Our immune system is the main reason we are able to coexist with the trillions upon trillions of bacteria that inhabits the earth. Its functions are limitless, and even a small derangement of its function can cause significant health problems. Learning how to keep healthy can spare you a lot of problems both in the long and short term. Different techniques including health and life choices can make all the difference in your life regarding your immunity.
Our immune system is complex and includes many players, from your skin and gastrointestinal system, which we call natural barriers to complex cells and signaling pathways. Cells of the immune system are mainly white blood cells, which are produced by the bone marrow. White blood cells fight bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and even stop cancer. People with immune deficiency regardless of the cause tend to have a problem with their white blood cells, which makes them susceptible to infections.
Here are important tips on how to boost your immune system:
1) A Healthy Diet
Our immune system needs energy and food to stay functioning. Antibodies and cells need protein to be produced, and people who do not eat enough protein tend to have a weak immune system. Make sure to maintain an adequate daily intake of proteins in the form of beef, eggs, milk products, chicken and, best of all, fish. In fact, this is the reason why we advise chicken soup for those who have a common cold. Chicken soup contains easily digestible protein which can be rapidly used to make antibodies.
In addition to proteins, other vitamins and minerals are needed for the immune system including:
- Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is especially needed for the immune system and nerves. It can be found in abundance in eggs, chicken, and Salmon. It can also be found in milk and other fruits like bananas and apples.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E has various functions including being a strong antioxidant that prevents cancer and aging. There is also proof that it helps the white blood cells function normally. It can be found in green leafy vegetables, butter, and vegetable oils.
- Vitamin C: like vitamin E, vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that also helps the immune system function normally. It can be found in abundance in citrus fruits and most vegetables
- Zinc: Zinc has various roles in the human body ranging from maintaining a healthy intestinal lining to helping wounds heal. It also helps strengthen the immune system. Zinc can be found in nuts, oysters and other shellfish, and in various meats.
Some food can be considered to have significant effects on boosting immunity including:
- Garlic: There has been evidence that garlic is particularly good for the immunity thanks to a large number of compounds including allucin which stimulate immunity and improve blood flow.
- Ginger: Ginger is one of the most commonly consumed foods worldwide. Other than its distinctive aromatic flavor, it has anti-inflammatory properties and has shown to improve symptoms of common cold through reducing inflammation of the sinuses, leading to less blockage.
- Yogurt and other food rich in probiotics: Probiotics are a group of bacteria known to be beneficial. They colonize the intestines and help protect the body against harmful bacteria, decreasing the risk of gastrointestinal infections and many other diseases including inflammatory bowel disease. They also regulate the immune system so it differentiates between good and bad bacteria, therefore decreasing the risk of autoimmune diseases as well.