A strong immune system is the key to good health; it prevents you from diseases, illnesses and harmful viruses and bacteria. Whenever you fall ill, it is because a microorganism has penetrated your immune system, which is the last fortress against maladies in the human body.
However, you need to realize that the immune system is not a single entity or set of similar entities, it is a system of various small cells and tissues of different kinds that have been building up, changing and evolving since the time you were born. This is exactly the reason why certain people are allergic to certain substances while others aren’t. Every individual has an immune system that works differently to different stimuli.
Irrespective of the method of it, a weak immune system means that a person is more prone to diseases. Thus, it becomes imperative that your last bastion against harmful microorganisms be strengthened, and quickly. Here a few quick was to go about it:
1) Citrus fruits for vitamin C
Vitamin C is universally acknowledged to be the top contributor to good immune health. It does so by boosting the production of white blood cells, which are the most crucial component of the immune system and are rightly called the ‘killer cells’, since they surround and kill an invading pathogen. Not only this, but they are also instrumental in killing off tumors and infected cells that could prove harmful if left unattended.
The best way to get vitamin C in your system is by consuming citric fruits like oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapefruits, which are loaded with the vital vitamin.
2) Probiotic bacteria from fermented foods
Probiotic bacteria, or what we often call ‘good bacteria’, are another instrumental part of the immune system since they activate the immune system and help it identify and kill harmful bacteria and viruses. While science is yet to confirm how the probiotic bacteria go about doing this, research has shown that they boost the growth and multiplication of immune cells, which in turn makes the entire system stronger.
Fermented foods like yoghurt, kimchi, pickles, miso and many others can provide the necessary probiotics like the many types of lactobacillus, bifidobacteriumand saccharomyces boulardi besides others.
3) Leafy vegetables, nuts, lentils and dark chocolate for magnesium
A magnesium deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies to exist in the world today. This matters because magnesium is necessary for vitamin D3 absorption by the body, which is a key component responsible for boosting immune health. Besides, magnesium is also required for almost 300 other metabolic functions, all of which are crucial.
Green vegetables like spinach, fenugreek, etc are a great source of the mineral, so are nuts, beans, lentils and pulses. Imbibe these in your diet on a regular basis, and keep dark chocolate as an added source of magnesium.
4) An overall healthy diet
While the above ingredients are an absolute necessity for a quick immune boost, the immune system, as previously stated, is a system of many cells and tissues, and the only way they can be built and maintained in a wholesome manner is by a nutritious and healthy diet that consists ample vegetables, fruits, proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates (the last three should ideally be obtained by lean meats, legumes, dairy products and wholegrains). Try to limit sugars and artificial substances that have more harms than benefits, but ensure that you eat three meals a day consisting of the necessary nutrients.
5) Avoid stress and sleep well
Most of the body’s repair work is done when an individual is asleep. The same stands true for the immune system as well, since it is nothing but a defense and repair mechanism. Thus, ensure that you get eight hours of restful sleep every night so that the immune system can be strengthened and can work to the best of its potential.
At the same time, avoid undue stress since research has shown that mental stress weakens the immune system by increasing the physical stress that the body experiences. Try to indulge in relaxing recreational activities like meditation, exercise, etc., to combat stress.
6) Stay hydrated at all times
The universal solvent is necessary for transporting nutrients and keeping cells, and consequently tissues and entire organs, active. The same stands true for the immune system as well, and it cannot function properly when the body is dehydrated since all its constituent elements undergo a reduction in activity. At the same time, lack of water also means that the body is being devoid of nutrients that are necessary to fight off harmful microbes.
Besides this, water also helps in flushing out harmful toxins from the body, the presence of which would result in the immune system being rendered less effective.