The recent deadly pandemic outbreak has evoked a discussion among people to find reliable ways to increase immunity. Many health experts and researchers have come forward to explain different methods to improve the immune system so that you can be at a distance from diseases.
The immune system has an important and prominent role in fighting off deadly infections and diseases. The immune system gets activated from birth and develops important agents such as producing antibodies, developing white blood cells, and increasing lymphocytes. All these agents work to counter the effects of microorganisms and bacteria.
The immune system serves as the first line of defense against diseases and infections. It is, therefore, necessary to maintain the health of the immune system so that your body can work at an optimal pace. The immune system is the primary site of action, which one hand fights with various agents and, on the other hand, is prone to damage by action of some damaging exposures.
Some chemicals are considered harmful and damaging to the immune system's health, such as pesticides and biphenyl. Other conditions that can have a damaging effect on the immune system are:
- Health conditions such as cancer
- The action of certain drugs
- Immunosuppressive agents
- Environmental conditions
- Mutation of genes
- Constant exposure of radiations
- Antibodies mediated response
The immune system is quite capable of defending itself from these conditions. The agents fight till the very last point to eliminate the risk of infection. However, if the situation worsens, the systems begin to collapse, and the consequences are much severe.
Research conducted to check the role of nutrition on the immune system indicated that a lack of certain nutrients and proper food consumption could lead to malnutrition, which will affect the person's immune system. Undernutrition can impair the immune system and can also shut down ongoing immune responses in the body.
Apart from that, stress, lack of sleep, lifestyle, health practices, and food choices also reduce the immune system’s effectiveness.
How Does Our Immune System Work?
After identifying a foreign agent in the body, the immune system releases T and B lymphocytes in the blood to fight it off. Each of these lymphocytes has a specific receptor on it.
These cells then bind with the foreign antigen and identify it as an attacking agent. By this binding, the immune system releases some antibodies which attach to antigens and remove them from the system.
Some killer cells present in the immune system attack malfunctioned cells in the body to stop the invasion of diseases. The antigens are then eaten away by specific cells of the immune system. A disturbance in this sequence of events often results in an increased risk of infections.
The human body develops the immune system in the placenta. The immunity of a child is, however, low after birth because the system is immature. The immune system works perfectly during adulthood and is developed completely in seven to eight years after birth.
Normally, the immune system of a person regulates complex cellular processes. The immune system has a prominent role everywhere, from wound healing to recover the body after a trauma. Some factors are pivotal for its smooth functioning, while other agents might affect its role in the body.
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Signs of a Weak Immune System
Weak immunity can make you prone to deadly infections and diseases. With a weak immune system, it is easy for microorganisms and disease-causing agents to invade your body and take control of systems. People who have a weak immune system are highly prone to infections, risk of developing certain diseases, and sometimes even death.
The immune system develops infections and starts to kill its cells by facing such conditions. Due to such situations, the body is at risk of developing autoimmune diseases. Another common thing that is seen in people with suppressed immune systems is the reoccurrence of infections that affect their organs and develop many other serious health conditions.
How a Strong Immune System Lead to Treat & Prevent Diseases?
A strong and functional immune system is vital to health and living. A strong immune system will prevent the entry of any germ into the body. Even it gets entered, the system immediately releases important fighting agents which will kill such germs at a starting point.
A healthy immune system also speeds up recovery and heal the post-surgical effects on the body.
With a healthy immune system, the body processes will work smoothly and increase the longevity of life. The immune system cells have a very sharp memory, and they can identify the infection if it gets entered into the body again. The T and B cells actively identify the infection and then release antibodies to deal with that situation.
After encountering a disease, the immune system effectively reduces its severity and removes it from the body.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Immune System?
The immune system is dependent on many important factors in the body. With the right choices, you can make sure that you are increasing the responsive action of your immune system. Practicing good health will keep all diseases and infections at a distance. Following are some of the tips that you can follow to improve your immune system:
Enhance Your Antioxidant Intake
Antioxidants are necessary for the body to cope with the damaging effect of free radicals, which are produced due to cellular processes. Apart from that, antioxidants also help regulate the immune system's functioning and promote the synthesis of various cells.
The role of antioxidants concerning the immune system is also proven by research published in the Journal of Dairy Science. The antioxidant intake also helped to cope with the environmental stressors. Some of the common food items that have a high amount of antioxidants in them are:
- Dark chocolate
- Green leafy vegetables
- Green tea
- Citrus fruits
Eat More Nutritious Meals
Nutrition has a key role in the development and improvement of immunity. During extreme conditions of malnutrition, the immune-mediated response and specificity of the immune system are lost. According to a study, the deficiency of certain nutrients can impair protein synthesis, affecting the immune system's functionality.
