosting properties when compared to other food. For example, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, turmeric, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, wheatgrass, garlic, ginger, are known immune-boosting foods.
20. Wash Hands Frequently: We cannot even begin to describe how important washing hands thoroughly with a hand wash for at least 20 seconds. Always wash your hands before eating or handling food. After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. After using the bathroom, after touching an animal, after using public transportation, after coming home from outside, after taking care of a sick person, and before touching babies.