In the rapidly changing world, every facet of our lives matters. Health, especially our immune system, is one of the most crucial elements defining our overall body strength. Many people associate immune health with genetics. However, the key to our immune health is not only in inherited factors but also in the choices we make in our day-to-day lives. The importance of maintaining good immune health cannot be overlooked. We can overcome health challenges and build a robust natural defence mechanism by adopting healthy habits.
Before exploring the ways to boost the body’s natural immunity, let’s first discuss what the immune system is.
What is the immune system?
In simpler words, the immune system is a complex network of immune cells and organs, proteins that work in alliance to fight against harmful pathogens and foreign cells. The immune system’s primary function is to recognise invaders and stop them from entering our body. Our immune system keeps a record of every pathogen it defeats so it can identify and destroy them when they come back. It is considered a frontline defence against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Foreign substances that impact the body are called antigens. However, in certain conditions, the body’s immune system gets self-activated, destroying its own cellular components. This type of condition is called autoimmune disease. There are two types of immune systems: The innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. The immune system, which we are born with, and the adaptive immune system, which develops with time as our body encounters microbes.
Importance of maintaining the immune system:-
Your immune system is a natural defence mechanism against foreign invaders and diseases. But if our immune system weakens, we might end up being sick. A healthy immune system is important to keep the body free from illness and diseases. There are multiple benefits to maintaining your immune system healthy.
Healthy feeling is not about your external look; it’s about how you feel from the inside. No medicine or pill can improve your immune system. The key to a healthy being lies in adopting a healthy lifestyle that will help you prevent contagious diseases. True vitality can be felt when your body is in a healthy state inside.
The wound heals quickly:-
When your body is balanced, you will easily conquer any battle. A healthy immune helps you recover from wounds quickly, compared to a weakened immune system. The immune cell’s influence improves the wound-healing process. On the other hand, with a weaker immune system, your body takes longer than usual to heal the wounds.
A robust immune plays a crucial role in fighting infections. Our immune system produces WBC, RBC proteins, and other chemicals that attack and destroy foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. White blood cells (Lymphocytes) and phagocytes are key players in this defence mechanism.
When your body is healthy, you will feel less tired. The more you keep your body active by engaging in regular exercises, the more you will benefit. Through workouts, our bodies become active and more vital. A poor immune system can make us feel weaker and tired.
Tips to boost immune system:-
1. The power of nutrition:-
Like any other frightening force, the body’s key strength lies in the stomach. A healthy immune system needs nourishment. Research suggests that those who live in poverty or are malnourished are more prone to disease and infections.
For example, research does not specify any particular factor, such as dietary or high sugar intake, that has an adverse effect on immune health. There are studies on the impact of nutrition on the immune system.
2. Get enough sleep:-
While sleep isn’t necessarily an active process for the immune system, it is critical for good immune health. In fact, insufficient or poor quality of sleep is associated with the risk of sickness. When we sleep, our body produces cytokinins that are responsible for maintaining the activity of immune and blood cells in fighting infection.
As per a study conducted on 164 healthy adults, Those who slept less than 6 hours were more likely at risk of catching a cold than those who slept more each night. Sleep is highly essential to strengthen your body’s natural immunity. An adult should take 7–8 hours of sleep every day; teens require 8–10 hours of sleep, and younger children require at least 14 hours. To get better sleep, you should try limiting your screen time to an hour before bedtime. Limiting screen time is helpful, as blue lights emitted from your phone disrupt your sleep.
3. Go more for plant foods:-
Plant-based foods are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that give you an upper hand against these pathogens. Plant-based foods include nuts, oils, whole grains, seeds, legumes, and beans. Whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian, plant-based foods are really helpful in fighting against harmful pathogens.
The antioxidants present in plant-based foods decrease inflammation by fighting against compounds known as radicals, which are responsible for inflammation when higher in the body.
