With the millions and millions of viruses and bacteria present out there in the world, ready to attack us, ever wonder how we are still doing just fine? It might be time for you to thank your immune system, which acts as your protector from all disease causing microbes. Now if you want to help it improve, here are the things that you need to be doing:
1)Getting enough sleep and managing stress
Getting sufficient sleep is not only important for mental and physical fitness, but also for the immune system as sleep deprivation can elevate the hormone cortisol and result in suppressing the functioning of the immune system. Extreme stress can also cause similar effects and so it is advisable to engage in activities that relieve stress.
2)Avoiding tobacco and smoking
Smoking is injurious to health, as the advertisement on a packet of cigarettes suggests, and it’s true. It harms the basic immune system defense mechanism and increases the risk of pneumonia and bronchitis in its consumers. It can also cause ear infections in children.
3)Consuming less alcohol
Excessive consumption of alcohol causes impairment in proper functioning of the immune system and makes the body prone to catching lungs infections.
4)Eating lots of vegetables, fruits and nuts
A good diet should be inclusive of all the possible nutrients that are required for the well being of the human body. Studies performed on adults have shown that increasing fruit and vegetable intake in the diet lead to an improved antibody response to a vaccine called Pneumovax which helps protect the body against Streptococcus Pneumonia.
5)Considering inculcating probiotics
According to research, supplements have shown to reduce the occurence if gastrointestinal and respiratory infections. In adults and kids, fermented milk has also shown to reduce respiratory infections.
6)Getting sufficient sunlight
The production of vitamin D in human skin is triggered by sun rays. During summers, a 10 to 15 minute exposure under the sun is enough. In places above 42 degree latitude, there isn’t enough sunlight and the people there are at a higher risk of catching respiratory infections. Supplemental vitamin D is provided to them in order to improve their immune health.
7)Adding garlic to your food intake
It is a boosting agent for immunity, as it is a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent. As heat tends to deactivate an active agent, garlic should be added to the food just before it is served.
8)Eating medicinal mushrooms
Shiitake and maitake are two kinds of mushrooms that help boost the immune system. Studies suggest that shiitake even enhances the immune function in women suffering from breast cancer.
If you suffer from recurrent infections, you may consider taking herbs that support the immune system, such as astragalus, eleuthero, Asian ginseng and American ginseng.
10)Making an echinacea tincture
It is of advantage to have one with yourself if you ever happen to be attacked by respiratory viruses that make their way past your immune system.