The immune system has the superpower that protects us from all infections. Who doesn’t want it to be healthy? We all crave immunity that stands tall in adverse conditions by strengthening the natural defenses of our body. Although it is easier said than done, you can drastically improve your immune system by making some simple lifestyle changes.
By boosting your immune system, you will be able to fight harmful disease-causing organisms so that they don’t cause any long-term damage to your body. Read on to know how to improve the immune system naturally.
How to Improve Your Immune System Quickly:
Here is a list of things you can try to improve your immune system naturally:
1. Foods That Boost the Immune System:
Food is one of the best ways to boost your immunity and keep you healthy and fit naturally. By including wholesome foods packed with various nutrients, such as lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates, you can have a healthy life with the inflow of vitamins and minerals (1).
Eating fermented foods and foods that contain probiotics help improve immune health. Some of the foods that contain probiotics are:
- Cottage cheese.
- Unpasteurized sauerkraut.
So, it is well advised to follow a balanced diet to boost your immunity in an all-natural way (2) and avoid foods with no nutrients, such as processed foods, sugars, pops, and drinks.
2. Vitamins You Need for Healthy Immune System:
Vitamins play an essential role in building up immunity in your body so that it is ready to fight off infections. The number of vitamins and minerals that are naturally available in fruits and vegetables helps you keep your body healthy and strong.
- Vitamin C helps your body fight off infections quickly or prevent them effectively. Spinach, kale, bell peppers, papaya are some of the natural sources of vitamin C.
- Vitamin E plays a prominent role in your body’s biochemical reactions that improve your immune system’s healthy functioning. Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds are some of the best sources of vitamin E.
- Vitamin A is available in plant carotenoids and pre-formed that act as an infection fighter (3). Sweet potato, carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin are some of the best sources of vitamin A.
- Vitamin D is a powerful nutrient that supports the immune system and is also called the sunshine vitamin. Sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna are some of the best sources of this vitamin D.
- The health benefits are the reason why folate or folic acid is added to foods. Lentils, beans, leafy green vegetables, avocado are some of the best sources of this vitamin.
- Oxygen needs to be carried into the cells to function in many immunity system processes, where iron plays an essential role. Red meat, chicken, beans, oyster, broccoli are some of the best sources of iron.
The best functioning of white blood cells plays a vital role in the functioning of your immune system. Zinc is one of those minerals that produce new immune system cells and function efficiently (4). Some of the foods that are rich sources of zinc are:
- Lean meats.
- Baked beans.
4. Exercise/Yoga to Improve Your Immunity:
Many of us include exercises or yoga into our daily routine to cope with chronic illnesses like obesity or high blood pressure. But you might be surprised to know working out adequately has a profound effect on your immune system too.
Performing exercise moderately improves blood circulation and helps the regeneration of immune cells regularly by reducing inflammation (5).
Some studies suggest that regular exercise in moderation may help people with a compromised immune system by improving the vaccines’ effectiveness (6).
Brisk walking, jogging, steady bicycling, light hiking, and swimming are some of the best exercises you can try.
5. Meditation to Strengthen Your Immune System:
Meditation is a practice that involves your mind and body that creates a perfect balance between physical and psychological well-being. It helps you cope with illness by stimulating the regions of your brain that promote your immune system.
It increases the activity in all those brain areas that control positive emotions, anxiety, and awareness, such as the right hippocampus, the right anterior insula, and the prefrontal cortex. They also improve immunity by acting as a command center of the immune system (7).
Meditation helps your immune system flourish by creating a positive mental environment since your system responds to both positive and negative thoughts.
6. Increase Your Immunity with Massage:
Getting yourself a regular massage not only increases the blood flow throughout the body it also flushes out toxins boosting your immunity. It also reduces cortisol production and increases white blood cells’ activity that helps your body fight diseases (8).
Although massage can act as a conventional relaxing mechanism, be honest with your therapist about any pre-existing health conditions or any specific ailment to keep in mind.
We all feel tired when there is a lack of sleep, don’t we? There is a higher susceptibility to sickness when there is insufficient sleep. The naturally immune cells or T cells in your body go down, and inflammation cells increase when you are sleep-deprived.
According to studies, there is a better chance of fighting the illness by getting adequate rest as it naturally strengthens your immunity (9). Infants and children need up to 14 hours, teens need 8 to 10 hours, and adults should aim to get seven or more hours to sleep each night.
If you love cuddling, you are in for luck! Since a cuddle represents the maximum intimacy and happiness, it is linked to your immune system’s improvement by releasing the optimum amounts of serotonin and oxytocin (10).
If you are hugging or cuddling with a person, you are in love with the person and care about them a lot. The excitement alone will give your immune system a significant boost.
Laughter improves your body’s resistance to diseases by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thereby boosting your immune system (11).
There is a reason why laughter groups are gaining popularity. A good hearty laugh leaves your muscles relaxed up to 45 minutes after relieving physical tension and stress. So don’t hold back, and laugh a lot to gain the immunity cost-effectively.
According to research, singing increases the level of cytokines. It also decreases the levels of beta-endorphin, oxytocin, and cortisol, positively affecting your immune system (12). It proves the correlation between singing and the effects it has on your immunity.
Some studies prove the increase in the concentrations of proteins in the immune system that functions as antibodies. It also increases the production of an anti-stress hormone called hydrocortisone, improving your mood and immunity.
The chances are high that your body gives you hints that indicate if your immune system is weakening in one way or the other. Make sure to take precautionary measures by picking up on the clues. This article presents you with some tips that help you improve your immune system naturally. Don’t forget to let us know how this article has helped you!
Disclaimer: This article provides you with content for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for professional advice. The website is not responsible for any side effects it may have on your body, and it is always better to consult a doctor before trying anything new.
1. Is it possible to maintain a healthy immune system with foods?
Ans: You can support your immune system by ensuring that you get the right amount of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein that keep inflammation at bay by consuming specific foods. Those foods are:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Healthy fats.
- Fermented foods.
- Foods high in fiber.
- Spices and herbs such as ginger, black pepper, turmeric, and garlic.
- Walnuts and flaxseeds.
- Dark chocolate.
- Green tea.
2. Foods we need to avoid for a healthy immune system?
Ans: It would be best if you made sure to reduce the food intake that can be a cause of inflammation:
- Junk food.
- Food with added sugars.
- Processed and fried foods.
- Refined carbohydrates.
- Processed meat.
- Reduce alcohol intake.
3. Is smoking harmful to your immune system?
Ans: Yes! Smoking, in general, is very harmful to your body and immune system. It also increases the risk of immune and autoimmune disorders by upsetting the balance of your immune system. Not only direct but passive smoking can also be harmful.