Why is taking care of your immune system important?
It’s simple. The immune system is the defence mechanism of our body, and it is our responsibility to keep it safe. But isn’t it another way round? You may ask. But the body is like tree guys! The proper you water it, give it nutrition, the more you bear the fruits. The better you provide nourishment to your body, the more it will keep you safe. That is why taking care of your immune system necessary. So, how do we take care of it? Here is a simple plan to follow, to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
Some of you might have stopped there itself when I said mindful eating but don’t worry. Mindful doesn’t have to be tasteless. You don’t have to punish yourself. Mindful eating includes following proper nutrition. Make sure you eat the right amount of carbohydrates, healthy fats, protein, fibre, vitamins and all the essential nutrients in your food. Apart from nutrients, see that your food includes good enough medicinal properties.
Spices like clove, thyme, cinnamon, oregano, and cumin are rich in antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Vitamin C is rich in fruits such as citrus fruits, kiwis, and several cruciferous vegetables. Protein is also essential for immune health. Include more plants and plant-based foods. Add fruits and veggies like Carrots, broccoli, apricots, citrus fruits and strawberries, spinach, red bell peppers, which are good sources of vitamins A and C. At the same time, seeds and nuts will provide you protein, vitamin E, and zinc. Additional sources of protein and zinc can be seafood, lean meat, and poultry.
Do you know that long-term stress might lead to chronically elevated levels of cortisol? When there is stress in your body, your body relies on cortisol. But when you continuously stress yourself, the cortisol levels keep going up discouraging the immune system to work well.
There are many effective stress-reducing techniques. Meditation, journaling, or any activity that you enjoy cannn help you reduce stress. Try and do at least one stress-reducing activity every day.
We all have a myth that one needs to sleep only six hours or less. But, no. Everybody is different and requires an additional amount of sleep. Take enough time to sleep if you want your body and mind to work correctly. The body heals and regenerates while you sleep. Your immune system will go critically down if you do not give your body enough time to heal. Take 7-8 hours on an average to keep yourself healthy.
Apart from a good body, the reason why one should excercise is that when you are active, you are automatically decreasing the chance of chronic diseases like obesity and heart disease. When your body is active, it will relieve you from sluggish thyroid, allowing your body to function correctly. Women mostly face problems like PCOD/PCOS/irregular periods when they focus less on their body activity. A 30-minute morning walk will help you improve Vitamin-D and keeps you highly active. Exercise improves endorphin levels in the body which creates a sense of pleasure in you.
Decrease alcohol intake-
High amounts of alcohol are associated with negative health effects like low immune function. If you drink high amounts of alcohol, your body is busy trying to detoxify your system.
High alcohol consumption can weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and slow down your recovery time. That is why people who drink high amounts of alcohol face a greater likelihood of diseases like pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, alcoholic liver disease, and certain cancers.
Cigarette smoking will also affect immune health. The chemicals released by cigarette smoke like carbon monoxide, nicotine, nitrogen oxides, and cadmium decline the growth and function of immune cells, like cytokines, T cells, and B cells. Smoking will also worsen viral and bacterial infections, post-surgical infections, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Chronic conditions check-
Chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease affect the immune system and increase the risk of infections.
If people with type 2 diabetes won’t manage their blood sugar properly, it might lead to a chronic, low-grade inflammatory response that might weaken the body’s defence system.
If you can manage your chronic conditions better, you’ll free help your body fight off infection better. So, make sure you take proper medications, doctor visits, or healthy habits that keep your symptoms low.
Treat your body like a temple. Nourish it, respect it, care it and you will surely cherish the results.