June 14, 2024

Pinoy Health Guide

Health Tips

Holistic Approaches to Boosting Immunity

4 min read

Your immune system was built to ward off bad germs, yet it is under the control of many forces, each of which must be coordinated so it can function as it needs to.

Nutritional, rest and lifestyle adjustments can all bolster innate immunity. Try these simple strategies to get started: eat healthy foods; drink water or herbal tea (or other noncaffeinated beverages); exercise and participate in yoga or mindfulness training.

Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods

Good health for the immune system is predicated on access to adequate nutrition: a healthy diet provides essential nutrients we need to build up and maintain immune cells and tissues and organs. Trying alternative diets can have its pitfalls, so be sure to consult a doctor to prevent adverse health effects.

Immune-boosting foods include citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, garlic, ginger, and yogurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and natto. They’re chock-full of antioxidamin C (which increases iron absorption), beta carotene and zinc; and they contain immune-strengthening fats like olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids that help line the bodily defences against infections that line our gut – all the players needed to support the entire immune orchestra (13).

Get Enough Sleep

It protects you against the microbes that you breathe into your lungs or digest in your gut, and against the objects that touch your skin or those you have cut yourself on. When faced with disease or trauma, says Lahat, the gut-immune axis must act quickly to restore order through inflammation. This could help to explain how exercise boosts immunity. Although the gut wall is high-calorie, by also producing inflammation it could be giving your immune system an additional boost. That means that while working out might be weakening your muscles – perhaps, for example, in skiing or running – the blows and inflammation could boost your immune system and your other fitness processes.

A 2015 study says that restful nights of sleep are necessary to maintain healthy immune function. Reflecting this sacrificed energy, immune cells at the end of a good night’s sleep move from blood into lymphoid organs where they can directly engage pathogens and help to combat them.

Poor sleep impairs immunity and is suspected of increasing your chances of becoming ill. To get the restorative sleep you need to maintain good health, establish bedtime routines, avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine before bed, and keep your sleeping space cool, dark and quiet so you enjoy deep rejuvenating sleep.

Exercise Regularly

Immune syatemYour Immune system is a network of cells, each with a specific function specialized for detecting and eliminating invading viruses, bacteria and other germs that can cause infection.Adhering to a few simple daily routines can ensure that your immune system is functioning at its best, fighting off infection-causing microbes that it would otherwise leave you susceptible to.

Notably, research suggests that spending 60 minutes at a moderate level of activity stimulates the release of white blood cells – those that are especially delicate in seeking out bacteria and viruses within your body – giving your immune system an extra three hours to pick up a foreign intruder.

Overdo it (exercising in a manner that reduces immunity for example, can be done by exercising at high intensities for more than an hour) but for the most part, those who are active experience enhanced immunity and the other well-documented health-living benefits of regular physical activity.

Stay Hydrated

The immune system is an organised network of cells, tissues and organs that provides protection against pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. Physical barriers such as skin, mucous membranes and the pleurae (ie, membranes surrounding a cavity in the body) serve to prevent pathogen invasion. In addition, white blood cells can seek out invading organisms and destroy them.

Water is always key to immune health, because it provides you with important vitamins, such as Vitamin C, aids digestion, helps to cool off your body and also removes toxins from your system much faster than if you were dehydrated. Furthermore, consuming enough water on a daily basis can also help your blood circulate better, as your entire system will be receiving important nutrients and being removed of toxins more quickly than if you aren’t drinking much water.

And don’t forget your photosensitisers – make your water hot to start with, add lemon, honey or fresh ginger for an immune boost, or take the apple cider vinegar detox water route to increasing your immunity and fighting inflammation.

Practice Mindfulness

There’s no magic immunity pill, but you can nourish your immune system naturally with a diet that includes immune-boosting foods, adequate sleep, exercise, abstaining from smoking and alcohol, and calming your mind (via deep breathing, talk therapy or yoga). Stay tuned for more INTEGRIS On Your Health posts with tips on boosting it naturally – the mission of INTEGRIS Health is to improve the health of the people and communities in Oklahoma and southern Kansas through our commitment to excellence and innovation in healthcare, research, education, and community service; visit us at www.integrishealth.org.

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