How can you improve your immune system?
Overall, your immune system does a remarkable job of protecting you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: a germ successfully invades and makes you sick. Is it possible to interfere with this process and boost your immune system? What will happen if you improve your diet? Take some vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in hopes of producing a near-immune immune response?
What can you do to boost your immune system?
The idea of boosting your immunity is tempting, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is exactly that – a system is not a unit. To work well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers do not know about the intricacies and interconnections of the immune response.
But this does not mean that lifestyle effects on the immune system are not complex and should not be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors of the immune response, both in animals and humans. Meanwhile, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.
Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system
Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following the general good-health guidelines is the best step you can do naturally to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, works better when environmental attacks are avoided and controlled by healthy living strategies:
- Do not smoke
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get enough sleep
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as rinsing your hands frequently and baking meats well.
- Try to reduce stress.
Boost immunity in a healthy way
Many products on store shelves claim to promote or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity is poorly understood scientifically. Increasing the number of cells in your body – immune cells or others – is not necessarily a good thing. For example, athletes who engage in “blood doping” – increasing the number of blood cells by pumping blood into their system and increasing their performance – run the risk of stroke.
Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is particularly complex because the immune system consists of many different types of cells that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you promote, and at what number? As of now, scientists do not know the answer. What is known is that the body is constantly producing immune cells. Certainly, it produces as many lymphocytes as it can use. Excess cells distance themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis – some after winning some battles before they see any action. No one knows how many cells or the best mixture of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimal level.
Immune system and age
As we age, our immune response capacity decreases, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancers. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, age-related conditions have also increased.
While some people age healthily, many studies conclude that compared to young people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases, and more importantly, are more likely to die from them. Respiratory infections, influenza, COVID-19 virus, and especially pneumonia are a major cause of death in more than 65 people worldwide. No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists believe that this increased risk is associated with a decrease in T cells, possibly atrophying with thymus age and less to fight infection. Produces T cells. Whether this decrease in thymus function explains the decline in T cells or whether other changes play a role is not fully understood. Others are interested in whether the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing stem cells that give rise to immune system cells.
Older people’s response to the vaccine has been demonstrated to decrease the immune response to infection. For example, studies of influenza vaccines have shown that for people over 65 years of age, the vaccine is less effective than healthy children (over 2 years old).
Diet and your immune system
Like any fighting force, the immune system forces marches on its belly. Healthy immune system warriors require good, regular nutrition. Scientists have long believed that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are vulnerable to infectious diseases. Whether the increased rate of disease is due to the effect of malnutrition on the immune system is not certain.
There is some evidence that deficiency in various micronutrients — for example, zinc deficiency, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamin A, B6, C, and E — changes in the immune response in animals, as in That is measured in the test tube.
So what can you do? If you suspect that your diet is not providing you with all your micronutrient needs – perhaps, for example, you don’t like vegetables – taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplements are beyond any possibly beneficial effects on the immune system There may be other health benefits. Do not take megadoses of a single vitamin. More is not necessarily better.
Improve immunity with herbs and supplements?
Walk into a shop, and you’ll find bottles of pills and herbal preparations that claim to boost the health of your immune system. However, some preparations have been found to alter certain components of immune function, thus far there is no evidence that they increase immunity to the point where you are better protected against infection and disease. As to whether an herb – or any substance, – can enhance immunity, as yet a highly complex matter. For example, scientists do not know if an herb that increases antibody levels in the blood is anything beneficial for immunity.
Stress and immune function
Modern medicine appreciates the intimately connected relationship between mind and body. A variety of malformations, including stomach upset, hives, and even heart disease, are associated with the effects of emotional stress.
For one thing, stress is difficult to define. What can be a stressful situation for one person, not for another? When people are exposed to situations that they perceive as stressful, it is difficult for them to measure how much stress they feel, and it is difficult for a scientist to know that the subjective effect of a person’s amount of stress is accurate. or not. The scientist can only measure things that can reflect stress, such as the number of heartbeats every minute, but such measures can also reflect other factors.
Exercise: Good or Bad for Immunity?
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of staying healthy. It improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and prevents many diseases.