Your immune system is a complex system of different types of cells, organs, chemicals etc that works in tandem to ward off any foreign organisms such as bacteria, virus, fungi, toxins etc.
The immune system is quite literally like the military of a country – it has different departments that gives intelligence, sophisticated communication system, the first line of defence, self destructive warfares, so on and so forth. Some countries have a better equipped military and defence force.. Similarly, some of us have a better immune system!
How effective is your immune system in attacking and destroying such foreign organisms is partly decided by the immunity that you acquire through vaccines, mothers breast milk, hereditary factors etc. However, your lifestyle and nutritional aspects too decide the efficacy of your defence system against such organisms.
Here are some of the factors that impact the immune system positively or negatively –
Sleep & Rest
It is clinically proven ( Read here ) that, lack of sleep and excessive stress can cause cortisol or stress hormones in our body. These stress hormones, while are part of the normal immunological response of the body, excessive of it can have a detrimental impact on the immune system management
Smoking severely impairs the immunity – both innate immunity & adaptive immunity and interrupts immunological response of the system towards foreign bodies. Quit smoking to improve immunity. Read the research article here
Nutrition plays a very important role in making sure that the body is able to deploy its warheads against these harmful bacteria and virus. It is like the basic fuel to fire up the tanks, missiles, and war-planes! Antioxidants are naturally occurring molecules in fruits and vegetables that helps in neutralizing highly harmful free radicals in the body. They are also anti -inflammatory in nature.
Yet another anti -oxidant is Vitamin A (Read here), also know as carotenoids that are seen in orange coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrot, pumpkin, orange etc.
Curcumin seen in turmeric is yet another highly powerful anti-oxidant (Read here)
Adipose fat has been proven to alter the immune mechanism of human body. (Read here and here). Remember – Belly fat is not seen only in obese or overweight individuals. Even skinny fat is a deterrent to the normal functioning of our immune system.
Right kind of calorie planning, along side physical activity can reduce the adipose fat, while improving the muscles mass and metabolism
This is a no brainer – routine Exercises are proven to improve the immune mechanism of the body against the harmful viruses and bacteria. Read here
Vaccination is a form of acquired immunity, in which vaccines, which are nothing but micro-organisms such as viruses in their weak or dead state is administered to the body. This in-turn simulates the body’s adaptive immunity, there by preventing the diseases in future, when the person comes in contact with the virus/bacteria
Personal hygiene, hand hygiene in particular, is one of the most important factor that keeps you immune against various viruses, bacteria, fungi etc. Watch how you wash your hands or disinfect your hands here
Point to note
As discussed, the human immune system is a complex mechanism that involves multiple organs, cells, chemicals, processes etc. While the above mentioned points can have a huge impact on the efficiency of your immune system, none of them, in isolation, may help your body ward off harmful bacteria and viruses. If you take care of all the above points, then your body will be more immune and capable of handling immunological response to harmful micro organisms!
Also, just because you started doing them, you are not going to boost your immunity right away. It is a slow and steady process
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