6 min read
by the Healthdex team
At times of health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to monitor and increase our immune system. There is a lot of talk about boosting immune systems, but it is important to know what the immune system is so we can understand how to boost the immune system.
What is the immune system? It is a collection of organs, cells, and proteins that are designed to protect your body and fight against foreign pathogens like bacteria and viruses. The immune system is spread throughout your body to send immediate responses once a part of your body has been invaded by these pathogens. You may have encountered a type of response from the immune system before, fever. Getting fever is a way for your immune system to combat these pathogens by raising your body temperature. Every time your immune system fights off these pathogens, the immune system keeps track of these invaders in order for them to prevent the same pathogen from entering and spreading in your body again in the future. The immune system is your body’s first line of defense.
With that in mind, what can you do to improve your immune system? Here are a few ways you can help your immune system function efficiently.
Studies and research have shown that exercising regularly can help improve the response of the immune system. By exercising, you are keeping the immune cells constantly flowing, which will result in a faster immune response.
Having a healthy diet is vital for boosting the immune system. The immune cells need various nutrients in order to function properly. Eating one specific food will not provide your immune system with the right amount of nutrients it needs. When planning your diet, make sure to include foods that give vitamins C and D, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein because these nutrients are what help the immune cells grow and function regularly.
When you sleep at night, your body releases cytokines that have different functions like helping with your sleep. Another function of these cytokines is fighting against infections. Certain cytokines need to remain at an increased amount in order to successfully fight against pathogens. They can only be increased during sleep, so if you are not getting enough sleep, your body will be more prone to illnesses or diseases.
Vaccines are ways for you to protect your body from these disease-causing pathogens. These vaccines help boost your immunity so you can stay protected. New viruses and diseases are discovered like the COVID-19 virus. Scientists and doctors hurried to make vaccines to protect us from this virus. It is important for you to keep up to date with the vaccines for your protection and immunity to current and future viruses and diseases.
Everything you interact with or encounter in your everyday life is riddled with various pathogens. It is vital to maintain and practice good hygiene in order to kill these pathogens before they make their way into your body. It will prevent overworking your immune system.
It is a known fact that alcohol causes damage to the body like inflammation of the pancreas and liver. Harmful effects of alcohol also include damaging the immune system if not moderated. Studies have shown that excessive drinking of alcohol can disrupt the tissue recovery of organs. However, there are other studies that show moderate drinking of alcohol may boost your immune system.
Stress may seem to not have a big impact on your immune system, however, this is not true. When the stress hormone is released, the lymphocytes are reduced. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell responsible for forming antibodies and destroying infected cells. Therefore, if the lymphocytes are reduced, then the immune system becomes less efficient. Additionally, there are some stress coping mechanisms that are harmful to the immune system like excessive alcohol consumption as well as smoking.
Keeping in mind these steps will allow your immune system to function properly and efficiently, thereby lowering the risk of you contracting diseases and viruses like chicken pox, measles, and others. It is important to take these steps to boost your immunity in order to protect yourself and those around you, especially during pandemics and epidemics. You can gradually establish a routine of following these steps if you find it difficult to follow them all at once. By reading this article, you have already taken the first step to boosting your immune system, which is to gather information about the immune system.