BOOST YOUR BODY’S NATURAL DEFENSE
Solutions for a better immune health is easier and more practical than you think. Best way is to adopt positive habits and lead a healthier lifestyle.
UNDERSTANDING BODY’S IMMUNE SYSTEM
Every day we are exposed to potentially harmful microbes. Our immune system protects us against these microbes. It identifies these foreign invaders and takes immediate action. Our body has a built-in fighting mechanism to defend itself against disease causing micro-organisms. If, at any point of time, this system fails, micro-organisms may invade the body and one can become sick. Making changes and following a healthy lifestyle is a good way to give our immune system an upper hand.
TYPES OF IMMUNITY
Humans have two types of immunity; innate and adaptive.
Innate Immunity This is the first line of defense from pathogens that try to enter our body. This includes –
Immune cells – attacks foreign cells that enter the body.
Skin – keeps most of the pathogens away.
Enzymes – in our sweat and tears that create antibacterial compounds.
Mucus – traps pathogens.
Stomach acid – destroys pathogens.
Adaptive Immunity This is a system regulated by the organs of our body including spleen, bone marrow etc. It recognizes a pathogen, creates antibodies specific to that pathogen, attacks and destroys it. Our immune system remembers this foreign system, and if it enters again, attacks to destroy it.
WHY IS STRENGTHENING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IMPORTANT?
Our immune system can recognize millions of different antigens (a substance that enters the body and starts a process that can cause disease). A healthy immune system protects us by first creating a barrier that stops these antigens from entering the body. If the invaders slip the barrier and enter the body, then our immune system produces white blood cells and other proteins to attack and destroy these antigens. If our immune system is strong and works properly, our body’s defense system can keep health problems at bay.
STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
The design of our immune system comprises of a number of factors. A balanced diet with vitamins and minerals along with healthy lifestyle factors like workouts and sleep effectively primes the body to fight infections.
Stay well - hydrated
Hydration is essential for every organ in the body including the immune system. Our immune system is mainly dependent on the nutrients in our blood stream and blood stream is mostly of water. When we do not stay hydrated, nutrients on our blood stream cannot be transported to the organs. Hydration is also important in detoxification as it helps to clear any foreign invaders from the body.
Keep track of your water intake. This includes soups, herbal teas and fruit juices. If plain water tastes boring, infuse it with fresh fruits. Add slices of lemon, orange, or cucumbers to a jar of water. Herbs like mint and basil add amazing flavours. Let it sit for an hour or even overnight. Drink throughout the day and stay hydrated.
Eat your water! Fruits like strawberries, and watermelon and vegetables including cabbage and spinach have about 90% water content. Dairy products including yogurt and cottage cheese are also rich in water content.
Stress can affect mental health, we all know. But can it affect our immune system too? The answer is, “yes”. Body’s natural defense system is sensitive to psychological stress, especially when it’s chronic. Stress can reduce the killer cells in the body that are generally required to fight viruses. In the long term, stress can promote inflammation and weaken the immune system.
Sleep is a powerful stress reducer. Adopting a regular sleep routine helps calm the body, improves concentration and mood while also sharpening judgement. You are able to cope up with stress better when you are well rested.
Immunity boosting foods
Protein is one of the nutrients that help grow, shape, repair, and maintain every cell in our body. A diet rich in protein can help the body to repair damaged tissues and boost the immune system. Add protein rich food routine in the form of lentils, peanuts, milk, yoghurt, eggs, cheese etc.
A diet with probiotic and prebiotic foods may be beneficial. Probiotic food contains good bacteria while prebiotic foods contain fiber that feed and maintain healthy colonies of those good bacteria. Probiotic foods include yogurt, fermented vegetables, kombucha tea etc. Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, whole grains bananas, greens etc.
Add Protein supplements
Protein plays an important role in the body’s immune system. Body needs protein to build and repair body tissues and also to fight infections. There are 20 different amino acids required for the body to stay healthy and only 9 can be found in food. Good quality protein supplement can make up for the daily protein requirement. A notable protein supplement is Whey Protein. It helps to improve the response of certain aspects of the immune system. Amino acids found in Whey protein provides a valuable boost to our immune systems.
Lactoferrin is a type of multifunctional whey protein which is originally found in mother’s milk and bovine milk. It promotes the growth of good bacteria and is a powerful immune booster. It has a protective role against gastrointestinal infections and supports immune function systems. Lactoferrin plays an important role in preventing viral and microbial attacks in the mucosal wall. This powerful protein boosts the first line of defense of the immune system through the stimulation of white blood cells and its action of the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. A nutrition supplement containing Lactoferrin helps to stimulate the immune system.
Check out Whey91 Protein Bars created with immunity boosting Lactoferrin.
Regular exercise improves cardiovascular heath, regulates blood pressure and also protects the body from diseases. Stress-free walking, workouts, Zumba, aerobics, yoga or any dance or involvement in any outdoor game or sports may help your immune system.
Health is one of the most valuable things you have. Practice gratitude for it while also being meticulous about protecting it. Habits and practices you do to support your immunity is the best of both worlds; keeps you strong and healthy to fight infections and also enjoy the goodness of life your healthy body is gifting you.