Nothing can beat the agonising feeling of being stuck next to a person coughing violently throughout your commute. Especially during rush hour whereby there is a high chance of spit landing on you. Despite managing to get away after arriving at your destination, your throat feels tight and scratchy. And before you know it, you are plagued with the same illness a few days later.
If you often find yourself falling sick after coming into contact with unwell people, perhaps it’s time to strengthen your immune system. Although there are no methods with a 100% success rate of warding off illnesses, it’s still imperative you are aware of what they are, so as to enjoy a healthy immune system.
Whether be it our diet, daily habits or mental well-being, there are various factors that affect the strength of your immune system. As the main role of the immune system is to protect the body against bacteria, viruses and diseases, it’s best to equip it with the necessary ‘firepower’ so that it can fight and annihilate these foreign intruders. However, do note that everyone has different levels of immunity, which is why some people tend to fall sick more easily as compared to others. For these people, it’s even more important for them to fortify and take care of their immune system.
With that in mind, here are some ways to give your immune system a boost as below.
Meet Your Immunity Boosters
As we grow older, our immune system tends to get weaker. This is due to the various changes in our physical makeup and bodily processes that are accompanied with age. For instance, as there is a decreased efficacy of T-lymphocytes as we age, there is an increased likelihood of older people falling sick as compared to young people. This is because the T-lymphocytes have an important role in regulating the immune system’s response to foreign bodies or bacteria.
Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to the other factors that affect that immune system that are within our control, such as our diet and daily habits, as ageing is inevitable. To find out more how to strengthen your immune system via these factors, read on:
Exercise On A Regular Basis
We are all aware of the importance of exercise for good health and that applies to our immune system as well. Exercising frequently can aid in stimulating the production of T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells which are responsible for defending our body against bacteria and viruses. These white blood cells facilitate the destroying of germs in the body, thus reducing the likelihood of falling ill. However, do note as this accelerated production level of T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells are temporary, it’s best to exercise on a regular basis for maximum effectiveness. Also, you are advised to participate in moderate fitness activities such as brisk walking or skipping as excessive amounts of high-intensity exercises can backfire on you and decrease your immunity level. Not to mention that exercise can help to keep your body fit and in shape as well, making it a win-win.
Contrary to belief, not getting enough sleep doesn’t just give you terrible dark eye circles and dull looking skin, but negatively impacts your immune system as well. This is because certain types of white blood cells such as T-lymphocytes and cytokines tend to be produced during nighttime rest. As these cells aid in safeguarding and dealing with infection, a lack of sleep might increase your susceptibility to illnesses such as flu and sore throats. Subsequently, as your nose gets congested by mucus, it might exacerbate your dark eye circles as fluids get trapped and gather under your eye area. Hence, be sure to get a good night’s sleep for a better immune function and overall appearance.
Increase Your Intake Of Vitamins And Minerals
Like exercise, your diet is also important to maintain good health and immunity levels. Hence, be sure to increase your intake of foods containing vitamin C and D, which can aid in ensuring optimal functioning of your immune system. Some examples of foods with vitamin C include kiwi, oranges and kale. Whereas for vitamin D based foods, opt for egg yolks, fortified oatmeal and salmon. Asides from that, minerals such as zinc should also be consumed to further boost your immune system. This is because Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties. Good food sources of zinc include king crabs, chickpeas and almonds. Remember, these foods containing the various vitamins and minerals need to be consumed for a period of time for maximum effect. In addition, you can also consider taking supplements to boost your intake of these vitamins and minerals.
Cut Down On Alcohol Intake
If you are a frequent drinker, you might want to slow down on the alcohol for a bit. This is because excessive alcohol intake might impair your body’s response and capability to deal with bacteria and viruses, thus increasing the probability of you falling sick.
Try Out Stress Relieving Activities
When your mind and body is under significant stress, cortisol is produced. Over the long run, high levels of cortisol in your body can bring about an increased risk of developing various health issues such as cardiovascular disease, increased blood pressure levels and reduced efficacy of the immune system. Therefore to enjoy optimal functioning of the immune system, try to engage in various stress relieving activities such as meditation or yoga. However, as everyone deals with stress differently, it’s best to do research on the type of stress relieving activity that best suits you.