Our immune system gives us the power to fight against bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other foreign elements. It is made up of many cells, organs, proteins, and chemicals. Our immune system is composed of WBCs, lymphatic system, thymus, bone marrow, spleen, and complementary system. All these components play a vital role in keeping us healthy. Typically, the immune system is divided into two major parts: the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. They work hand in hand and perform different tasks. Let us discuss them in brief.
- Innate Immune System
The person is born with an innate immune system. This system acts as the first line of defense and stops the germs and foreign substances from entering the body. It is present in vertebrates and invertebrates. The innate immune system does not remember the pathogens.
- Adaptive Immunity System
It comes into action when the innate immune system fails to destroy the bacteria, germs, or any other foreign element. It is not inherited and develops with time. Adaptive immunity is found in only vertebrates.
Your both innate and adaptive systems need the right type of nutrients to work well. Vitamins C and D, iron, selenium, and zinc play an important role in building our body’s immunity against the deadly disease. It has often been observed that many adults have low iron levels, which affects their immune system. Physicians, therefore, suggest iron supplement dosage for adults with iron-rich foods. This improves their immunity and makes them more active and fit.
Apart from nutritious foods, regular exercise, adequate sleep, healthy weight, healthy habits, contribute to boosting the immune system. Read the following tips to strengthen your immune system in a natural way.
- Eat Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits such as orange, lemon. Pomelo, lime is full of vitamin C, and this vitamin strengthens your immune system. Vitamin C accelerates the production of white blood cells, which eventually form antibodies. Antibodies protect you against many infections and diseases. Vitamin C boosts both innate and adaptive immune systems. Also, it helps to balance blood pressure, reduce uric acid, promote skin health, speed up the memory, etc.
Eat Healthy Fats
Generally, there are 4 major types of fats: saturated fats, trans fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Out of these, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for your health and boost the body’s immune response to disease and illness. These fats possess anti-inflammatory properties, which prevents you from chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. Peanut oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, olive oil, salmon fish are the abundant source of healthy unsaturated fats. You can consider them in your daily diet.
Take More Fermented Foods
Fermentation means the conversion of carbohydrates into alcohol or other organic substances via microorganisms called yeast. Fermented foods are full of probiotic bacteria, and these bacteria build a strong gut, which is very important for strengthening the immune system. Some examples of fermented foods are wine, Tempeh, Kimchi, yogurt & cultured milk, whole grain bread, beer, and miso.
- Limit Sugar Consumption
Excessive consumption of sugar is hazardous for the development of the immune system. Sugary foods possess abundant calories, which curbs the immune system cells that fight against bacteria. Therefore, it is advisable to eat foods with low sugar content.
- Take Adequate Sleep
A good amount of sleep also helps in increasing immunity. Actually, there is a bidirectional relation between these two. The healthy immune system releases a protein named cytokines, which has a positive impact on sleep. At the same time, adequate rest and sleep promote immunity function. Therefore, it is important to get at least 7 hours of good sleep.
- Eat Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, dandelion, kale, bok choy, rapini, swiss chard are an excellent source of many vital nutrients. They contain calcium, vitamins, iron, folate, and fiber, which play vital roles in regulating the immune system. These nutrients promote the functioning of immune cells that are present in the gut. Therefore, you should consider green leafy vegetables in your daily meal.
- Consume Whole Grain Foods
Whole-grain foods contain high amounts of bioactive compounds, which increase the levels of intestinal bacteria and strengthen the immune system. Whole grains maintain the health of our digestive system and keep away gestational disease. Take barley, brown rice, bulgur, millet, popcorn daily to boost your immune power.
- Manage Your Stress
Too much stress can also affect your body’s immunity. Therefore, you should try to get rid of the stressful situation as soon as possible. Stress can be reduced by increasing parasympathetic activity of the nervous system. There are many ways to trigger parasympathetic activities, such as meditation, prayer, exercise, massage, etc.
The Bottom Line -:
Eating healthy foods is the key to building a strong immune system. Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, grain, dairy products, and poultry products in your everyday meal. If your nutritional needs are not met by just eating healthy food, then there is no harm in taking dietary supplements. Many adults often take vitamin and iron supplements to accomplish their nutritional needs.