Don't like to read?
Having a low immune system can allow viruses and infection easy access to one’s body. A person can help boost their body’s natural defenses in a few different ways. There are a few different lifestyles and dietary changes people can take to help enhance their immune systems.
The immune system is comprised of special cells, chemicals, and organs that help fight infection and microbes. Its principal components are:
- Bone marrow — the soft, gelatinous tissue that fills the medullary cavities, the centers of bones.
- Antibodies — Y-shaped proteins that bind to the body’s foreign invaders.
- White blood cells — are the cells of the immune system that protect the body against both foreign invaders and disease.
- The thymus — a critical specialized primary lymphoid organ of the immune system.
- The complement system — (Also known as complement cascade) enhances the ability of phagocytic cells and antibodies to clear damaged cells and microbes from an organism, promote inflammation, and attack the pathogen’s cell membrane.
- The spleen — the largest organ in the lymphatic system. This important organ keeps bodily fluids balanced. However, it is possible to live without one.
- The lymphatic system — a network of organs and tissues that help rid the body of waste, toxins, and other unwanted materials.
One simple way to help boost a person’s immunity is to get enough sleep. If a person lacks in the sleep department they are more susceptible to catch an ailment. Making sleep and immunity closely tied together. According to data gathered in a study of 164 healthy adults, those who sleep less than six hours every night were more likely to catch a cold. Those who are able to sleep eight to nine hours are able to resist cold germs.
Another way to boost the immune system is to eat more whole plant foods. The foods that can help boost the immune system are:
These foods are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can help give people the upper hand against harmful pathogens. Free radicals cause inflammation to build up within the body. Antioxidants can help decrease inflammation by fighting off free radicals.
Vitamin C is essential to one’s immunity. It helps the growth, development, and repair of all the body’s tissue. Eating foods or drinking beverages that have vitamin C can be beneficial to one’s body.
The fiber these foods hold feeds the gut microbiome — located in the gastrointestinal system. Having a robust gut microbiome can improve one’s immune system and help keep harmful pathogens from entering the body through the digestive tract.
Eating healthy fats — like olive oil or salmon — may help the immune system’s response to pathogens by decreasing inflammation. Chronic inflammation can suppress a person’s immune system.
People can also boost their immunity by taking a probiotic supplement or eating more fermented foods. For example, natto, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt. These things help the beneficial bacteria — called probiotics — in the digestive tract. It is recommended to take probiotic supplements for those who do not want to eat fermented foods.
Doctors also say that moderate exercise is a simple way to boost one’s immune system. Prolonged intense exercise can be suppressing to immunity. Regular moderate exercise can help reduce inflammation and help immune cells regenerate regularly.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Better Health: Immune system explained
Healthline: 9 Ways to Boost Your Body’s Natural Defenses; by SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD
Inline Image Courtesy of Bukowsky18’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Sarah Warren’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License