October 30, 2020

Hispanic woman tossing salad in domestic kitchen

10 Wellness Tips for Healthy Immunity

Healthy Immunity is a daily thing.

It’s not something occasional or seasonal.

It is imperative and a continuous process to do whatever it takes to restore and sustain healthy immunity in the body so that we can easily fight harmful diseases and strengthen our body’s defense mechanism.

We are likely to neglect our immune health, and most of us don’t even know the right way how to strengthen our body’s defense mechanism naturally.

Attaining healthy immunity is not all about eating healthy and nutritious foods.  We must take care of our mental and spiritual health as well to protect our body from any type of infection and illness.

Your immune system is a network of cells and proteins that combats the body against infection.

When functioning properly, the immune system identifies and attacks a variety of threats like viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Signs of a weak immune system

  • Frequent colds/infections
  • Low platelet count or anemia
  • Digestive problems – cramping, loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea
  • Autoimmune disease

Our immunity system consists of white blood cells named Lymphocytes, which are formed by Lymph, spleen, bone marrow, etc.

We all heard the term “Germs”.

But, what actually does it mean?

By the term “Germ” what we actually mean is an array of microorganism which can only be seen through a microscope.

Every human body has 10 times more microorganism than the total number of cells in the body.1

Some are good germs. Some are bad germs.

So we must keep our immunity system strong to safeguard our body from the threat of harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

There are two principal members who play a vital role in the body’s Healthy Immunity

The name of the first member is your skin which can kill bacteria on the spot – keeps the outside world out and inside in and finally, the mucous membrane of the skin drives all the toxins that get caught in the mucous cell out and take into the digestive system where they are broken down by the gut flora.

Then your gut flora comes into action in which good germs or microbes work together to ensure that your body is getting the necessary nutrients it needs to push out all the harmful microbes in 6-8 hours it takes to process a meal.2

Naturally, If your digestive system gets weak, it becomes easier for the bad germs to cause bigger problems and make your immunity worse.

Keep on reading this article to learn about the most effective ways in order to have healthy immunity for your overall wellness.

Follow these 10 tips to boost up your Healthy Immunity

#1 Include all the whole plant foods in your diet and other nutritious foods

You must focus on more whole plant foods to strengthen healthy immunity naturally. Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. are full of antioxidants and nutrients that work as immunity boosters.

Remember that colorful foods like carrots, berries, spinach are excellent resources of antioxidants used in reducing oxidative stress. Some foods, including amla, guava, orange, kiwi, broccoli, etc. are rich in Vitamin C.

Vitamin C alone plays a vital role to have a healthy immunity in the body.

Vitamin C can protect you from severe respiratory infections and the common cold. So adding more fresh vegetables and fruits to your regular diet will definitely keep you away from all kinds of harmful diseases.

You must take more probiotic foods that are readily available in fermented foods. Add yogurt, kimchi, keffir, natto, etc. to your plate for having good gut bacteria.

Besides, you must be careful about taking added sugars. Reducing the amount of added sugar from your daily diet will lessen the risk of obesity which ultimately weakens your immune system.

Niket Sonpal, renowned gastroenterologist, observed explained  in his research that consuming too much sugar can affect the cells in your immune system that target bacteria in other words sugar affects the way your white blood cells attack bacteria.3

Keep your sugar intake within 5% of daily calories to get rid of chronic diseases.

#2 Maintain moderate exercise regularly

You must follow a regular exercise schedule to live in a healthy way.

Do not go for prolonged exercises, but moderate exercises such as jogging, swimming, steady bicycling, etc. can enhance your immunity power.

It not only does help you to improve your cardiovascular health but also facilitates the process of weight loss.

Regular exercise can safeguard you from several diseases and thus ensures a robust healthy immunity .

According to Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School,

Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases.

Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to healthy immunity.

Exercise may help by promoting good blood circulation in the body which allows the cells and other substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.”4

#3 Get quality sleep at every night

Most of the time, we ignore the fact that sleep is one of the essential factors for healthy living.

If you do not have enough sleep at night, it will undoubtedly impact your immune health.

You must get a minimum of seven hours of adequate sleep every night to sustain your natural immunity.

The researchers found that a good night’s sleep can boost the effectiveness of certain specialized immune cells called T cells.

