There’s a lot of buzz about immunity in the World and we all know how important it is to keep our immunity strong. If you’re feeling good today, the credit goes to your immunity. Our daily activities can help us maintain and improve it with time.
What is immunity?
Immunity helps you fight unwanted viruses and bacteria. It helps our body to distinguish between the body’s cells and foreign cells. Your body is just like a room and immunity acts as a security guard which keeps checking on whatever enters your body. So, if you want to keep your room free of bacteria and viruses, take care of your security guard. You take care of it and it takes care of you. There are thousands of products available in the market that claims to improve immunity. I have not tried any of them, so I will not comment on how good they are. But natural products are far better than the immunity increasing pills. There are many other safer ways which are much cheaper and easily accessible.
Few lifestyle and dietary changes can strengthen your immune system. But, none of the tips below can prevent COVID-19. They can help your body to fight diseases. Please take the necessary precautions and follow all the instructions given by the doctors and government officials.
So, let’s jump to the few Immunity increasing techniques and you don’t have to empty your pockets on them.
- KEEP MOVING:We all are familiar with the benefits of exercise. It helps in reducing the risk of chronic diseases and also keeps your bones strong and healthy. One of the most important steps of increasing immunity is exercise. Yes! A small cardio or weight training session a few days a week can help you improve your immunity. But, overdoing anything can put you in trouble and reverse the effects. Exercise increases blood circulation and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Choose the exercise you like, there are plenty of them. The key is to listen to your body and do whatever you like. Also, exercise releases endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body. People experience runner’s high after an intense workout or run, accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.
- SLEEP WELL DEAR! : Sleep is the most important thing for good health. A good sleep gives your body enough time to heal itself and prepares it for the next day. So, if you want to stay active throughout the day, don’t forget to get a good sleep. Sleep and immunity are closely related. They both go hand in hand. Poor sleep increases the chances of sickness. There are many ways to improve the quality of sleep like exercising, going to bed on time, etc. Aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. So, sleep well and boost your immunity.
- EAT GOOD FOOD: We are always told to eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, etc. since our childhood days and we often ignored those suggestions. Their power should not be underestimated and you must include them in your diet to strengthen your immunity. As they are rich In nutrients and anti-oxidants that can help you fight those harmful pathogens. The fiber in plant foods keeps the gut healthy and prevents harmful pathogens from entering the body via the digestive tract. Fruits like oranges, kiwi, lemon, guava, grapefruit, etc. And vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, capsicum, Brussel sprouts are rich in Vitamin C can help you boost your immunity. Keep your diet rich in antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C.
- HEALTHY FATS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND: Fats can be your best friend too if you’re getting them from the right source. Foods rich in healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, salmon, etc may boost your body’s immune response to pathogens by decreasing inflammation. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help your body fight the harmful virus and bacteria. So, keep your diet rich in healthy fats, since chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, these fats may naturally combat illness.
- AVOID ADDED SUGAR, YOU’RE SWEET ENOUGH 😛 : Added sugar and refined carbs can put you into the trouble. They are rich in calories with very little nutritional value which can result in obesity. Obesity is linked to many health problems and can increase the risk of getting sick. Curbing your sugar intake can decrease inflammation and aid weight loss, thus reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease that can weaken your immune system. So, limit the intake and keep the calories in check to avoid unwanted weight gain. A well-balanced diet can help you boost your immune system, so check what you’re putting inside your body.
- STAY HYDRATED: Water can solve all your problems. Hydration will not fight the viruses, but dehydration can create problems like headaches, heart and kidney problems, etc that can increase the susceptibility to illness. This calorie-free liquid can help you increase your immunity. But, limit the intake of sugary fruit drinks as they can increase the overall sugar intake which leads to obesity. Drink plenty of water every day and stay hydrated.
- RELIEVE STRESS AND ANXIETY: Stress can suppress immunity. So, if you want to boost your immunity, get rid of all that stress and anxiety. Activities like exercising, meditation, yoga, journaling, etc can help in reducing stress and anxiety. Exercise also releases endorphins which are natural pain and stress fighters. Many apps can also help you to deal with this problem. Check out the link below to know more about these apps. https://energeticreads.com/2020/02/02/move-better-eat-better-and-sleep-better/
Now we know how to increase our immunity with simple diet and lifestyle changes. But, there are few immune busters as well. Let’s check them too.
Few products can just lower your immunity, without you even realizing. We are aware of the health issues that these products have on our bodies, but they can slowly kill your immunity too.
- SMOKING: Having a heart attack or lung cancer after many years of smoking can quickly grab your attention as they’re the obvious consequences of smoking. But, the subtle negative impacts on the overall health that may be already manifesting themselves shouldn’t be overlooked.
Yes! Smoking can harm your immune system. Your body’s ability to fight the infections will decrease with time. You may find it difficult to deal with the small health problems that are no big deal for healthy adults.
- RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS WILL FIND THEIR WAY: The risk of developing respiratory problems like bronchitis or pneumonia increases every time you smoke. Difficulty in breathing can make daily tasks difficult. This is due to the tobacco’s immune-suppressing effects and also the smoke damaging the lungs.
