Health is wealth. It is an old cliché but you cannot deny its truth. If you don’t take care of your health, the years of neglect will soon backfire and haunt every area of your life — your health will affect your mental, emotional, and financial well-being as well.
At the very heart of a healthy body is a healthy immune system. It is your first line of defense against bacterial and viral attack. If your immune system is weak, your body will easily succumb to these attacks. Therefore, you owe it to your immune system to strengthen it.
How to Boost the Immune System?
Boosting the immune system looks easier in writing than in action. That’s because our immune system is a complex mechanism which involves different parts. There are still a lot of things that haven’t been discovered regarding its intricacies and complexities of its function.
The direct link of your diet and lifestyle to your immune system hasn’t been scientifically proven yet. However, that does not mean that they do not have any effect on your body because they do. In fact, a healthy diet and lifestyle are your first line of defense in strengthening your immune system.
The Immune System and Your Health
Anything that is subject to abuse is bound to malfunction and eventually stop functioning. The same goes true with our immune system. Sadly, a lot of people are not aware or simply do not care that they are subjecting their body to abuse with how they live. Here are some of the daily assaults we subject our bodies to:
- Smoking – cigarettes contain high levels of chemicals that can damage your immune system
- Inactivity / Lack of exercise – sitting for a long time harms your body and how it functions. You don’t need to have heavy exercise but walking fast to get your heart rate fast for at least 20 minutes a day is enough.
- Too much alcohol consumption – inhibits white blood function and weakens your immune system leaving you at risk to infections and illnesses
- Lack of sleep – staying up late more often will not only make you feel sluggish but also makes you prone to colds and other illnesses.
- Obesity – weight gain brings a lot of health risks. It also makes your body more susceptible to infections.
- Stress – it produces a lot of hormones that weaken your immune system
The Immune System and Stress
Among the factors above, stress is the most difficult to define because each person reacts to the same thing differently. What is stressful to one person might not be for another.
Moreover, when a person is exposed to a stressful situation, it’s still difficult to measure how much it affects them. As a result, scientists have difficulty identifying whether the person’s reaction to that stressor is accurate as well. However, one thing is certain — stress greatly affects a person’s well-being.
If stress is not addressed immediately and progresses to something chronic, it can lead to depression. According to WebMD, stress releases a hormone called cortisol and prolonged exposure to stress means more cortisol is produced. As cortisol increases, your serotonin and dopamine levels decrease.
Exercise, rest, and relaxation are some of the things doctors recommend to combat stress. When it comes to relaxation, kratom enables the body to relax and recuperate. This plant has been used in Southeast Asian traditional medicine for centuries. If you want to know more about kratom, Big Bear Kratom has a wealth of resources about it. They are also one of the reliable providers of premium quality kratom products in Canada.
The Immune System and Your Diet
Your immune system has an army that wards off bacteria and viruses. This army needs proper and regular nourishment to ensure they are always in their best fighting form. The lack of proper nourishment can result in micronutrient deficiencies, such as folic acid, zinc, and Vitamin C.
Foods to Include in Your Diet Today
Probiotics are known to protect our bodies against infections. Yogurt is a good source of this microorganism called Lactobacillus acidophilus or lactic acid bacteria in layman’s terms. It lives in our gut and it converts the sugar that enters our body into lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, substances that prevents harmful bacteria from growing in the intestines.
Garlic is one of the most common herbs in cooking. According to research, garlic contains the compound allicin which has been found to stimulate the immune system. Other studies also show that garlic can lower blood pressure and protect the body from catching colds easily.
A lot of people shun egg yolks because they are high in cholesterol. On one hand, they are also rich in protein, zinc, and selenium, substances that help boost the immune system. If you have a high cholesterol problem, including three to four eggs a week in your diet is fine, or you can ask your dietician about it.
4. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a good source of carotenoids, which are also found in carrots and kale. Carotenoids help the body fight free radicals. When digested, carotenoids are converted to Vitamin A which, in turn, helps boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and decreases cancer risk.
Scientists have discovered that blueberries contain a compound called stilbenoid, which synergizes with Vitamin D to boost the cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) gene, which has something to do with how the immune system functions.
Spinach is packed with vitamins and minerals that help boost the immune system’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses. These include Vitamin C, beta carotene, Vitamin E, and folate. Like broccoli, spinach is better when not overcooked.
7. Red and Green Peppers
These types of peppers are a good source of Vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant, a substance that helps fight free radicals, unstable molecules that wreaks havoc in our bodies. Free radicals damage the DNA, mitochondria, and our immune system. Studies have shown that Vitamin C helps boost the immune system of people undergoing stress.
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