We will discuss easy and effective home remedies to boost immune system, that actually works! Prior we jump into different ways to build or strengthen our immunity power, it is better you understand immune system and the immune process briefly.
The immune system
The immune system is the body’s defense against pathogens. Through a series of steps, our body fights and destroys the invading infectious organisms before they can cause damage.
The immune process
The immune process works like this: an infectious agent faces our first defense, the skin. Once that infectious agent finds vulnerability, it breaks through, and enters the body.
Be it a complaint virus that enters through our nose, or a bacterium that enters through our blood, the immune system is always alert to detect and attack such agents before it can causes any damage.
Whatever that agents are, our immune system recognizes these as foreign bodies, or pathogens. The outer bodies of pathogen are called antigens, by that our immune system can detect and mark them.
In our body, we have molecules and cells responsible for eliminating those marked pathogens through series of activities.
Factors that affects our immunity protection
There are many factors that can alter our defenses, or in other word can affect our immune system.
Some of these factors do not depend on us, since those are internal factors, such as autoimmune diseases, seasonal changes, extreme ages, long term ailment etc.
However, there are other external factors on which we can act and take control over.
For example, an unbalanced diet, smoking, pollution, stress, bad lifestyle, inactive daily routine, malnutrition etc. This is our system and immune system that weakens, facilitates the spread of infections and a longer duration of them.
Food is a very important factor for robust immune system
The molecules of the immune system are composed of proteins, diet or our daily food intake, quality and quantity play crucial role in building a solid, robust immune shield.
If our diet is inadequate or insufficient, our immunity shield fail to defense. That is why almost every malnourished person is a person with weakened immune system.
It is an effective and easy remedy to consume home cooked quality food, and boost immune system over time.
Do high-fat diets reduce the immune response?
It is possible, however, it is not only the quantity, but the origin of the fat, that we introduce into our diet is also important.
It is advisable to include monounsaturated fats, that is present in blue fish, nuts, olive oil, sunflower or soy. Even consuming fermented milk products (yogurt, kefir, card) regularly helps to increase the defenses.
Nutrients, that helps to boost immune system
- Vitamin C: reduces the duration and severity of colds and flu. We find it in fruits, vegetables and vegetables, such as strawberries, kiwi, citrus, melon, pepper, tomato and cabbage.
- Vitamin A: helps maintain natural barriers against infections (mucous). We find it in liver, butter, cream, eggs, dairy and some fruits such as apricot, cherries, melon and peach.
- Vitamin E: increases the immune response. Present in wheat germ oil, soybean oil, cereals (bread, rice, wholemeal pasta …), olive oil, green leafy vegetables and nuts.
- Other vitamins: Vitamins B are of special importance, foods from both vegetable and animal origin are rich in it. Such as meat, organ meats, fish, shellfish, eggs, cereals, legumes, fruits, green leafy vegetables.
- Iron: liver, fish and eggs.
- Carotenes: we will find them in vegetables of red, orange, yellow and intense green colors, especially such as cabbage, spinach, peppers, carrots and pumpkins.
- Flavonoids: that we find in foods like peppers, chocolate, Brussels sprouts, spinach and garlic.
- Zinc: dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or tahini.
- Selenium: pumpkin seeds, nuts, brown rice or oats.
- Essential Fatty Acids (Omega-3): chia, hemp seeds, nuts, flax seeds or algae.
- Probiotics: if your intestinal flora is balanced your immune system will be strengthened. Foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha tea or water kefir.
- Avoid refined sugars, as these weaken the body.
- Turmeric: an ultimate immunity enhancer.
- Garlic and Onion: Both have an antiviral and antibacterial component that protects us from getting infections. In addition, they not only increase our defenses but also improve our response to viruses and bacteria and promote the healing process.
- Antioxidant Foods: In this group we can include fruits and vegetables such as beet, broccoli, or pomegranate. Its antioxidant power prevents the damaging effect of free radicals in our body, in addition to helping eliminate toxins and strengthen the immune system.
- Eggs: This food contains two essential minerals for our defenses, which are zinc and selenium. In addition, its composition is very rich in vitamins, fatty acids and proteins of high biological value, so it is advisable to incorporate them into our diet if we want to prevent an infection.
Finally, reduce your exposure to toxins by consuming organic products and eliminating processed and packaged food products.
The less our body spend energy breaking and processing those toxins, the less our body needs to battle against germs.
In general, it is preferable to practice some type of aerobic exercise, which allows moving many parts of the body at the same time, such as swimming or riding a bicycle.
The intensity of the exercise should be moderate, trying to lose your breath is never recommended, unless you are a high performant athlete.
Practicing yoga, trying brisk walk, nature excursion, riding bicycle are common ways of keeping our metabolism in order, which in turn enhance immunity power.
Respecting the time of sleep (between 6 to 8 hours) is very important, since some of the cells of the defense system are produced during the rest.
Perfect sleep also takes care of our skin, the biggest physical barrier that keeps infections at bay.
Say NO to smoking
Smoking tobacco (and passive exposure to cigarette smoke) not only increases our risk of developing lung cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and heart disease, but it also weakens our immune system to fight the organisms invaders.
The studies do not fail to corroborate the direct relationship between high levels of stress and the suppression of the immune system.
In addition, chronic stress increases blood pressure, blood sugar levels and alters our hormonal system, which not just lead to overweight, but compromises our defense system.
Wash your hands correctly
Doing so will reduce the microbes you hold on your palms, that means less exposure to harmful virus or bacteria. The less we get, less our immune system have to fight.
Simple no? Yet effective way of boosting our defense system, by keeping it free to deal with less invaders, rather handle more harmful pathogens.
Check the side effects of your medications
If you are prescribed with medicines or already under treatment, especially prior consuming medicines for longer period, always ask your doctor if it could have any negative side effect on your immune system.
If so, do not shy away from asking your physician, what are the protective measures you must follow. Even if you feel like consulting a nutritionist, you should do that as well.