Boosting Your Body's Immune System
Boosting Your Body's Immune System
You may want to boost your immune health, so as to help your body fight off illnesses.
While bolstering your immunity may be easier said than done, several dietary and lifestyle changes may strengthen your body’s natural defenses and help you fight harmful pathogens, or disease-causing organisms.
In addition to washing your hands thoroughly and avoiding people who may be sick, follow these tips to protect yourself against viruses and support a strong immune system.
Here are 9 tips to strengthen your immunity naturally.
1. Get enough sleep
Sleep and immunity goes hand in hand. Inadequate or poor quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness.
Getting adequate rest may strengthen your natural immunity. Also, you may sleep more when sick to allow your immune system to better fight the illness
Adults should aim to get 7 or more hours of sleep each night, while teens need 8–10 hours and younger children and infants up to 14 hours
2. Eat more whole plants food
Whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that may give you an upper hand against harmful pathogens. Several whole plant foods contain antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, all of which may lower your susceptibility to illness.
Choose leafy greens (e.g. kale, collards, spinach), cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes
and squashes. These fruits and veggies are high in vitamin C, vitamin A and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Aim for 3-4
servings of fruits and 5+ servings of vegetables.
3. Eat more healthy fats
Healthy fats, like those found in olive oil and salmon, may boost your body’s immune response to pathogens by decreasing inflammation. Chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system. Healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3s are highly anti-inflammatory and may naturally combat illness.
4. Eat more fermented food or get a probiotic supplement.
These foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and natto are rich in beneficial bacteria called probiotics, which populate your digestive tract
5- Limit added sugars
Curbing your sugar intake can decrease inflammation and aid weight loss, thus reducing your risk of chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Simple sugars include not only sweet treats and desserts but also white-flour and refined-grain products that turn
into sugar quickly. Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after you eat them.
6. Drink plenty of fluids, especially warmer fluids.
Consuming adequate fluids supports all your bodies’ functions including your immune system. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all
times. Enjoy soups and broths throughout the week. Drink herbal teas like ginger and Echinacea daily. Limit how many concentrated fruit juices
and sweetened beverages you drink, as the sugar content can strain your immune system.
7. Eat protein with each meal.
Proteins are the building blocks of your body, including your immune and detoxification systems. Incorporate lean animal proteins and/or plant-
based proteins (e.g. legumes, nuts, seeds) with each meal and snack.
8. Cook with garlic, onions, ginger, oregano and turmeric.
These ingredients have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, and garlic and onions offer wide spectrum antimicrobial properties.
Add them to soups and vegetable dishes, as well as bean dips and sauces for a flavorful boost.
9. Exercise regularly.
Mild to moderate exercise (for approximately 30-45 minutes) helps boost your immune system. Avoid overexertion, such as training for
endurance events, when you feel run-down. Pushing yourself too hard will lower your immune defenses.
YouTube has thousands of free workouts, and working out from home is easier than ever. Set up your phone, tablet, or laptop in a room with
extra space and get moving with any of the free options on YouTube below.
Also be sure to add supplements to your diet. It is best to have your blood levels tested by a healthcare professional before incorporating additional supplements to your diet.
Vitamin D3: Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is critical for optimal immune function and can help you fight off infections. Studies show adequate vitamin-D levels also reduce your risk of developing bone abnormalities, like osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether adding a supplement to your diet is best for you.
Buffered Vitamin C: Vitamin C boosts your immune system by encouraging the production of white blood cells, protecting your white blood cells and strengthening your skin’s barriers. The recommended dose is 500 - 1,000 mg throughout the day, to be taken with meals and snacks.
Zinc Citrate: Since our bodies do not naturally produce zinc, it’s important to either consume more foods high in this powerful immune-supporting nutrient or take an
additional supplement. Red meat, poultry, oysters, whole grains, beans and nuts are all great sources of zinc.
Probiotics: Your gut is an integral part of your immune system, and a healthy GI tract provides a strong barrier against pathogens. Probiotics support healthy gut flora to keep your gut and immune system in top shape. Look for probiotic brands that offer several species of good bacteria and contain at least 5 - 10 billion organisms per capsule.
COVID - 19 and The Immune System
COVID - 19 and The Immune System
The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can wreak havoc on the immune system, leaving the patient unable to fight off the infection.
Virologist Benjamin tenOever studied the nature of the novel coronavirus in an isolated laboratory at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in East Harlem. He claimed that the COVID-19 attack the immune system, wreaking havoc like no other virus he’s studied before.
How The COVID-19 Infection Begins
SARS-CoV-2 first enters through the nose and throat when someone inhales virus-laden air droplets expelled by an infected person. The cells in the lining of the nose are rich in angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) that the virus requires to enter a cell. ACE2 is present throughout the body.
Once inside a cell, the virus hijacks the cell’s machinery and make myriad copies of itself which then invade new cells. An infected person may show no symptoms or may develop a fever, dry cough, sore throat, loss of smell and taste, or head and body aches during the first week or so. But the patient may shed copious amounts of the virus during this time.
If the immune system doesn’t destroy SARS-CoV-2 during this initial phase, it can reach the windpipe to attack the lungs, where it can turn deadly. The virus is also known to affect other key organs like kidneys, heart and brain.