After taking T cells from some people who slept and some who remained awake, it was found that the T cells of sleeping people had higher levels of integrin activation compared with the same cells taken from people in a waking state.5

# 4 Do not forget to meditate

Stress and anxiety are closely associated with your healthy immunity. To keep your immune system functioning actively, you must reduce your stress level.

When we are stressed, our body turns off its defense system in order to conserve energy and keep our heart pumping and lungs breathing – which is the ideal time for the harmful bacteria or germs to affect our body.

Prolonged stress can cause inflammation, which affects the immune response. Keep yourself relax and stress-free as much as possible for boosting healthy immunity.

Yoga and breathing exercises are good ways to release stress and anxiety problems.

Research says that practicing mindfulness regularly deactivate or calms the stress center or fear or anxiety center of the brain.

Meditation has lots of benefits, which are essential to make a balance between our mental and emotional health. Try to meditate at least for 20 minutes every day.

Sitting for a few minutes and focusing on breathing can calm your mind effectively. Sometimes fear can suppress the natural defense system of our body.

The interconnectedness of the mind and body cannot be stressed enough. One major field of study devoted to this is called psychoneuroimmunology which focuses on how your nervous system, your hormones, and your immune system interact with one another.

Your body has the power to modulate the immune system by regulating its natural inflammatory response and increasing the number of your natural killer cells.

But they can only do this when your stress hormone levels are low enough for the body to resume its self-healing abilities.

The release of serotonin from  doing regular meditation helps you to release of serotonin which can strengthen your immune system by fighting inflammation in the body.

Serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter, plays a major role in mood regulation. A deficiency of serotonin is associated with depression, and a study revealed that serotonin knockout mice, with the deletion of a serotonin receptor, IA, exhibited more fear.6

#5 Have  Supportive Food Supplements

Nowadays it has become imperative and the necessity to take food or dietary supplement on a daily basis because of so many practical reasons, e.g. lack of fresh fruits and vegetable, cooked and processed foods which devoid of nutrients.

Of course, we must be careful enough while choosing the right kind of food supplement.

The companies who follow the innovative organic farming technique in their own certified organic farm, process those in their own factory and market, simply the companies who have total control from seeds to finished products, are the right choice.

Moreover, taking these following supportive supplements can ensure healthy immunity for your wellness —

Antiviral and antibacterial herbs

  • Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea or angustifolia): Echinacea is one of the most powerful herbs for fighting off upper respiratory infections. Studies have shown that taking it at the earliest signs of the cold or flu can reduce the severity of illness. Extracts of echinacea can stimulate immune function, and may even be as effective as the flu drug without potential adverse side effects. The most common way to consume echinacea is as a tea or capsule.
  • Turmeric (Curcuma Longa): A spice known for its bright orange color is rich in curcumin, a compound with known disease-fighting and antioxidant-rich characteristics. Turmeric can lessen inflammation in the your body, make heart and brain healthy, and even prevents  your body’s toxicity.
  • Aswagandha (Withania somnifera): It has also demonstrated excellent immune-boosting effects on our immune system. It  encourage anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting immune cells to combat illness. As Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory ingredient it is very effective in painful conditions such as arthritis.

Studies in humans have found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy. 7

  • Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum): Cinnamon Cinnamon is full of polyphenols and antioxidants and is a known anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer, and heart-healthy spice. You can add it to tea, baked goods, hot cocoa, coffee, and warm stir-fries
  • Garlic (Allium sativum) and ginger (Zingiber officinale): Garlic and ginger have potent antiinflammatory and immune-optimizing properties. As a side benefit, ginger can help settle your stomach and reduce the pain associated with migraines, while garlic may reduce cancer risk.
  • Vitamin D3: Vitamin D is another essential nutrient for healthy immunity.

A study published in the British Medical Journal showed that people who had optimal vitamin D levels and who took vitamin D during the winter had lower rates of flu than people who received flu vaccines.8

People who have vitamin D deficiency are 11 times more prone to get a cold or flu. Vitamin D supplementation can reduce colds and flu by up to 42%.

  • Zinc: Our immune system needs zinc just about everything. A deficiency of zinc actually collapses several parts of the immune system. The number of lymphocytes diminishes and the functions of many white cells is severely decreased. Besides, the levels of the thymic hormone, which is a strong stimulus of the immune system, goes down.9

The excellent sources of zinc are oatmeal, tofu, cashews, sunflower seeds, peanuts, lentils.

