Immunity is a complex biological mechanism with the ability to recognise and accept what belongs to the self, as well as identify and deny what does not belong to the self (non-self).
When thinking about boosting our immune system, we should definitely think about making tweaks in our diet, to list the least. Food plays a very important role in how our body functions.
We should also check out special diets or vitamin supplements that are supposed to improve immunity at flu season or other periods of sickness. Citrus fruits, chicken broth, and honey-infused tea are also good sources of vitamin C. Our immune system, on the other hand, is complicated and affected by a perfect combination of several things, not just diet, and particularly not by any single food or nutrient.
A well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, along with healthier lifestyle considerations such as good sleep, exercise, and low stress, primes the body to battle illness and disease the most effectively.
Here are some ways on how we’d be able to hype up our immunity:
Including whole plant foods
Consuming whole plant food is a suggested way of boosting our immunity, antioxidants in these foods aid in the reduction of inflammation by combating unstable compounds known as free radicals, which can trigger inflammation when they build up in high concentrations in the body.
- Meanwhile, the fibre in plant foods feeds your gastrointestinal microbiome, which is your gut’s population of beneficial bacteria. A healthy gut microbiota will boost your immunity and prevent pathogens from entering your body through your intestines.
Consuming more healthy fats
Healthy fats supposedly increase the quality of our immune system. By reducing inflammation, healthy fats like those found in olive oil and salmon can help your body’s immune response to pathogens.
- Olive oil’s anti-inflammatory properties have been attributed to a lower incidence of chronic diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory properties can aid in the battle against disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
Considering more fermented food items
Taking a probiotic supplement or eating more fermented food also helps. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria called probiotics, which populate your digestive tract.
Yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and natto are examples of these types of food.
According to research, a thriving network of gut bacteria will aid immune cells in distinguishing between natural, healthy cells and harmful invader species.
Restricting that sugar intake
Limiting added sugar would help our immune system more than we’d imagine. Obesity may likewise increase your risk of getting sick. People with obesity who got the flu vaccine were twice as likely to also get the flu than people without obesity who received the vaccine, according to a retrospective sample of about 1,000 people.
- Sugar restriction will lower inflammation and aid weight loss, lowering the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Limiting added sugars is a vital aspect of an immune-boosting diet, given that obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease can all impair the immune system.
- Sugar consumption should be kept to less than 5% of total calories consumed per day. For anyone on a 2,000-calorie diet, this is around 2 teaspoons (25 grammes) of sugar.
Make sure to get yourself hydrated
Drinking water has also done noticeable changes to the immune system as per cases suggests. While hydration does not always protect you from germs and viruses, it is vital to avoid dehydration for your optimal health. Dehydration can cause headaches and impair your physical ability, concentration, mood, metabolism, and heart and kidney function, among other things. These issues will make you more susceptible to illness. To avoid dehydration, drink enough water each day to make the urine pale yellow. Water is preferred because it is calorie-free, additive-free, and sugar-free. Although tea and juice are also hydrating, fruit juice and sweetened tea should be consumed in moderation due to their high sugar content. You can drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you’re no longer thirsty, as a general rule. If you exercise often, work outdoors, or live in a hot environment, you can need more fluids. It’s interesting to remember that as people become older, their bodies stop signalling hunger properly, and they lose the need to drink. Even if they do not feel thirsty, older people can drink on a daily basis.
Garlic, a notable mention
Garlic’s active component, allicin sativum, is thought to have antiviral and antimicrobial properties toward the common cold, however, there are several high-quality clinical studies comparing garlic supplements to placebo. Following 146 participants, a Cochrane study found only one trial of fair size. Those who took the garlic replacement for three months experienced fewer cases of the common cold. Those who received a placebo had a shorter period of illness after contracting the cold virus than those who received the placebo, but both groups had a comparable duration of illness after contracting the cold virus. It’s worth noting that these results come from a single study that needs to be repeated. Check out more about the ‘benefits of Garlic’.
We are continuously exposed to potentially dangerous microbes of various types on a regular basis. Our immune system, which is made up of a complex network of stages and pathways in the body, protects us from both infectious bacteria and diseases. It detects alien invaders including bacteria, viruses, and parasites and takes prompt action. So why wouldn’t we want to give our immune system what’s best for our body?