How to smartly boost your immune system

Uncover the key factors that give your immune system an upper hand and help you keep your overall health in high check

Immunity defends you against disease and keeps you healthy and going. If your immune system is not strong and balanced, you might get sick. Are there any tricks you can learn to obtain a near-perfect immune response? Let’s find out.

The first line of defense is always choosing a healthy lifestyle. Following good-health guidelines is the first step you can take towards better immunity levels. But besides quitting smoking, not drinking alcohol, have a nutritious and balanced diet, exercise regularly, avoid stress, get proper sleep and visit the doctor, there are other things to consider.

 

Understanding the key factors

Scientifically exploring the effects of varied factors and measuring immunity responsible blood components like lymphocytes or cytokines can shed light on how the immune process works in successfully warding off disease.

But, to begin with, let’s consider the simplest and most obvious of the factors that trigger immunity.

The aging process has been observed to reduce the immune response ability to fight illnesses, leading to infections, inflammations and even cancer. Elderly people are far more exposed to contract diseases due to a weak immune system. Respiratory infections, flu, frequent colds and even pneumonia are highly common for people over 65 worldwide. Malnutrition or poor diets are also linked to a weak immune response in the elderlies, according to geriatric nutrition research.

Diet is an indisputable factor that partially determines the formation of the antibodies. Micro-nutrient deficiencies can alter immune responses, so it’s important to have a varied and nutritious diet to make sure this part is covered. Besides following a healthy and balanced diet plan, it is important to include foods or supplements rich in essential vitamins and minerals to your meals. Equilibrated amounts of nutrients like selenium, vitamins A, B2, B6, C, D, E and zinc are mandatory to support a healthy immune system.

Some herbal supplements can actually bolster immunity to be better protected against infection and disease. As everyone’s system is unique, there is no general recipe and everyone reacts differently to the same stimuli or substance, but generally, there are some plant-based products that science accepts to be helpful. Aloe vera, Astragalus, Echinacea, garlic, ginseng, licorice root and probiotics are just the few of the herbal remedies thought to be efficient in staving off disease and enhance general immunity.

Stress and emotions seem to be highly connected to the way our body manages health conditions. “Mind-set is half the battle”, they say, as there seems to be a very close link between body and mind. Avoiding stressors (such as depression triggers, social stress, physical and mental stress, isolation, conflicts) can protect from stomach upset, hives, and even heart disease, as well as keeping adequate levels of the immune system.

Regular exercise is one of the golden rules of healthy living. By improving cardiovascular health, body weight, and protecting against various health conditions, it also contributes to enhancing immunity.

Lifestyle, age, diet, exercise, stress, dietary supplements, environment – they all have a say in our body’s immune system. As researchers are still trying to completely understand how the immune response exactly works on a cellular level, we can all begin following the generally accepted strategies and lead healthier lifestyles to improve our immunity and out overall health.