Boost Your Immunity — Tips, Essential Nutrients & Their Sources
If you have the resistance capacity to fight off infections, you have a good immune system; however, if you find yourself falling sick and catching infections, then you must work towards making your immune system stronger. The factors that affect your immune system include your diet, your weight, your daily routine and your stress level. Your immune system has the power to defend from invading organisms, providing power for body functions and maintaining tolerance to infections. In the modern times it is seen that there is a greater susceptibility to viruses and illnesses. When you work towards building a robust immune system, you will be able to develop and harness resistance power that is required to protect yourself from external pathogens.
Boosting your immune system is all about eating right and making some healthy lifestyle changes. This article will provide you some important information and tips for strengthening your immune system.
Tips To Strengthen Your Immune System:
- Stay active! Do some form of exercise on a daily basis as it causes the antibodies and the white blood cells to regulate perfectly within the body, thereby strengthening your immune system.
- Get adequate sleep. A sleep pattern of 7-8 hours refreshes your body and mind and it also gives power to your immune system to fight the diseases.
- When you have the right body weight according to your height, your immune system is more powerful. Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial. If you have excess body weight or if you are under weight, your immune system can be weaker.
- Don’t smoke and if you drink alcohol, make sure that you are having it in moderation.
- Incorporate healthy habits in your daily life like washing your hands, using sanitizers while going out or travelling and thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
- Stress weakens your immune system. Practice mediation and relaxation techniques for reducing stress and making your mind healthier. Mental wellbeing is important when it comes to having a strong immune system. It is proven that people who are happy with less stress have better immunity. It is true that you cannot get away with the stress created in daily life but your approach towards the situations can make a huge difference.
- Step out in the sun. Sun provides Vitamin D to your body and helps in making you stronger. Exposure to the midday sun (for up to 15 minutes for light skinned people; and roughly 30 minutes to more than an hour or couple of hours for dark skinned people) is important for Vitamin D production in the body and the healthy functioning of your immune system.
Important Nutrients To Strengthen Your Immunity
Vitamin C plays an important role in improving your immunity. You can consume Vitamin C through citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables. Vitamin C helps in increasing the white blood cells that play a key role in fighting infections. You can consume citrus fruits like
Vegetables that will give you Vitamin C include:
- Bell peppers
You need to incorporate consumption of these vegetables and fruits on a daily basis to get more Vitamin C. If your body gets sufficient amount of Vitamin C, it will have the natural power of fighting against diseases and infections.
Vitamin E is a great antioxidant. Vitamin E has the capacity to modulate core functions of the immune system, thus making the immune system more powerful. Consumption of Vitamin E rich foods is important for people of all age groups but it is specifically beneficial for the aged people. You need to consume the following foods for getting your fill of Vitamin E:
- Sunflower seeds
- Wheatgerm oil
- Peanut butter
- Spinach and broccoli
This is a critical nutrient that helps your immune system to fight off the infections.
Vitamin A foods are rich in essential compounds and they are colourful. These include carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and squash. These foods provide compounds known as carotenoids, these carotenoids are converted into Vitamin A. Vitamin A creates an antioxidant effect for making the immune system stronger so that it can fight against infections.
Sufficient amount of Vitamin D reduces the risk of catching viral infections. You can get Vitamin D through spinach, soybeans, fish, oatmeal, cheese etc. You can also incorporate milk, orange juice and cereals in your daily diet for getting more of Vitamin D. Apart from these as mentioned above Vitamin D can also be generated by exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin B6 is an important nutrient and the body needs it for producing red blood cells and for producing the cells which are vital for the immune system. This vitamin plays a crucial role in supporting the biochemical reactions in the immune system. With a deficiency of Vitamin B6, there is a risk of developing many auto-immune diseases. Adequate quantities of Vitamin B6 help in production of white blood cells and T-cells. T-cells help in regulating the function of the immune system so that it responds perfectly to fight diseases and infections. You can derive Vitamin B6 through :
- Poultry foods like chicken and turkey
- Vegetables like carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes and chickpeas
- Wholegrain cereals like oatmeal and brown rice
- Fish, bread, eggs, soybeans, peanuts, milk and potatoes
It is also important to consume other B complex vitamins for increasing your resisting power. It is important to ensure that you are getting enough of Vitamin B in your daily life for a stronger immunity. Vitamin B complex has the power to monitor the immune system response. Important vitamins from the B complex lineage that help in developing immune power include Vitamin B9 and B12.
The best sources of Vitamin B include poultry and fish, brown rice, barley, millet, eggs, dairy products like milk and cheese, beans, lentils, sunflower seeds, almonds, dark and leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach, banana, avocado and citrus fruits.
Zinc is an essential nutrient for keeping the immune system healthy; it helps in healing wounds and supports natural growth. If you consume enough zinc through your diet, you don’t need to take any supplements. Zinc helps in immune cell development and it helps in reducing the upper respiratory tract infections in kids. Zinc is useful in treating rashes and skin infections as well. You can get zinc through foods like cashews nuts, baked beans, raisins, chickpeas, oysters, dairy products, eggs and even dark chocolate.
Iron helps in providing oxygen to your cells. You can derive iron from non-vegetarian food. If you are a vegetarian, you can derive iron from plant-based food that comprises of non-haem iron. You can consume foods like pumpkin seeds, nuts – like cashew nuts and almonds, wholegrain cereals, dried apricots and vegetables like broccoli, spinach and green peas. You can combine iron-rich foods with Vitamin C rich foods to give a boost to your immunity.
Immune System And Aging
As we age, our immune system gets weaker. Therefore, it is important to follow the right diet, practice the right habits and keep your mind and body healthy for maintaining the strength of your immune system. In comparison to the younger people, the elderly are more likely to catch infections therefore, it is important to consume immunity boosting foods on a daily basis. There is surely a connection between nutrition and immunity. Older people often consume smaller variety of food in their diet, but if a healthy diet is followed, the immune system will become stronger and they will be better equipped to fight with diseases and infections.
Being Healthy Is A Result Of Good Habits
The immune boosting nutrients combined with a healthy routine will provide you with a greater ability to fight off infections. It is seen that viruses and infections can have a greater impact on people with a fragile immune system; therefore, you need to take the aforementioned crucial steps in time. The more consistent actions you take to ensure good health the better it is, and slowly your ideal nutritional and lifestyle practices will become a habit. It is your attitude towards life and good habits that is going to make all the difference; so keep yourself healthy and have a positive approach towards life for mental and physical wellbeing.
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