Our body has to fight with germs, bacteria and infections on a daily basis. Immune system is the one responsible for keeping all these unwanted organisms from entering our body. Our immune system is a natural defence which prevents us from falling for health diseases. There is a vast network of cells and tissues which looks for invaders and attacks them if they try to do any harm. However it is easier said than done, there are many key factors which play an important role in building our immunity, such as nutrition, exercise, etc. Let us look at some important changes you need to make to make your natural defences stronger.
Why Do We Need Strong Immune System?
Immune system is like a defence system which protects your body. The major role in building immunity is of diet and nutrition. Therefore we asked Ms. Ruchi Agarwal, Clinical Nutritionist from Fatima Hospital, Lucknow to help us know more about building natural defences. She told that nutrition provides the correct balance which body needs to produce immune cells.
Nutrients like vitamins, complex carbs, fibre, and minerals should be added in your diet. These foods are rich in anti-inflammatory sources which help fight bacteria, virus and infections in the body. Limit your fats; instead go for natural sugar which you get from fruits. Fibres are most important part of the diet for building strong natural defence. Take omega-3 fatty acids like fish, chia seeds etc and good bacteria like yogurt, tempeh and pickles. All of these can boost you immune system.
7 Ways To Boost Natural Defences of your Body
1. Eat More Whole Plant Food
Whole plant food means having more of fruits, vegetables and seeds that are rich in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help in building your natural defence system and increasing immunity of the body. Whole plant food also decreases inflammation which makes fighting unwanted compounds easier. They improve your digestive health and keep harmful pathogens away from disturbing your body.
A big threat to immune health is chronic inflammation from health diseases. Severe diseases break through the natural defence system and infect the body. The more you concentrate on having whole plant diet, the less are the chances of falling for any of these health diseases. Also Fibre present in whole plants food items feeds your gut and keeps it safe from bacteria.
2. Eat Healthy Fats
You need to have a check on what type of fats you are consuming. Saturated fats are not good and are a cause of many cardiovascular diseases and health problems. Whereas having olive oil can significantly improve your health and also boost your immune system. Olive oil also boosts response on pathogens and reduces inflammation in the body.
Olive oil and healthy fat food products are also linked to high anti-inflammatory properties that decrease the risk of heart problems and type-2 diabetes. It is also helpful in fighting against disease causing bacteria and viruses. Omega-3 fatty acids like chia seeds can be useful source of building natural defences in your body.
Your body needs to sleep and rest properly to produce more immune cells. Inadequate sleep can cause higher levels of susceptibility towards sickness. Sleeping for six or less hours can make you vulnerable to more diseases than person sleeping for 8 hours. Getting proper sleep strengthens your natural immunity and fight illness. Adults should take atleast 7 hours of sleep and young children should take around 8-10 hours of sleep daily. Limiting your screen time may also help you sleep better and improve your health.
4. Do Moderate Exercise
Exercise is always healthy for your body. But sometimes overdoing an exercise or having intense workout can suppress your immune system. Whereas doing moderate exercises regularly can boost your natural defences and help you remain away from diseases. Some studies have also revealed that single session exercises also help in increasing the effect of vaccines in people who have comparatively weaker immune system. It also reduces inflammation and supports in generating more immune cells. Single session exercises can include brisk walking, cycling, jogging, swimming etc. To boost your natural defences, aim for about 30 minutes of moderate exercises in a day.
5. Limit Added Sugars
Refined and added sugars are the major cause of getting overweight and obesity. Obesity causes many heart diseases, diabetes and many more. It can affect your health adversely. By cutting down your added sugars from your diet you can decrease inflammation and also aid weight loss. This can also help you to reduce risk of chronic diseases. Since all these chronic diseases can weaken immune system, limiting your refined and added sugars is important for boosting natural defences.
6. Eat More Fermented Food
Fermented food items are beneficial for the body as they contain good bacteria called probiotics which populate your digestive tract. Having more fermented food can flourish your gut bacteria which helps immune cells differentiate between normal, healthy cells and harmful organisms entering the body. Children can be given fermented milk which can improve their immunity and decrease the rate of infections by 20%. If you don’t have fermented food, then you can also opt for probiotic supplements which are available in the market.
7. Manage Your Stress
Stress is one of the major factors affecting immune health of the person. If the person takes too much stress, then he is more likely to have long term inflammation to diseases and health problems. Stress kills healthy immune cells that break your natural defence system of the body. Relieving stress and anxiety can play a big role in boosting your natural defences and building a healthy immune system. To get rid of stress you can meditate, exercise, do yoga, or any practise any other hobby which refreshes your mind and keeps you healthy. You can also visit a therapist if you are having too much anxiety or stress.
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