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Our immune system has a huge responsibility to defend our bodies against disease-causing microorganisms. On the whole, it does a great job at protecting us, but sometimes it fails, and a germ successfully invades and makes us sick.
The question is could we prevent this from happening? Are there certain habits that are compromising our immune system, and is there a way for us to naturally increase or boost our long-term health?
There are certain healthy habits that have proven to strengthen the immune system naturally, reducing the risk of catching diseases.
However, there isn't enough research yet by Pain Management Clinic on the intricacies and interconnection of the immune system, and it is a complicated system, not a singular entity. But healthy lifestyle choices have proven to reduce the chances of falling sick significantly.
With that said, it cannot be negated that a healthy lifestyle directly impacts overall health. Researchers are Refer A Patient for investigating the effects of exercising regularly, diet, mental wellbeing, age and other factors on the immune system. Healthy living strategies have a proportionate relation with better health and proven benefits generally.
Understanding the immune system
Before getting into boosting the immune system, it is vital to understand the system itself. Our battle with Covid has probably taught us one thing: our bodies are under constant attack by viruses and diseases. To protect our body requires a system of defence.
A vast network of cells, tissues and organs guard against these pathogens, as our immune system recognizes our tissues and any foreign attacks.
Fighting a foreign body takes a well-orchestrated defence system. The central role is played by the white blood cells, antibodies, the spleen, bone marrow, lymphatic system and the complement system.
When our immune system detects a threat, a protecting response is instigated to destroy the invading bodies and keep us safe.
Steps to naturally boost immunity
Research has indicated that food with multiple nutrients is essential, and people who have limited access to healthy ingredients are at a higher risk of developing illnesses.
The essential nutrients for maintaining a healthy immune system are as follows:
· Vitamin A, B12, B6, C, D, E
Diets rich with greens and plant-based food cover most of these nutrients. Most fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices (like turmeric, oregano, cumin and thyme are also known for their antiviral properties. A few underlying ingredients that should be a constant in our meals are:
· Citrus fruits
· Greens (kale, broccoli, spinach etc.)
· Bell peppers
· Nuts and legumes
· Whole wheat and healthy carbs
It's advisable to mix these ingredients to make delicious and healthy recipes to give the immune system an extra boost. A diet plan that includes these will provide your body with enough vitamin C and other anti-oxidants.
If you haven't already taken this step, you should. It is no news that cigarettes carry multiple toxins that compromise our immune system: carbon monoxide, nicotine oxides, nitrogen oxide and much more.
With coronavirus looming over, it is important to note that smoking worsens the symptoms of viral infections (e.g. Flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, Covid- 19). Smoking has no positive effects on the human body and absolutely none on the immune system.
If you currently smoke, there are many resources you could look into to help you get rid of this deadly habit. There are nicotine replacement products available, as well as medications and therapy to help individuals fight their nicotine addiction.
Exercising on a regular basis can lower the risk of diabetes and obesity. It also helps in regulating the blood flow and consequently lowers the risk of heart diseases.
Exercising releases endorphins and lowers the levels of cortisol which is the stress hormone. Since stress reduces the health of the immune system, exercising benefits the body by increasing endorphins and decreasing the effects of stress.
Research has shown that people who have more active lives tend to have less risk of both acute and chronic illnesses, as opposed to people who don't exercise. Studies have shown the positive effects of exercising on a cellular level, demonstrating how bouts of exercising can make the immune system more vigilant by equally distributing immune cells throughout the body.
Adults should be getting at least two and a half hours of physical exercise a week. Working out outdoors or going for a run or a jog has positive effects on mood and reduces inflammation. Exercising during the day can increase the levels of vitamin D, which is vital for our bone health.
Take care of your mental health
Mental health is just as important as our physical health. As established above, stress can raise the cortisol levels in our blood and cause physiological changes. Irritable bowel syndrome is one of those illnesses that develop through chronic stress.
Research also suggests that many chronic illnesses take root in resolved trauma that manifests its way into our physical wellbeing, acting as a symptom of an underlying disease.
A few ways to keep your mental health in check is by mediating, breathwork, yoga and therapy if the individual has gone through serious trauma and need medication to cope with the symptoms.
Once we know we are taking care of our mental health, staying motivated to exercise, eat well, and quit smoking might become more manageable than someone going through a mental health crisis.
Get good quality sleep
Sleeping and waking up at the right time regularly can allow you to form a healthy immune system, as your body heals and regenerates cells while you sleep. The body produces key immune cells like cytokines (a protein that can fight inflammation).
When the body doesn't get enough sleep, the immune systems health deteriorates a swell, and it can't defend the body against harmful invaders, causing sicknesses.
Research shows that adults with insomnia are more susceptible to flu even after being vaccinated, as opposed to individuals with regular sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation can also increase cortisol levels, wearing down the immune system.
Dehydration is the worst thing that we can do to our immune system. Drinking enough water or fluids allows the body to flush out many toxins and allows enough nutrition for our cells.
Drinking a glass of water right after you wake up is essential for bringing hydration levels from the night of sleep. Caffeinated drinks, however, are not as good for the body and should be avoided.
Warm beverages such as green tea and matcha tea carry many anti-oxidants that are incredibly healthy and great for the immune system.
Finding natural ways to boost the immune system is not rocket science it's an effort that requires daily commitment. In today's health crisis times, it has become necessary to find immune-boosting habits to increase the body's chances of fighting Covid or other diseases.
Leva Clinic is the UK’s first fully registered online clinic for chronic pain management. It is focused on innovative and novel pain management, including recognizing the efficacy of medical cannabis in treating chronic pain. The company is participating in Project Twenty21, offering consultations and prescriptions.
Leva provides a personalized care package with a dedicated pain team including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and clinical psychologists. Leva clinic is currently offering a free eligibility phone call. For more information, go to www.levaclinic.com.