Categories: General Health

Boosting your immunity: How to do it in the healthiest way

Immunity is your body’s ability to fight off any foreign bacterial and viral agents that could affect your body or the functioning of any organ in the body. Though the body produces a countless number of antibodies to keep diseases at bay, a few bacterial and viral agents are able to fight through our defense systems and render us sick and in need of medical attention. Maintaining your immune system helps you ward off major and minor diseases that could impair your body function or create a gateway for significantly lethal diseases to take control of the body.

How can you boost your immunity?

Immunity in itself is not a single entity; it is a network whose efficient functioning requires multiple organs in the body to perform at its best. Various hormones, enzymes, and secretions of different parts of the body contribute to maintaining and boosting the immune system of the body. The immunity of a person is attributed to his/her age, sex, levels of physical activity, ability to cope with stress, lifestyle, and diet, among others.

Here are a few things everyone should do to boost immunity:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Exercise regularly
  • Include high amounts of fruits and vegetables in your diet
  • Do not become overweight
  • Disinfect regularly by washing your hands and feet frequently
  • Drink in moderation as alcoholism can impair the functioning of your liver, kidneys, blood vessels, and heart.
  • Sleep for seven to eight hours a day
  • Try not to put yourself in stressful situations.

With time, our knowledge of modern medicine has advanced. There are a lot of options available which claim to boost your immunity in the form of supplements for vitamins, minerals, and other essential enzymes. However, modern medicine has not yet identified that perfect mix that contributes to boosting immunity successfully.

So, looking to boost your immunity healthily is more critical as rampant measures could tilt the balance in the body and pave a path for graver conditions.

For example, blood doping is something most athletes indulge in. In this, they pump more blood into their body to increase their capacity to absorb oxygen, nutrients, and other essential elements that increase efficiency. However, the downside of this is the uneven ratio of living cells and dead blood cells and an alarming quantity of white blood cells. This act to boost immunity could pave a path for blood cancer.

Having a steady diet with a constant and sufficient supply of all the minerals and vitamins is advised instead of using human-made supplements to fill the gap. For an excellent immune system studies have shown that the body should have minimum levels of Vitamin A, B, C, D and E along with minerals like Iron, Zinc, Silver, Gold and selenium. However, tests were inconclusive when these minerals and vitamins were artificially induced in the form of pills to boost immunity.

Likewise indulging in physical activity has shown no conclusive results on improving the immunity of a body. But, it has contributed to keeping the blood sugar levels in control, improved the functionality and lung capacity of a person, kept cardiovascular conditions at bay and strengthened bones and prevented the occurrence of osteoporosis.

Here are a few habits you should inculcate to ensure that you boost your immunity consistently:

Hydrate frequently:

Drinking water regularly does not, in any way, increase your body’s ability to fight bacteria and viruses. But, it improves the functionality of the heart, kidneys, blood vessels, and brain. It also helps flush out toxins from your body and prevent diseases that may result due to a build-up of these toxins. Ensure that you drink enough water every day, an excellent check to see the results is by constantly evaluating it through your urine. If the colour of your urine is transparent or pale yellow, then, the body is getting an adequate amount of water if it is dark yellow in colour then you are dehydrated and need more water in your system.

Manage your stress:

Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to stress impairs the immune response of a body. Avoid high-stress conditions as much as possible and if your job requires you to handle a certain amount of stress on a daily basis, then, make sure that you practice breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and journaling. You could also seek help from a medical advisor or a therapist to come up with ways that complement your lifestyle.

Dr. Karthik S M | Consultant – Internal Medicine | Narayana Multispeciality Hospital – HSR Layout, Bangalore

Narayana Health

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