4. Maintain a healthy diet:-
Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial to the body’s defence mechanism. Like other essential elements, a nutritious diet is key to a stronger immune system. It means you take food with rich nutrients like vegetables, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats. When your body has sufficient nutrients, your immune system’s homeostasis will be balanced.
5. Exercise regularly:-
Physical activity is the best way to boost your body’s defence mechanism. They not only build muscles but also help you build healthy immunity. In the active state, our body produces more white blood cells.
Moderate immunity exercise mobilises cells outside the bone into the bloodstream. It facilitates the movement of immune cells from the bloodstream into tissue. This process strengthens your body’s immune surveillance. Immune surveillance can be considered as the immune system’s natural monitoring process. Exercise helps immune surveillance to be more efficient in detecting and reacting to the infection.
6. Stay Hydrated:-
Hydration plays a crucial role in the body’s functionality. It doesn’t necessarily protect you from the germs, but keeping your body hydrated is essential for your overall well-being. Dehydration can lead to several adversities, affecting your physical performance, mood, concentration, and heart and kidney function. These complications can increase your vulnerability to illness.
An individual should drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Drinking water is recommended for the body because it is free of calories, sugar, and additives. Apart from that, tea and juices are also hydrating for the body. However, they should be taken in limited quantities as they contain high sugar. As a general rule, you should drink water when you feel thirsty and avoid it when you are satisfied. You should take more fluids when you intensely work and exercise outside.
7. Maintain balanced weight:-
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial in enhancing the body’s natural defence mechanism and fighting against illness.
Excess weight and fat in your body can weaken your immune system. Also, Obesity can disrupt the process of absorption of natural supplements and essential vitamins, which are essential for immune function.
8. Minimise stress:-
Minimising stress is another significant factor in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Stress can have a severe impact on our body’s immune system functionality. However, stress can have different impacts on everyone.
During stress, our body releases cortisol, which suppresses the immune system’s ability to fight against infection. To keep your stress in check, You can try a combination of activities like meditation, yoga, meditation and more.
9. Quit alcohol and smoking:-
Smoking contains toxins that can affect your immune health, making you more prone to illness. Additionally, excessive alcohol also weakens the immune system.
If you’re finding difficulty in quitting alcohol, you can join Rehabilitation and Wellness Centres. Also, you should drink in moderation. Avoid taking no more than two drinks at special events.
10. Socialise more with people:-
Socialising and connecting with people can have a positive impact on your well-being. Loneliness and chronic stress can weaken your immune system, leading to stress and illness.
Spend as much time as you can with your family and friends, engage in different activities, and encourage a positive network.
Staying healthy should be a priority in your life. And this will be when your natural defence mechanism is stronger. Ensure you eat the right diet and obey healthy practices to keep your natural defence mechanism in check. Your immune system remains in good condition when you consume natural and nutritional supplements.
What are tips to boost the body’s defence mechanism?
There are many tips to boost the body’s defence mechanism, like maintaining proper sleep, taking nutrients., avoiding smoking and alcohol, minimising stress and more.
What is the immune system?
The immune system is the body’s defence mechanism against harmful pathogens and foreign invaders. It combines a complex network of cells, proteins, and organs that work together to protect the body from a constant barrier of threats.
Where is the immune system located?
The immune system is not present solely in one place but in different parts of the body, including cells and organs. Bone marrow is a primate location for the presence of the immune system. Some common body parts where the immune system is located are the spleen, lymph node, thymus and more.
What are the three lines of defence of the immune system?
The human body has three lines of defence to protect against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These include physical and chemical barriers, non-specific Resistance (Innate Immunity) and Specific Resistance (Acquired Immunity).
Why is it important to maintain a healthy immune system?
Our immune system fights against disease-causing bacteria to stop them from entering the body. Simply put, it protects from pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other harmful substances.
What happens if we don’t care about our immune system?
Our immune system is our body’s defence mechanism against infections and pathogens. If we don’t care about the immune system, we are more likely to get sick.