It is recommended to maintain adequate nutrition levels throughout so that your immune system can work and develop at a complete rate. Eating nutritious meals from all food groups will help in balancing the immune system and fighting certain diseases.
Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
A study conducted to assess the risk of infections in newborns stated that alcoholic mothers have an increased risk of infection. At the same time, the mothers who did not consume alcohol or avoid smoking had reduced the incidence of infections in their newborns.
The study results clearly stated the effect of alcohol and smoking on the immune system is detrimental. Therefore, it is best to quit smoking and avoid alcohol altogether to give an instant boost to the immune system. The limited use of these agents will also keep diseases at a distance.
Focus on Meditation
Mindfulness meditation has shown improved progress on the immune system and has also helped reduce the severity of diseases. A study was conducted to study the effect of meditation on the immune system. The results showed that mediation helped reduce the inflammatory responses in the body and an improved working immune system.
It is necessary for health to practice mediation and to have some good thoughts. There are many psychological factors associated with meditation that help in improving health conditions.
Enhance Your Vitamin Intake
Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that need to be consumed regularly. As per research, it is necessary to maintain and supply basic micronutrients to your body for the optimal functioning of your immune system. The constant consumption of these nutrients helps in developing a strong immune defense.
It is important to include a multivitamin supplement in the diet. Supplements provide your body with all the necessary vitamins needed for health and vitality in their raw form. These supplements help improve mood, regulate heart health, boost immune defense, and manage weight effectively.
Take Care of Your Hygiene
The immune system has a major role in the development of organs in the body. A research analyzed the level of hygiene and other practices in children to study the effect on the immune system. The results showed that practicing good health has a positive role in developing good immunity and fighting off the risk of infections throughout life.
Many health practitioners promote maintaining good personal care and hygiene as it helps in reducing the infections rate and prevents the onset of diseases.
Avoid Dehydration Status
Lack of water in the body can lead to dehydration, which becomes a reason for developing certain diseases. Maintaining hydration status will help in minimizing the infection rate and will regulate many physiological processes. Water intake has many valuable benefits on health and so should be monitored.
Water levels also help manage normal plasma levels in the body, which further works to improve immunity. Many other cellular reactions also happen freely in the presence of a water-based environment.
Take Probiotics Supplements
Probiotics help grows important and necessary intestinal organisms, which then play an essential role in increasing immunity. Probiotics helped in the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines in the body, which further works to improve the immune system.
It is generally beneficial to have a daily dose of probiotics supplements in the diet. Probiotics produce healthy bacteria and work in major systems and processes of the body. They also help in producing healthy microbes in the gut, which are essential for health.
Engage in Physical Activity
Moderate physical activity has a prominent role in the activation of the immune system. Like any other important system of the body, exercise also works its magic on improving the immunity in the body. As per research, the recommended exercises for boosting immunity are low and moderate intensity.
Physical activity is recommended for people of all age groups. Apart from increasing a person's immunity, it also has a prominent role in regulating health, avoiding the risk of diseases and infections, and conducting all body reactions without any difficulty.
Manage Your Sleep Cycle
During sleep, our body conducts various important processes. The process of generating new cells and regenerating cells also happens when we are in our deep sleep. The sleep cycle has a promising role in improving the immune system is also backed by science and research.
The body produces more T cells, natural killer cells, and cytokines during sleep. Hence it is necessary to adjust and manage the sleep cycle and to have a deep sleep of at least eight hours to have promising and healthy results on the body.
Consume Healthy Fats
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids have a positive role in developing and increasing immunity. They help produce new cells in the immune system, which then work to fight infections. They also help in reducing the inflammation in the body.
Omega 3 fatty acids work to prevent various diseases and directly play an active role in strengthening the immune system. It is necessary to have a daily amount of omega 3 in the diet for the body's healthy functioning.
The immune system is the most integrated human body system that promises good health and prevents infections. The components of the immune system identify foreign agents and kill them. Such mechanisms help in controlling infections and improves the first line of defense of the human body.
Many factors play an integral role in the improvement of the immune system. Everything has contributed to developing the immune system and making it stronger, from diet to managing the sleep cycle and using certain medications. Following such practices can improve quality of life and will help to survive in the current world.
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