by Sophia Smith: The human immune system is one of the body’s first lines of defenses against various infections, viruses, and pathogens…
As such, it plays a vital role in our health and everyday performance, as well as our body’s ability to overcome health problems.
When the immune system is functioning at an optimal level, it is able to quickly detect and eliminate any abnormal cells, bad bacteria, and disease-causing organisms, preventing the condition from escalating. On the other hand, a weakened immune system is not as effective in defending the body from invaders, which results in longer recoveries that are often accompanied by severe symptoms.
Fortunately, ensuring an effective immune response is a matter of adopting certain health and lifestyle habits. In this article, we will be looking at some of the best natural ways for keeping your body’s defenses strong.
Eat your way to better immune health
Healthy nutrition can be a marvelous tool in preventing chronic diseases, boosting immune system response, and making the organism more resilient to disease-causing microbes. The type of food you rely on to fuel your body and nourish it will also have an impact on your overall sense of well-being, while also largely contributing to your body weight and physical and mental health in general.
Focus on implementing more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats as well as fiber-rich foods into your diet to reduce the risk of heart disease, and increase vitamin D and calcium intake to maintain bone health. For a healthy blood pressure, introduce more potassium and limit your sodium intake. Since the absorption of vitamin B12 becomes more difficult with age, consider using B12 supplements.
Manage your stress levels to bolster your immunity
It’s no secret that stress can disrupt your body’s natural processes and contribute to serious health issues, increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. What’s more, enduring psychological stress over a longer period of time can lead to inflammation and result in imbalances of cellular functions, thus weakening the immune response.
This is why it’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels effectively. Mindfulness and breathing exercises can be especially helpful in relieving stress, especially when paired with balanced nutrition and moderate physical activity.
Activate cells for stronger body defenses
Our immune system is naturally constructed in a way that it can ward off diseases, viruses, and bacteria on its own thanks to a number of different cell types that make these processes possible. The latest technological advancements and developments in the field of cell biology have given us an insight into the vast power of the immune system and how it can be utilized to fight serious diseases such as cancer, with promising new alternatives such as immunotherapy emerging as a viable solution for treating different types of cancer by employing the body’s natural defenses.
For instance, scientists who are currently working on researching plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) have the aim of discovering how this specific immune cell type functions and how its potential can be utilized to promote anti-cancer immunity. Keeping your body’s defenses strong can potentially activate these cell types and aid in combating serious illnesses by relying solely on the body’s immune system.
Strengthen natural immunity with quality sleep
The hectic pace of a modern lifestyle can sometimes interfere with our goals of getting enough sleep each night and waking up energized and refreshed. The fact that older women experience insomnia more often than men doesn’t help either. Poor sleep quality or lack thereof inevitably affects the immune system, inhibiting its ability to ward off harmful infections, viruses, and pathogens. In a study conducted among healthy adults, not getting adequate sleep increased the likelihood of catching a cold, especially in those adults who had gotten less than 6 hours of sleep.
To improve the quality of your sleep and simultaneously strengthen natural immunity, make sure to create a sleep-friendly environment, paying attention to factors such as room temperature, bright light, noise, clutter, and distractions. Also, consider practicing relaxation techniques before bed, increasing physical activity levels, following a sleep schedule, and using natural sleep aids such as melatonin supplements.
Moderate exercise for a significant immune system boost
Strengthening your immunity also has to do with how much exercise you’re getting. Implementing moderate exercise into your weekly routine (150 minutes a week) increases the white blood cell count, reduces inflammation, and encourages a healthy immune cell turnover.
Aim for low-impact workouts and light aerobic exercise such as cycling, dancing, and swimming to increase endurance and boost energy levels. Walking promotes heart health and can be easy to incorporate into your daily routine, while different yoga exercises (hatha, vinyasa, chair yoga, etc.) promote flexibility and balance, and they can be especially beneficial for women with osteoporosis as they can help increase bone density. In addition to aerobic activities, consider incorporating some resistance exercises as well, and aim for an 80-20 split. If you’re not already active, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program and make sure to begin slowly.
The immune system is a complex mechanism consisting of a number of biological processes and structures that act as the organism’s shield from outside invaders. By applying the tips above, you will keep your body’s natural defenses strong, ward off any diseases and illnesses, and ensure a brighter, healthier future for yourself.
Sophia Smith is a lifestyle blogger, graphic designer and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about eco-friendly and green topics, sustainable fashion, eco beauty, and conscious business. Sophia’s other hobbies centre around her love for yoga, wellness rituals and living in balance with nature. She loves sharing meaningful content that inspires people and has covered topics ranging from organic products and sustainability to self-care and mental health. Sophia has contributed to a number of publications including Eco Warrior Princess, Naughty Nutrition, Herbs Mother Earth Living, Yoga Trade, Sivana Spirit, Bonvita Style, High Style Life, Carousel, and Cause Artist.
You can find out more about her writing by following her on Twitter (@sophia_bri)