The pandemic has accelerated the trend of eating a diet that supports the immune system, much like a boost to help ward off disease. But experts around the world suggests that instead of boosting we should rather concentrate on maintaining a balanced immune system.
Immunity has been one of our top health priority as we enter another year of the pandemic. Immunity does a remarkable job of protecting us from germs and fighting off diseases and infections.
But this defence mechanism can sometimes fail. A germ can successfully invade the system can to make us sick.
However, the way our immune system protects us from getting sick, we can also intervene and do the required to protect it. What if we change our diet, take vitamin supplements or choose to quit smoke?
To keep our immune system balanced, we need to explore the effects of diet, physical exercise, lifestyle changes and managing stress.
While there is no “magic pill” that will bring perfect harmony to the immune system, our doctors share their tips to keep a stronger and well-balanced immune system.
Here, is the list of 5 healthy ways to keep your immune system well-balanced
1) Incorporating a whole food diet and natural superfoods
The immunity-balance characteristics of a diet can be in a variety of ways – but one of the most important methods is incorporating a whole food diet. This means cutting down on eating processed food and eating more vegetables, fruits, meat and healthy fats.
One of the key super-ingredients to strengthen your immune system is berries. Most berries such as blueberries, acai berries, cranberries are all considered “superfoods” for their nutritional benefits and how they protect against oxidative stress, which translates into a stronger immune system.
Garlic is another “superfood”. They contain Allicin, a compound that is known to boost the immune system. One of the healthy ways to eat garlic is to roast it and add it to your meals.
2) Improving immunity gap with nutrient supplements
Another way to fill the gap for dietary nutrition is incorporating nutrient supplements such as an extra dose of zinc, iron, vitamins or probiotics.
Sadly, too many of us don’t eat a well-balanced diet. And some people are unable to absorb nutrients from their diet because of medical issues like Malabsorption
In those cases, your doctor may recommend supplements to fill the nutritional gap.
Probiotics are other supplements that can be incorporated through processed food. Yoghurts generally contain these “live microorganism” that improves your gut health to strengthen your immune system.
The importance of strengthening your immune system has gained such momentum that we can now find many processed food and drinks with the benefits of probiotics.
3) Manage stress to improve immune functioning
Broadly, both immune system and stress can affect each other in reciprocal ways.
If you’re under stress, especially suffering from chronic stress, your body responds by initiating a stress response. This stress response can dominate the immune response making you more susceptible to illness and disease.
Meditating, even for a few minutes every day, by just sitting quietly and focussing on your breath has the ability to lower your heart rate and reduce anxiety.
4) Physical exercise can boost your immune system
Going to the gym or being physically active isn’t just to build muscles. Regular exercise is one of the most vital pillars of healthy living. With improvement in cardiovascular health, exercise helps to regulate blood pressure, help maintain healthy body weight and can protect you against a variety of disease.
5) Optimise your sleep
Lack of sleep can affect your immune system and make you sick. Research has shown that a good night sleep contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system. Studies have also shown that people who sleep less than the required number of hours are more likely to get sick.
There are many important activities happening while we are asleep. One of them is the production of infection-fighting molecules that circulate throughout our body to defend it from disease.
Since sleep has a positive impact on the functioning of the immune system, you must try to optimise your sleeping pattern and get enough hours of good sleep every day.