For over a year now, we’ve been living in a world where the Corona Virus actively thrives. The best way to stay safe is to avoid exposure to it. But even with all the protective measures put in place, life can still surprise us.
Social distancing and mask-wearing have become the new norm. They represent the barricades that keep the virus away. However, the body’s “personal soldiers” need to be well equipped to fight the virus in case of any breach. These soldiers correspond to your immune system.
With the UK experiencing a second wave of COVID, it’s critical to know how to boost the immune system. Peradventure, you get exposed to the virus; you’ll have a strong defence system in place.
Relax and know that you’re not alone in this fight. As you continue to follow the covid precautions, adopt these simple lifestyle changes we’ve gathered to serve as immunity boosters. Here are 5 natural ways to strengthen your immune system.
5 Ways To Boost Your Immune System
1. Eat A Lot Of Healthy Food
If you’re the type that lives on burgers and fries alone, now’s the time to reconsider your options. The importance of a healthy diet to our body cannot be overemphasised; what you eat influences your immunity and overall health.
Our immune system needs all the nourishment it can get from our food. We have a few suggestions on how you can achieve this healthy diet:
- Eat a lot of whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. They are rich in antioxidants which mop up free radicals. Citrus fruits, in particular, are rich in Vitamin C, which is key in combatting infections.
- Take diets low in carbohydrate to help moderate your blood glucose level.
- Certain herbs like garlic, basil leaves and black cumin have immune-boosting properties.
- Include probiotics-containing foods in your meals. As probiotics are essentially live microorganisms with health-promoting benefits such as restoring the intestinal bacteria. Sources include yoghurt, fermented foods.
- Consume healthy fats which contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Such can be found in salmon and olive oil.
2. Engage In Regular Exercise
Engaging in regular physical activity is one of the backbones of a healthy life. You’re probably wondering what exercise has got to do with immunity. Let’s break it down for you. When you work out, your blood circulation is improved, which eases the speedy transport of antibodies around the body.
This improves their effectiveness in detecting foreign organisms. However, you don’t need to go “full athlete mode” to keep fit. Moderate exercises like walking, cycling and jogging will go a long way. Studies have shown that engaging in this form of exercise helps boost your immune system.
Also, the body releases endorphins when you exercise. These chemicals help to relieve pain and stress. Even with the COVID protocols in place, you can still work those muscles with a couple of indoor exercises. Whatever you do during quarantine, remember to stay active.
3. Get Enough Sleep To Boost Your Immune System
A lot of people tend to undermine the importance of sleep. Some believe it’s a waste of time, considering nothing physically active is going on. This is a very wrong misconception as a bunch of essential activities take place.
When you sleep, your immune system releases specific proteins called cytokines. They guard against infections. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived individuals are more prone to fall sick after exposure to viruses. Hence, you have a better chance of fighting disease when you sleep well. You may also like reading 7 Secrets To A Good Night’s Sleep
Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. This is a very effective way of boosting the immune system. If you’re finding it hard to fall asleep, here are a few tips:
- Turn off the light in the room.
- Keep away from phones, TVs, and computers about an hour before bed
- Stick to a sleep-wake schedule
- Don’t bring work into the bedroom
- Get a comfortable mattress and pillow
4. Remain Hydrated !
That’s right; you need to drink enough water. The immune as well as every other system in the body requires water to operate appropriately. The water present in cells, tissues and organs is harnessed to maintain body functions and regulate temperature.
Staying hydrated helps the body to ward off toxins and bacteria that cause infection. Water, therefore, plays a huge role in boosting the immune system.
How much water should one take? It is recommended to take at least 8-ounce glasses of water each day. This is equivalent to 2 litres.
However, you should take more water in these circumstances:
- When the weather is hot
- In case you’re losing body fluids in the case of diarrhoea or vomiting
- Times when you’re breastfeeding
- While doing physical exercise
The general rule is to drink water whenever you feel thirsty. Stop when you feel satisfied. The most important thing is to prevent dehydration. Also read 10 Benefits Of Staying Hydrated
5. Try To Minimise Stress
It’s okay to take a break and relax after hours of work. Your body needs to recharge those batteries that’ll keep you running again. Managing your stress levels is one of the best ways of boosting the immune system.
The relationship is thus: when you’re stressed, the hormone cortisol is released. This hormone typically suppresses the function of the immune system. Long term stress results in an imbalance in the functioning of the immune cells. Therefore, we are more liable to fall sick when we are stressed.
Here are a few activities you can engage in to lower your stress levels:
- Relaxation to music
- Keeping a journal
You probably didn’t expect something as important as boosting the immune system to seem this easy, did you? There’s no magic involved-simply adopt healthier practices and engage in self-care. Do this and take that fear of falling sick off your mind. Also read 10 Simple Ways To Relieve Stress