What is the immune system? The immune system is simply a defense system in our body that works to help us fight off infections, basically and helps to KEEP our bodies strong and prevent us from falling sick easily, it is made up of cells, proteins, organs that are constantly working to keep us strong and alive, a bad functioning immune system leads to illnesses and infections.
There are things you could do to help keep your immune system strong and functioning.
- Up your fruits intake: fruits especially citrus fruits are a go to when it comes to boosting ones immune system, we tend to run to oranges, lemons etc after we’re down with the flu and a lot of flu medications contains citruses especially lemons and oranges, this is because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections.
Popular citrus fruits include: lemons, grapefruit, oranges, tangerine, limes
- Garlics: Yes, the smell may not be so pleasing to some but it is incredibly beneficial to your immune system because it has a triple effect: it is known to be antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. One of the best things about garlic is that bacteria, viruses, and yeast build up no resistance to it, unlike with synthetic antibiotics. Garlic contains allicin, a chemical that is anticarcinogenic. It also has been shown to lower LDL(low-density lipoproteins), lower total cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of blood clots and stroke, lower homocysteine, and even prevent insect bites –including mosquitoes and ticks.
- Ginger: now this one I love, its so good that even Nigerians use the word “ginger” as motivation (e.g “I need ginger to do this” meaning I need motivation to do this) apart from it adding a nice flavor to food it has a lot of health benefits which include boosting the immunity. We turn to it when we have the flu as it helps with decongestion but how about using it to prevent the flu in the first place? Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also help decrease nausea and prevent ulcers.
- Turmeric: Turmeric aids in making our immunity stronger, the main life-saving ingredient in turmeric is about 3-5 % of Curcumin, a phyto-derivative, which contains healing properties. We know that curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal activity. Now, studies confirm that turmeric acts as an antioxidant as well. This benefit is excellent news if you want to enhance your immunity.
- Get enough sleep and reduce stress level: Sleep deprivation and stress overload is believed to increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of this hormone causes suppression of the immune function, It appears that chronic stress can reduce our immune system’s ability to fight off antigens, the harmful invaders that can make us ill. This can make us more vulnerable to infections and disease. Try to get at least 6 hours of sleep to prevent this from happening.
- Exercise: Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. But does it help to boost your immune system naturally and keep it healthy? Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.
These are easy things we can do in the comfort of our homes to help us improve our immune and keep us healthy and infection free.