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In a post COVID ravaged world, everyone has just one question on their minds, “How can I strengthen my immunity from the inside?” Overall, your immune system performs an excellent job of protecting you from disease-causing germs most of the time.
But occasionally it fails: when a pathogen infiltrates your body and makes you ill. Is it feasible to intervene and strengthen your immune system throughout this process? What if you changed your diet? Should you take vitamins or other supplements? Make any additional lifestyle adjustments in the hopes of eliciting a near-perfect immunological response?
You can find your answers to all these questions and more throughout the course of this article.
How to boost immune system naturally?
The prospect of increasing your immunity quickly is appealing, but the capacity to do so has proven to be challenging for a variety of reasons. The immune system is, in fact, a complex system, and not a single organ. It requires balance and harmony to work properly.
There are still a lot of experts who despite spending years of their career studying the immune system, don't understand about the complexities and interconnectivity of different immune responses. As of now, the influence of lifestyle on the development of natural immunity is not comprehensively understood.
But it doesn't imply that the impacts of lifestyle on the immune system aren't significant and should not be researched any further. In both animals as well as people, researchers are investigating the impact of nutrition, age, exercise, psychological stress, and other variables on immune response. Meanwhile, general healthy-living techniques make sense since they are expected to improve immune function over time, as they display some other documented health advantages.
Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system
Your first line of protection for bolstering your immune system should be to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Following basic good-health principles is the single most important action you can take to proactively keep your immune system in excellent functioning order. When you shield your body from environmental intrusions and supplement it with healthy-living tactics like the ones listed below, all aspects of your body, especially your immune system, perform better.
Why is eating healthy important?
The in-built battalion of your immune system starts its march within your stomach, just like any other battle force. Immune system soldiers in good health require consistent nutrition. Scientists have long observed that poor and malnourished individuals are more prone to getting bedridden with infectious illnesses. For instance, experts are of the opinion that some dietary components, such as a high simple sugar intake or processed foods, would have a negative impact on immune function. These opinions were formulated by research conducted on the impact of diet on the human immunological system.
There is some indication that different deficiencies in the body's micronutrient levels, such as selenium, zinc, iron, folic acid, copper, and vitamins A, C, B6, and E, influence immunological responses in animals, as evaluated via their test tube body fluid samples. However, the significance of these immune system abnormalities on animal health is less evident, and the effect of comparable abnormalities on human immunological response is yet to be determined.
So, what are your options? If you feel that your diet isn't meeting all of your micronutrient demands — perhaps because you don't enjoy veggies or that certain foods are unavailable where you live— taking a daily mineral and multivitamin supplement may provide additional health advantages in addition to any immune-boosting effects. Taking massive amounts of a single vitamin does not work. More isn't always better. Ensure that your supplementary vitamin dosage is regulated as per your health advisor's directions.
Immunity boosting foods for COVID
The food you consume registers significant impact on your overall health and immunity. Consume meals low on carbs to help reduce high blood pressure and blood sugar. A low carb diet can help reduce the progression of diabetes, while a protein-rich diet will keep you be in shape.
In addition, eat vegetables and fruits high in ascorbic acid, beta carotene, and other necessary vitamins on a daily basis. Certain foods, such as mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, and green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, are also effective candidates for enhancing the body's resistance to infections.
If going out to buy foods isn't an option due to local lockdown in your area, you can take omega 3 fatty acid capsules to boost up your daily nutrition intake.
Ginger, gooseberries (amla), and turmeric are examples of natural immune boosters. Some of these superfoods are regular components in Indian cuisines and snacks. Garlic, Basel leaves, and black cumin are among herbs that might help increase immunity. Sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and melon seeds are high in protein and vitamin E.
Natural probiotics such as yoghurt, and fermented foods are also good sources of rejuvenating the balance of gut bacteria, which is essential for nutrition absorption by your digestive system. These are also fantastic solutions for the elderly.
Foods that weaken immune system
The immune system protects the body from communicable diseases such as the common cold, flu, cholera, typhoid etc. Nutrition is a crucial aspect in maintaining a healthy immune system.
High blood sugar levels have been linked to a weakened immunological response in studies. Restricting your intake of beverages and sugary foods can help you regulate your blood sugar and boost your immune system.
1. Processed foods
Many processed foods are high in bad fats, carbohydrates, and chemicals. These are used to improve the texture, taste, and shelf life of a food, but several research studies demonstrate that they may impair the immune system.
Some processed meals containing a lot of ingredients are:
According to one 2017 research, consuming foods containing chemicals may raise the risk of a number of chronic metabolic or inflammatory diseases. Sucralose, carboxymethylcellulose, aspartame, sodium, polysorbate-80, and carrageenan were among the additives investigated in the study.
The researchers also discovered that persons who consume a lot of additives are more likely to be obese, have insulin resistance, and immune-related inflammation.
Meanwhile, according to a 2014 review, a high consumption of salt, refined sugar, and saturated fatty acids, along with a lack of omega-3 fatty acids, can all contribute to damage the immune system.
2. Foods that are high in sugar
People who consume a lot of sugar have a higher chance of developing various chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
Common sugary foods include the following:
A high-sugar diet may also impair the immune system's ability to fight illnesses. This might happen by a decrease in the efficiency of white blood cells that helps in boosting inflammation.
3. Foods that are high in refined carbohydrates
Processed and high-refined-carbohydrate foods, such as refined sugar and white flour, have been linked to increased oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which can impair the immune system.
Refined carbohydrates can be found in the following foods:
The Final Takeaway
Anyone wishing to boost their immune system should avoid diets heavy in processed carbs, additives and sugar. These foods may have an anti-immune effect.
On the other hand, a diversified, nutrient-dense diet, may help enhance your immune system and minimize inflammation.