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Ways to boost your Immune System

September 10, 2012  by: Sapna Chaurasia  Points: 12   Category: Others  Earning $1.30   Views: 1104

This article is based on a detailed study about strengthening of the immune system by bringing about certain lifestyle changes.

         

There are many of us who experience common cold or fall ill due to a slight change in weather or during winters. Though we easily blame on to the ever changing weather but the reason to fall ill now and then lies within us. It happens as a result of a weaker immune system. The immune system is our body’s defense force that protects us from any foreign invader to enter our body and cause disease. A stronger immune system not only keeps us away from sickness by preventing the risk of certain infection but it also makes us feel healthy and beautiful. Thus a few lifestyle changes can boost the immune system for our overall better health.
Washing hands and maintaining personal hygiene
This is one way by which we can keep us as well as others stay away from infection as there are numerous bacteria and virus around us that are simply transmitted through personal contacts. Since skin is our first line of defense, maintaining proper hygiene can prevent infectious germs entering our body. Avoid touching face and mouth too often when being outdoors as public places can harbor many unknown infections. Experts recommend washing hands frequently after using the washroom, before and after eating food and touching door handles or phones in public areas. This prevents spreading the infections to a healthy person. It may sound a bit ridiculous to keep washing hands but it becomes important when there is outburst of some contagious disease.
Sound sleep
A sound sleep is one of the basic requirements we need for maintaining a healthy body and it also has a vital role in booting the immune system. When we sleep our defense mechanism facilitates the production of killer cells which fight infections and raise oxygen level to help the immune system function properly. Lack of adequate sleep prevents the body to repair the damage cells. A rest full sleep of at least 7-8 hours is required to remain unaffected by any kind of bacterial or viral infections during the flu or cold season.
Managing stress to boost the immune system
Prolonged stress is not only a cause of serious diseases but it also contributes in spreading infectious diseases indirectly by hindering the functionality of our immune system. Stress adversely affects the ability of our body to respond to various infections. It also decreases the level of immune antibodies which are a part of the defense system against infections. Under stress body releases stress hormones like corticosteroids which hampers the effectiveness of the immune system. The study shows that people with low stress level have a better immune system and a less prone to illness. Although it is difficult to stay away from stress in today’s life, managing stress could make a difference. Meditation and yoga can help can calm your nervous system and relieve you from stress.
Exercise
Indulging in some kind of workout is not only beneficial for the whole body but it also makes the immune system more efficient. Exercise increases the production of white blood cells and killer cells that fight bacteria and viruses. It also mobilizes T-cells that defend against various infections. Exercising also helps the body to release good hormones i.e. Endorphins which are a feel good factor and improve sleep quality to obtain a better immunity. Doing moderate exercise on a daily basis which may include brisk walking, swimming yoga is beneficial to boost the immune system. Extreme and vigorous workouts could negatively affect the defense mechanism due to the release of stress hormones like Adrenalin and Cortisol which suppress the immune system. Exercise also helps to minimize the risk of heart diseases, osteoporosis and certain kinds of cancer.
Nurture your soul
It is a well fact that people who stay happy are less susceptible to illness. Being in a peaceful and happy state of mind has a power to enhance the defense mechanism. Having a positive attitude toward life is not only necessary for a proper mental balance but it also helps the immune system to work at an optimum capacity. Laughing away your stress also strengthens infection fighting T-cells and decreases the level of stress hormones. Socializing ad spending time outdoors not only freshen up your moods but also boost the immune system. Studies have shown that keeping a pet can also help stay away from illness. Having a pet like a dog can surprisingly lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and enhance improve the overall health of the heart. Keeping dogs at home can also avoid the risk of some allergies in children and improve the immune system.
Taking healthy diet
Eating a food which is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals can ensure proper functioning of the immune system. It is important to take up a diet that strengthens and boost the fighting power of the immune system. A diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, yogurt, a probiotic that contains good bacteria can provide all the necessary nutrients required for the normal functioning of the immune system. Antibiotics help fight the harmful effect of the free radicals which are also responsible for ageing, cancer, heart diseases and various infections.
Certain antibiotics which include vitamins and minerals are as follows.
Vitamin C
The most important vitamin which supports the immune system is vitamin C and is easily available in fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C increases the number of infection fighting white blood cells in the immune system. It elevates the level of interferon which is a kind of antibody that coats the surface of cells inhibiting the entry of any foreign particle. It also prevents the risk of cardiovascular diseases by increasing the level of good cholesterol in the body and in lowering the blood pressure. Studies have shown that a vitamin C rich diet can also lower the risk of prostate, colon and breast cancer.
Vitamin E
Vitamin E also boosts the immune system by stimulating the production of two kinds of immune cells, the killer cells that counter the attack of germ cells and cancer cells and the other is B-cells that produce bacteria destroying antibodies. Vitamin E is also known to rejuvenate the immune system in elderly.
Beta carotene
Like other antioxidants, beta carotene also fights free radical damage which is responsible for causing many infections. It also aids in the production of white blood cells, killer cells and helper T cells. Beta carotene has an important role in preventing cardiovascular diseases especially heart attack and strokes as it interferes with the way fats and cholesterol is processed in the blood. Beta carotene helps protect against cancer by stimulating the immune cells to produce cancer fighting cells.
Zinc
This mineral not only increases the production of WBCs but also increase their efficiency by helping them release more antibodies. Zinc also increases the level of cells that counter cancerous cells thus preventing the risk of cancer. It plays an important role in boosting the immune system of elderly people whose immune system weakens with age. Zinc also has a role in preventing the incidence of respiratory infections.
Selenium
Apart from being an antioxidant it is also a potent immune booster. It stimulates the thyroid gland, increases the number of killer cells, mobilizes cancer fighting cells and protects the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Complementing the Immune system with herbs and nutritional supplements
There are certain herbs like Echinacea, Ginseng, Astragalus which is used as a supplement to counter the effect of infection during the winter. They stimulate and support the immune system by increasing the number of infection fighting WBCs. Adding garlic to diet also boost the immune system as it contains antibacterial and antifungal compounds. It is a powerful immune booster as it increases the quantity and efficiency of WBCs, increases the activity of killer cells, and facilitates antibody production. It ensures good heart health as it prevents clogging of blood vessels, keeps blood platelets from sticking together and it also dilutes the blood thus avoiding incidence of cardiovascular disorders.




Comment(s)
Author: Sarika        
Posted Date: 09/15/2012    Points:2    

Thanks a lot for this intersting and informative article. I read it and learned a lot. "Nuture your soul" is my favourite part of the article. For sure happiness and peace are the keys for a good and healthy life.
Author: ushakiran        
Posted Date: 09/20/2012    Points:2    

Excellent article, lots of useful information...There is a load of health food within our kitchen and home . also it just takes plain common sense to realise what is good for our system and what is not...Nature always balances out and we must learn from it ..

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