The Covid-19 pandemic has brought forth various discourses on health, immunity, and various treatment techniques. Right from professional spaces to social circles, discussions on building immunity have started taking the center stage. Immunity is not something that can be built overnight. It is a result of our various lifestyle changes and how our body reacts to them. Our genetics also decide how strong or weak our immune system is. While lifestyle changes can have a major positive impact, our body’s response depends on various factors mentioned below. Here are 7 ways we can boost our immune system.
Increase physical activity- Our sedentary lifestyle is a nest of many diseases. Increasing physical activities like walking extra, taking stairs in place of elevators, or hitting the gym can boost our immunity by a great deal in the long run. Aerobic exercises have proved their efficacy in reducing stress and bringing calmness. Better physical health is a direct cause of mental peace and relaxed muscles. Moving around helps improve our cardiovascular health as well and keeps blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check.
Sleep Better- Our body needs good rest after a tiring day. However, peaceful 7-8 hours of sleep is a luxury not many can afford. But with slight lifestyle tweaks, we can sleep better and give the much-needed rest to ourselves. Switching off electronic devices and not taking phones to bed can help immensely in getting quality sleep. Reading a book in bed, taking lighter meals for dinner and a nice relaxing shower can also aid in sleeping better.
Cut Alcohol Intake- If you have a habit of taking alcohol regularly, you might want to cut down on it. Apart from harming vital organs like the liver and kidneys, excess alcohol consumption can also impact our digestion along with impairing immune responses. Alcohol also causes imbalances in blood circulation and can turn out to be a massive health hazard if not taken in limited quantities.
Eat Balanced Diet- This is one of the basics of building immunity. It has been observed that an average adult consumes 27% fewer nutrients than the required levels causing several nutrient deficiencies. Consuming protein and vitamin-rich foods can help massively in building body strength. Iron, fibre, and calcium intake must also be increased, and processed and deep-fried foods must be avoided at all costs. By taking a balanced diet for a prolonged period, you would automatically see changes in your body and feel energized. In addition to food, adequate levels of water must also be consumed to keep the body hydrated and oxidized.
Reduce Stress- Stress levels are directly related to poor immunity. Our body needs to be calm with all the vital organs functioning in sync for better health. High-stress levels result in the irregular secretion of ‘Cortisol’ which is a hormone directly responsible for the proper functioning of the immune system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system among others.
Immunity Boosting Foods- Consuming a balanced diet is one aspect of boosting immunity. The other key aspect is eating food items that are widely considered great immunity boosters. These include ginger, yoghurt, tomatoes, oats, and honey among others. In addition to these, citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit, and lemon which are rich in Vitamin C also aid well in boosting immunity. Broccoli is another excellent option that can be incorporated into our diet for this purpose. It is a great source of vitamins A, C, and E and is loaded with fibres and minerals. Consuming these food items in adequate amounts can be extremely beneficial in improving the immune system.
Vaccinate Yourself- The basic function of vaccines is to protect our bodies from various diseases. Vaccinations boost our body’s defense and play a vital role in fighting harmful viruses and bacteria. It has been proven that a vaccinated body is well equipped to fight alien microorganisms as compared to the unvaccinated one. In fact, without vaccinations, our body’s immune system will take 10-15 days to fight against diseases. Vaccines shorten this period considerably and provide an effective fighting mechanism against these foreign elements.
Vaccination is among the safest and most convenient preventive measures against various diseases and the greatest ally to our immune system. As time passes, immunity from childhood vaccinations may wear off, putting adults at a higher risk for other illnesses. Adults must stay on course with their vaccinations because they are at a higher risk for other diseases as well. The vaccines you need as an adult are determined by your age, lifestyle, health condition, and which vaccines you have already received in your lifetime. Vaccines are usually recommended for adults for protection against hepatitis B, hepatitis C, human papillomavirus, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, rotavirus, and varicella.