- MORE FREQUENT INFECTIONS: The most important Vitamin that can help you boost your immune system i.e. Vitamin C gets destroyed with smoking and thus decreases the body’s ability to fight cells that are responsible for cancer. Smoking also destroys the antibodies in the bloodstream that helps in fighting infections which makes it difficult for the smokers to fight infections and they may remain sick for longer. Wounds and injuries might also take longer to heal.
Smoking can make it difficult to fight the diseases. Also, the pandemic like COVID-19 demands your lungs to be stronger to fight with the disease. So, smoking can put you in big trouble and make it difficult for you to survive the disease.
- ALCOHOL: Alcohol can cause many different health problems. Excessive drinking can damage the liver and cardiovascular system. We are well aware of the problems it creates to a large extent, but its impact on the immune system cannot be overlooked. Your body’s ability to fight the illness will eventually decrease, increasing the risk of developing a fatal illness like pneumonia.
- DISTURBS YOUR GUT’S MICROBIOME: Microbes living in your intestine i.e. Gut’s microbiome plays an important role in fighting diseases. The negative effect of alcohol on the digestive system makes it difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients and alters the balance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria. Alcohol disrupts the gut barrier, allowing more bacteria to pass into the blood which can cause inflammation in the liver that leads to liver damage.
- RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS: Excessive drinking harms not only the digestive system but also the respiratory system as well. It may impair the function of immune cells in the lungs and upper respiratory system, leading to an increased risk of pneumonia, tuberculosis, etc.
You can enjoy drinking and still have a healthy immune system, but the key is moderation. Too much alcohol can have negative impacts.
- PUT ALL THAT JUNK IN TRASH: We all know that fast food isn’t good for our body and can cause many other health issues. Regularly eating fast food can reprogram the way your immune system reacts, putting it on the prolonged state of ‘high alert’. Avoid junk and make healthy alternatives. Keep healthy snacks with you and put all that junk in trash. what is out of sight is out of mind, so don’t store junk food. Also, avoid sugary snacks. Sugar directly impacts your immune system by competing for space with Vitamin C, a much-needed nutrient for immune cells.
- CAFFEINE: The energy boosters for the mornings can suppress immunity. This booster comes with an unpleasant side effect of boosted cortisol levels. It can elevate your mood and metabolism, but high levels of cortisol flowing throughout your body can lower your immunity. You don’t have to give up your beloved cup of joy, but be aware of how much you’re putting inside your body.
- DIET SODA: This good drink can be a good companion when it comes to junk foods. Diet soda is full of artificial ingredients that are harmful to the immune system. These ingredients can reduce the levels of healthy bacteria in your gut, making you prone to many harmful decreases.
Avoid smoking and drinking. They will kill your immune system slowly. Make healthy alternatives. Check the link to know all the healthy snack alternatives. Eat good, feel good!
A healthy happy mind can help you deal with problems.
KEY TO A HEALTHY HAPPY MIND:
- EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE: All the gyms are closed and you may find it difficult to stay active. But, exercise is the most important thing that can help you manage stress and anxiety. It relieves endorphins, which are natural pain killers and immune boosters. Exercise can improve the quality of your sleep and increases confidence, which in turn promotes the mental – well-being. Exercise can solve all your problems. Click the link below to know different ways to stay fit and active even during a lockdown.
- KEEP YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE IN CHECK: Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, chocolate, etc. and high doses of it can increase anxiety. It is always healthy when taken in moderation. High doses of caffeine can increase stress and anxiety. People react to it differently. But, moderation is always better.
- JOT IT DOWN: One of the easiest things you can do to deal with problems like stress and anxiety is to write what’s on your mind. Write about the things you’re stressed about and things you’re grateful for. Gratitude may help you relieve stress and anxiety by looking at the brighter parts of your life. Be grateful for what you have.
- CONNECT WITH THE TWO F’S: Friends and family can help you deal with the tough times. Talking to someone you trust can help you relieve stress and anxiety. Spend time with people you love and be grateful for having them in your life.
- LAUGH OFTEN: Laughing helps in relieving your stress response and tension by relaxing your muscles. It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re laughing. A good laughing session can improve your mood and immune system. Spend time with people who make you laugh or watch your favorite comedy movie. Stay happy!
- AVOID PROCRASTINATION: Stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating. Procrastinating can cause unwanted stress. Make a to-do list organized by your priority. Make realistic deadlines and work accordingly. Multitasking can be stressful, so avoid that. Always give your best and be happy about it.
- LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’: Avoid unwanted stress by saying no. Be selective about what you take on- and say no to all the things that will unnecessarily add to your load. This can reduce your stress levels. Don’t take on more than you handle. Do what you love and love what you do.
- YOGA: Yoga is one of the best stress buster and is a common exercise among all the age groups. Yoga is good for the mind and body. It can enhance your mood and reduce stress levels. It may also help in reducing blood pressure, cortisol levels, and heart rate.
These tips can help you stay strong and positive in hard times. Use this lock down time to learn new things. Do what you love to avoid unwanted stress and tension. Make the most out of this time and stay strong. Keep yourself active by doing household chores and home workout.All the tips given here will help you stay fit and active,but none of these can prevent COVID-19. Please follow the instructions given by the doctors and government officials. Report to your nearest hospital if you have any symptoms. Get back stronger and better!
STAY HOME !
STAY SAFE !