May 20 2021
Immunity can be defined as the ability of multicellular organisms to resist a particular disease by inhibiting the growth of pathogens in the body. It is a complex military system of your body energized by around five liters of blood and lymph (it is a clear and discolored liquid passing throughout the tissues of the body). These two together transport almost all the components of the immune system so that they can perform their functions. White blood cells do the real deal in the functioning of the immune system; they come in charge as soon as any signs of a disease battle appear. Phagocytes and lymphocytes are the two types of white blood cells found in the human body. Phagocytes mainly target pathogens (disease-causing microbes) and toxic substances. On the other hand, lymphocytes are of two types- B cells and T cells. B cells produce antibodies and T cells perform the function of recognizing, responding to, and remembering antigens.
How to strengthen immune function?
- Stress management: a stress-free person is more likely to have a stronger immune function. Long-term stress encourages inflammation, imbalances the immune functions at the cellular levels, and it may also repress the immune response in children, which is not good for the overall physical development. Activities like meditation, yoga, exercising are the ones that eliminate stress and help in its management. Some people might also like listening to music or journaling, doing the activity you like can combat stress.
- Hydration: a dehydrated body can cause some health problems such as headaches, digestion, tiredness, and fatigue, upset stomach, etc. however, hydration doesn’t necessarily protect against pathogens, but it can maintain the overall health of a person. Water is the most preferred liquid that can help in hydrating the body, due to the calories, additives, and sugar it possesses is zero. On average, 7 to 8 glasses of water are recommended to prevent dehydration. White tea, fruit, and vegetable juices are also hydrating agents that can help you stay hydrated daily. More fluids are needed if you’re involved in physical activities.
- Stay physically active: moderate exercises can help in enhancing the functions of the immune system. It may reduce inflammation and facilitate the regeneration of cells in the long run. Brisk walking, steady cycling, jogging, swimming are some of the moderate exercises that can boost up the immunity. Even one mere session of these exercises can enhance the effectiveness of vaccines in people with weak immune systems.
- Sleep well: Sleep is very closely linked to immunity; it is very important to get adequate amounts of sleep to boost up the immune functions. Lack of sleep is often linked to sickness. A research study was carried out with 164 healthy adults; the ones who got more adequate sleep were more likely to prevent a cold than the ones who didn’t sleep properly. On average, a person requires at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily.
- Make the right choices: if you’re looking forward to supplementation, it is necessary to know what’s best suited for your body. It is important to know about the needs of your body as well as the components of the supplement you’re taking. Vitamin C and D are two essential vitamins that improve immune functions, deficiency of which often results in a compromised immune function. Zinc, ginseng, elderberry, garlic are some of the other supplements considered well for boosting up immunity. For example, triple ginseng by Alvizia Healthcare is a similar supplement that enhances the immunity of the user in both long term and short term effects.
It consists of Korean, American, and Siberian ginseng available in a pack of 100 tablets. It is a dose of 400 mg Korean ginseng, 200 mg Siberian ginseng, and 200 mg American ginseng. Other than immunity, it also enhances stamina, libido, combats stress, and stimulates blood flow. It is not to be used for mitigation and prevention of many diseases. It should be stored in a cool dry place, to avoid contact with sunlight and moisture.
Foods that enhance immunity
- Citrus fruits: vitamin C is the active component that is present in citrus fruits. Vitamin C helps in building up a strong immune function by increasing the production of white blood cells which helps the body in fighting infections. Grapefruits, oranges, Clementine, tangerines, lemons, and limes are some of the most popularly found as well as known sources (citrus fruits) of vitamin C. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.
- Garlic: apart from adding a delicious taste and aroma to the food, garlic has excellent properties that boost the immune functions of the body. Even in the older times, people used to use it in food because of its “immunity-boosting properties”. It also slows down the hardening of arteries and helps in hypertension.
- Ginger: Ginger is used in combination with garlic, in various preparations of Indian as well as foreign cuisines. Ginger helps in treating a sore throat, prevents various illnesses, decreases inflammation, and improves conditions like nausea.
- Spinach: Packed with the goodness of antioxidants, vitamin C, beta carotene, spinach is the most known for its infection-fighting properties. It is the healthiest when cooked in little quantities because, in such a way, all its nutrients are retained. Similarly, broccoli is a vegetable that is powered by numerous vitamins and minerals that might help in fighting pathogens.
- Almonds: rich in vitamin E, almonds are no newbie in fighting off colds. Vitamin E is a powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant that is known to enhance immune functions when consumed. Other nuts like cashews, raisins, walnuts do possess some properties that are responsible for improving immunity.
- Sunflower seeds: These seeds are fully packed with nutrients, which include phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B6. These nutrients are somewhat helpful and important in maintaining immunity.
- Turmeric: turmeric, a yellow and bright spice are well known for its role in preparing curries in different cuisines. It is effective in treating inflammation due to the properties it possesses and can help combat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Curcumin, which is the main component of turmeric, has shown some promising effects as an immunity booster.