Essentials for Healthy Living: How to Boost Your Immune System
A human being is said to be healthy if he has perfect physical, mental and spiritual health. It goes without saying that we should adopt healthy lifestyle in order to be perfectly healthy. Healthy lifestyle necessarily means taking nutritious food, having adequate sleep and giving good physical exercises to the body. A harmonious combination of these activities will bring us good health.
Avoid stress: We may say some stress can be a good thing because it prepares us for facing different challenges in life. But a constant feeling of stress is bad for health. It weakens our immune system and we will be more likely to catch various ailments like hypertension, heart disease, sleeplessness and unhealthy weight gain.
Have strong social ties: Friends are important for all of us. Strong social ties can make a huge positive impact on our health. Researches show that people with strong social connections survive longer than people with poor social ties. It is advisable to nurture our social bonds for a better health.
Develop a positive attitude: Positive attitude and thoughts boost our immune system a lot. Take time to do the things you enjoy and do not let negative thoughts creep into your mind ever. You will be immune to most of the diseases.
Laugh out loud: A good laugh is said to help our immune system. Some studies showed that people who have laughed out loud at some funny videos had greater immune function. Laugh also adds to our longevity it is said. Conclusive evidence on this is yet to be drawn though.
Eat antioxidants: Having a nutritious diet is extremely important for good health. Having plenty of fruits and vegetables can help us get a good dose of antioxidants. These antioxidants help us in protecting our cells from free radicals. Free radicals are those molecules which damage our cells.
Do have a balanced diet which includes proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fibers, dairy products, vitamins and minerals and some fat in the right measure. Eat fruits and vegetables of different colors, such as oranges, green pepper, broccoli, kiwi, strawberries, carrots, watermelon, papaya, leafy green vegetables etc. A combination of Vitamins – A, B complex, C, D, E and minerals like zinc and magnesium is extremely important for maintaining absolute health.
A number of factors affect the health of our immune system. We cannot control some of those factors. The very young and very old people are more vulnerable to diseases. Surgery, wounds, chronic disease, poverty, stress, living with lots of other people in dormitories, and drinking tap water are some of the factors which affect our immune system and bring in diseases. Malnutrition drastically impairs our immune system.
French fries and soft drinks do not strengthen immune system. Fruits, vegetables and nuts are rich in nutrients and they improve our immune health. Adequate protein intake is important. It can be either plant or animal protein.
Medicinal mushrooms like shiitake, maitake, and reishi contain beta-glucans that enhance immune activity against infections, cancer and reduce allergies. In new mothers breast milk provides essential nutrients and immune system components to the developing child. Babies nourished at the breast have fewer serious infections.
We need to reduce stress in order to stay fit. When we are in stress our adrenal glands churn out epinephrine or adrenaline and cortisol. Psychological stress raises the risk of common cold and other viruses. Sometimes chronic stress promotes a hyper-reactive immune system and aggravates conditions like allergies, asthma and autoimmune disease.
Meditation and music can significantly reduce stress. Moderate physical exercise also reduces tension and stress. Those who exercise regularly have fewer risks of catching infections and other diseases.
Sound sleep is another great stress buster. Sleep deprivation activates the stress response, reduces immune functions and elevates inflammatory chemicals in the body. Those who sleep for eight or more hours have a reduced risk of developing cold and other infections.
Having lot of friends is healthy for our immune system. Studies also showed that intimate relationships and frequent lovemaking also have immune system perks. Avoiding tobacco smoke is another great way to strengthen our immune system.
Vitamin D plays multiple roles in improving our immune system. Vitamin D deficiency may invite asthma, cancer, several autoimmune diseases and susceptibility to infection especially viral respiratory infections. Therefore, nutritious food along with sound sleep and moderate physical exercise help to build a strong immune system.
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