Fish Oil: Our immune system requires inflammation in order to heal wounds and fight illness. However, sometimes the process becomes deregulated. This is where the essential oils, or fish oil, in particular, come into play. These oils contain essential fatty acids called omega-3s.10

In the last ten years, nearly five thousand studies have been conducted on omega-3 acid alone. These studies have researched the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for everything from heart disease to cancer, psoriasis, autoimmune disorders, and even kidney disease.

If you take 1 to 2 grams of fish oil containing no fillers on a regular basis, it will boost up your natural defense.

Both fish oil and olive oil contains healthy fats that work as an anti-inflammatory and improve your immune response as well.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in Salmon and chia seeds can make your body strong to fight off illness.

  • Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus): Mushrooms, including the commonly consumed varieties, like white, crimini, and Portobello, have been studied for their immune-modulating and enhancing abilities.

There’s so much evidence that mushrooms are good for your immune system that they’ve even been studied as a potential treatment for cancer. 11

Besides, mushrooms may increase a vital immune-balancing compound called secretory IgA.

#6 Overcome your addictions

You must conquer your addictions in order to live a healthy life. It’s definitely a threat to your healthy immunity.

Most of the people around the world are addicted to several things, including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, junk foods, and more.

Long-term struggles with alcohol or drugs can lead to considerable damage to many systems in the body, especially the immune system.12

These do nothing well but weaken our immune system badly.

Meditation is one of the best ways to come out of these addictions.

You have to follow a healthy lifestyle and keep a positive attitude to strengthen your healthy immunity.

#7 Have your depression on check

Sometimes, long-time depression can also suppress your immunity response.

Therefore, it is necessary to deal with your depression issues properly so that you do not get affected by harmful pathogens easily.

If you go through constant stress, your body will produce more cortisol that stops you from fighting different infections and diseases.

When this situation continues for a longer period, that will cause depression, and you will lose all the power to protect yourself from illness.

So, you must think positively, practice yoga, and meditation regularly for your overall well-being.

#8 Photobiomodulation

Photobiomodulation (PBM) also known as low-level laser (or light) therapy (LLLT), has been known for almost 50 years but still has not gained widespread acceptance, largely due to uncertainty about the molecular, cellular, and tissular mechanisms of action.

The science on PBM goes back to Europe almost a century ago. What research has proven is that PBM works in at least 3 ways: (a) it boosts blood Nitric Oxide (so, you’ll get a boost of energy), (b) it increases ATP production (increases your energy reserves), and (c) decreases ROS, or reactive oxygen species (DNA damagers).13

By protecting your genetic material and your mitochondria, your immune system will be preserved, as well as the integrity of your entire body.

#9 Keep yourself hydrated

Last but not least, drink plenty of water every day to keep your body more susceptible to diseases. Since water contains no extra calories or sugar, it can help you the best to avoid several complications in your body.

Have at least 4 to 5 liters of water per day to prevent dehydration. You should take more water rather than fruit juice or any other beverages if you exercise intensely.

#10 Boosting Healthy Immunity by Being Spiritual, Being Optimistic, Being Grateful,

Several studies have shown that optimistic or people of positive mindset are less likely to get sick. For decades, many researchers used to think that the healthy immunity stemmed from the fact that optimistic people were more likely to take care of their health. But more recent studies have revealed that a hopeful outlook is actually what influences immunity. Looking on the bright side of things makes you less likely to get a cold or infection because optimism keeps your immune system performing at its peak.14

 Some Last Words

So far, we have talked about the essential ways of boosting and ensuring your body’s healthy immunity. If you have a healthy immune system, you will have a better chance to protect yourself from several infections.

Follow those tips and ensure your well-being with more durable immune health.

Stay immune and stay healthy.

References:

  1. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-human-microbiome-project-defines-normal-bacterial-makeup-body
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/digestive-system/expert-answers/faq-20058340
  3. https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/sugar-weaken-immune-system_l_5e74ca2cc5b6f5b7c542a3be
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324432
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits#9
  7. https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583
  8. What your Doctor Doesn’t Know about Nutritional Medicine May be Killing You, Dr Ray D Strand
  9. The Vitamin Prescription (for life), Dr Richard N. Firshein
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5937616/
  11. https://sunrisehouse.com/addiction-demographics/weaken-suppress-immune-system/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28748217/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28748217/
  14. https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/7-ways-to-heal-your-body-by-using-the-power-of-your-mind-backed-by-science.html