The immune system is a host defense system comprising many biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. In order to function properly, an immune system must detect a wide variety of agents, known as pathogens from various viruses.
If our immune system is down, it is important to bring it up and keep it up. We must thank our immune system because it defends us from disease-causing microbes. A healthy immune system can defeat invading pathogens. Check out these five natural ways to improve our immune system.
#1 Get Enough Rest
We cannot stress it enough: our bodies need rest, rest, and rest. Without rest we are working off nothing, which weakens our immune system. Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function.
Every time we go to bed at night and sleep, we are recharging our bodies from the day before for the next day. Rest is a core component of a balanced life and fitness routine. Giving your body time to recover between exercises, after a workout, and through extended periods, will help it replenish energy and recover from strain. Our bodies should be getting at least six to eight hours of rest to ensure a healthy immune system.
#2 Avoid Tobacco
If you do not ingest any form of tobacco, your immune system is appreciating you already. If you re consuming tobacco, it would be best to try to reduce the amount your body is exposed to or try eliminating altogether.
The longer you use tobacco products, the more you are at risk of developing serious health problems. Once you stop using tobacco, your risk drops substantially. Tobacco smoke undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis.
Pneumonia is another illness that comes from inhaling tobacco that weakens our immune system. Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lungs affecting primarily the small air sacs known as alveoli.
#3 Eat Fruits + Vegetables
Eating plenty of fruits and veggies will help boost your immune system. Fruits and vegetables provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs to be healthy. When you include a lot of vegetables and fruit in your diet, the intake improves the antibody response to the viruses, which protects against weakening your immune system.
Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C, and potassium. They’re also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestion problems.
Vegetables, specifically, are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, fiber, and potassium. Folate helps the body form red blood cells. It is especially important for women of childbearing age to consume folate-rich foods such as bell peppers, tomatoes, and spinach to prevent neural-tube defects in babies.
#4 Consider Probiotics
According to some medical studies, probiotic supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are considered good for you and your digestive system.
We usually think of these as germs that cause diseases and weaken our immune system. However, your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy and immune strong. You can find probiotics in supplements and some foods, like yogurt.
Doctors often suggest them to help with digestive problems. Probiotics help balance your good and bad bacteria to keep your body working the way it was intended. Prebiotics are in foods such as whole grains, bananas, greens, onions, garlic, soybeans, and artichokes. In addition, probiotics and prebiotics are added to some foods and available as dietary supplements.
#5 Include Garlic in your Diet
Garlic not only keeps the blood-sucking vampires away, but it also helps boost your immune system. Consuming garlic on a daily basis (in food or raw) helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the anti-oxidant properties of allicin. Allicin is a pungent oily liquid with antibacterial properties, present in garlic.
It is important to remember when cooking or consuming garlic is sure you consume garlic raw or semi-cooked to derive any of its benefits. It is also immensely beneficial to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Related: 6 Easy Ways to Be Healthier Instantly
Having a strong immune system means the chances of you getting sick or catching a cold are slim to none. What natural ways have you found that work to improve your immune system?
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