Through the height of the global pandemic that is caused by COVID 19, colds and influenza are something you would want to avoid at all costs. Here at New Hope Unlimited, we have implemented new guidelines that would minimize the risk of infection for our patients and staff.
No one wants to risk contracting SARS COV-2 while visiting clinics and hospitals for other issues.
These threats provoke questions like, how to boost your immune system, and what to do to make your immune system ready to defend your body from ailments.
This is not a very easy topic to discuss given the intricacy of the human body’s immune system. also, experts still have a lot to learn from it.
Your immune system is a highly complex network of cells and organs, and together, they are your body’s primary defense against infectious agents such as germs, bacteria, and viruses.
Since your body’s immune system is not a single entity, it requires a certain level of balance and synchronicity for the whole system to function at its peak performance.
The lymphatic system or immune system is composed of bone marrow, thymus, tonsils, spleen, and lymph nodes working with the white blood cells to target and attack anything that it perceives as a threat.
If a part or parts of the immune system should be damaged the entire system can malfunction and compromise your immunity to pathogens. People who suffer from immunodeficiency or immunocompromised individuals are at a higher risk of contracting infections and diseases.
Several factors are at play that affects your imune system, and that includes your lifestyle. Poor lifestyle choices could often prove to cause more serious health complications in the later years.
How to make your immune system stronger to effectively fight off diseases
Your lifestyle choices influence your overall health and how your body responds to threats brought about by different diseases. Your habits could also affect the functionality of different organs and cells in your body.
A positive change with these habits could have a significant impact on your immune system’s functionality and overall health.
1. Eat the right food and have a healthier diet
You get most of the nutrients that your body needs from the food you eat. The variety of nutrients that your body takes in are then used by different cells in your body. You need these to function normally and keep your body’s functionality at its peak.
A healthy immune system regularly requires the best nourishment possible. Being undernourished puts you at a higher risk of contracting infectious diseases.
Eating more vegetables and fruits that are packed with nutrients helps your body function and ensure that the needed macro and micronutrients are supplied to each individual cell.
There is still a lot to study about the immune system, however, there are several observations in other animals that micronutrient deficiency changes some of their immune responses.
2. Get off the cigarettes
Who hasn’t heard the phrase “cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health”? There has been sufficient evidence that suggests cigarettes are linked to several health conditions.
Some studies suggest that smoking affects the balance and stability of your immune system, making you more susceptible to various diseases. Not to mention the number of chemicals a person intakes while smoking a cigarette which is already identified as carcinogenic to humans.
3. Give yourself a break, reduce stress
Too much stress causes your body to produce hormones that destabilize and suppress your immune system’s function, increasing your vulnerability to various illnesses. A few ways to reduce stress include:
- Practicing meditation
- Find time for recreation
- Physical activity and exercise
Minimizing the prolonged exposure to stress can also improve the quality of the sleep you get which, in turn, helps your body recover from stress.
4. Get enough sleep
While you are sleeping, your body creates an immune response by producing and releasing cytokines that target and eliminates inflammation and infection. Sleeping allows your body to recover, it also helps stabilize your hormones, effectively reducing stress.
This leads experts to believe that sleep-deprived individuals have lower antibody levels than their well-rested counterparts. This is observed in people who recently got flu shots, indicating that people who lack sleep take more time to build immunity against the illness, while well-rested folks developed stronger protection.
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep is generally believed to be adequate to promote better health.
5. Don’t miss out on your vaccines
Having been immunized helps you avoid serious complications from illnesses that are considered preventable.
Vaccines are created to help our immune system recognize diseases that you might encounter in the foreseeable future.
For you to develop immunity from certain pathogens, your system must encounter these microbes at least once for your immune system to identify how it could take out the virus. That is why vaccines are made with weakened or inactive microorganisms to sort of teach your immune system how to deal with it and remember it in the future.
6. Frequently wash your hands
Sanitation is the most basic form of eliminating pathogens that may prove to cause harmful health conditions. Proper hand-washing may help you avoid unwanted microorganisms to be introduced in your system, especially when an average human touches their face for at least 20 times an hour.
Proper hand-washing requires you to use soap and clean water, and to make sure you clean every part of your hands to ensure that the majority of microorganisms are washed away. The CDC suggests scrubbing your soapy hand for 20 seconds before rinsing it with clean water,
Applying these habits may help you improve your immune system as well as avoid compromising its functions.