Did you know that there are more micro organisms living on the human skin than there are people on earth?
Due to constant exposure to air and the other elements, micro organisms make our body their home as the conditions are perfect for them to multiply.
Although all the micro organisms are not harmful to us, it is important to protect ourselves from them. That is exactly the function of our immune system.
Our immune system performs the most important function of our body. It fights the intruders and protects us from diseases. It identifies the virus and bacteria which have the potential to harm our body and kills them, before they have a chance to spread inside our body.
The immune system in the human body is made up of bone marrow, spleen, thymus and lymph nodes. The bone marrow is what produces the white blood cells which fight off the infections in our body. The lymph nodes produce and store cells that are responsible for storing these cells.
When our immune system is weak, our body is prone to infections. This is because the temperature is perfect for the growth of viruses. They like cold and dry regions. Also, during winter, the body spends more energy to stay warm, which weakens the immune system.
Therefore it is important to keep our immune system up and running in order to breeze through the winter months without catching infections. There are a lot of natural ways to boost your immune system.
Here are a few foods to boost your immunity.
1) Fruit Juice
Cold pressed juices in which all the nutrients are intact, is your best bet against fighting off infections. The two vitamins which are known as immunity boosting- vitamins A and C are generously present in fruits. Both these vitamins can help fight off viral infections.
Vitamin C is especially known to increase the production of white blood cells. Though fruit juices are not the usual recommended way of eating fruits, but during winters fruits taken in juice form is preferred. This is because the juices are absorbed quickly by the body so it does not have to work hard in digesting the food during the cold months.
2) Drink Plenty Of Water
It is important to keep our body hydrated in order for it to function properly. It also ensures that blood carries extra oxygen to all the cells. This tunes up the immune system. Also, water helps flush out the toxins from our body which in turn strengthens the immune system.
Exercise does a whole lot of good to our body. It strengthens the heart muscles and it pumps more blood. It increases the oxygen holding capacity of our lungs. It also makes our immune cells stronger so that they are better equipped to fight off diseases.
But this effect lasts only for a few hours after you exercise. Therefore, in order to keep the effects for long, daily exercise like brisk walking will work wonders for your immune system.
4) Maintaining Personal Hygiene
As mentioned previously, the micro organisms live on our skin surface and it doesn't take them long to enter our body. Therefore, it is important to maintain regular hygiene of our body by taking regular baths and keeping ourselves clean. It is also important to wash hands frequently in order to control the spread of diseases.
5) Getting Adequate Sleep
It is known that the circadian rhythm of our body has the ability to control a very essential immune system gene which recognises the disease-causing bacteria. Also, sleep has a direct effect on our stress levels. Sleeping well reduces the stress hormones in the body, thereby making the immune system function better.
6) Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is known to increase the production of T-cells, which are an important component of the immune system. Its powerful anti oxidants reduce the damage of free radicals in the body. Ginger tea is a powerful natural remedy which balances the functions of our immune system and helps in its proper functioning.
7) Avoiding Stress
When you are stressed, your body does not carry its functions properly especially, the immune system. Long term stress is known to cause many serious diseases which are the result of lesser immunity.
8) Consume Probiotics
Yogurt or any other probiotic foods, are rich in gut friendly bacteria which strengthen the immune system. Probiotics have the unique ability to increase the effects of flu vaccines which came to light just recently. They shun the growth of a number of bacteria and viruses which found their way into our body, by creating an unfavourable environment for their growth.
9) Include Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C which is the best immunity boosting food. The anti oxidants present in them help repair the cells and reduce the effects of free radical damage in the body.
10) Consuming Garlic
Garlic enhances the functions of the immune cells in our body. It is rich in sulphur which is a strong anti-bacterial. It also increases the activity of white blood cells, making them better at fighting diseases.
11) Green Tea
The anti-oxidants in green tea strengthen the immune system by increasing the number of T-cells in the body. Green tea is also full of EGCG which is a polyphenol and anti oxidant known to have many healing powers. Green tea is known to contain powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Onions contain large amounts of vitamin C and other phytochemicals which are known to boost immune functions. They promote the growth of anti-biotics and help balance the Ph level of the body. This results in better mineral absorption which eventually leads to increased immune functions.
The vitamin A present in carrots assist in the growth of white blood cells. They are also full of vitamin C which increases the levels of anti-bodies to fight off infections effectively.
14) Salmon Fish
The fish oil in salmons are known to be full of omega 3 fatty acids and DHA compounds which are known to activate the white blood cells in the body. The omega 3 fatty acids are also known to protect the heart and other internal organs from free radical damage. This results in lesser heart-related and life-threatening diseases.
Regular consumption of nuts like almonds provides a super boost to our immune system. The vitamin E present in them is an amazing anti oxidant which supports the immune functions and slows down ageing. They are also rich in selenium which strengthens the immune system's antibody response.
16) Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
New studies everyday continue to tell us the numerous benefits of including green leafy veggies in your diet. They are probably the best foods out there to increase the immune functions. They are full of nutrients, anti oxidants and fibres which protect the body from various diseases.
Certain chemicals found in them are known to increase IELs- Intra-epithelial lymphocytes which are essential in proper functioning of the immune system.
17) Avoiding Canned Foods
Canned foods do a lot of damage to our body. They are full of added preservatives and flavouring which are known to be immune suppressing. They also increase the amount of carcinogens in the body which destroy the white blood cells and eventually weaken the immune system.
18) Reduce The Consumption Of Alcohol
Alcohol reduces the body's ability to sense foreign objects. It also derails the body's inflammatory ability which suppress the bad bacteria from entering the body. It reduces the number of T cells and makes the body immune to pathogens. Hence, alcohol consumption makes our immune system go haywire.
19) Avoid Smoking
Smoking reduces the effects of anti-bodies in the body. It weakens the immune system and suppresses its ability to fight off diseases. Smoke interferes with the oxygen levels of our body, creating other complications as well.
It damages the lung tissues, heart tissues and also our immune system beyond repair. It encourages the spread of tumours and causes different kinds of cancers. Smoking indeed is very injurious to health. It is time to take this warning more seriously.
20) Avoid Overeating
Overeating has a negative effect on the brain and the immune system. It leads to weight gain and a weak digestive system. Our digestive system and immunity are directly connected.
If our digestive tract is not healthy, it takes a toll on our immune system. If you are fuelling your body with all the wrong kinds of foods, it is likely that it will weaken the immune system and reduce its ability to fight of diseases and infections.