In this time and age, more and more new diseases are discovered, and the global medical community has yet to discover a cure for each. Our best protection is to protect ourselves against germs, bacteria, and viruses. We have to safeguard our immunity or the ability of our body to fight various infections. One of the best ways to do this is to boost our immune system mainly through correcting our diet and lifestyle. Here’s how.
1) Eat healthy
Eat a balanced diet to ensure that your body is getting enough nutrients. When you eat healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6, for instance, the body produces more prostaglandin, a compound that kills germs. Avoid consuming saturated fats. Eat protein-rich foods such as eggs, vegetables, and dairy as well since the body needs it to produce white blood cells. Consume appropriate amounts of carbohydrates that can be obtained from rice, corn, and wheat. Excessive carbohydrates in the body lower its immune responses due to reduced amount of T-lymphocytes. Eat immunity-boosting foods such as almond, kale, mushrooms, berries, and yogurt. Eat antioxidants, too, like zinc, copper, vitamins C and E, selenium and beta carotene. Beans, nuts, seafood and red meats contain high levels of zinc while brightly colored fruits and vegetables contain the other vitamins and minerals. Citrus fruits, more specifically, help in protecting your immune system.
2) Avoid sugar
Notice that when you indulge in a glass of soda, you feel weak in the following hours, for at least five hours. So, limit your sugar intake. Use natural sweeteners as much as possible especially those with low glycemic index. Avoid the artificial ones since they are highly acidic. High levels of blood sugar reduce the ability of the cells to inundate bacteria. This suppresses the immune system in fighting infections. Recently, the consumption of too many sweets is linked to several ailments such as obesity and diabetes.
3) Limit caffeine
Drinking coffee has its own benefits mainly because it contains antioxidants. However, too much intake of coffee can lead to higher acid levels in the body, which may also weaken the immune system. Acid negatively affects our natural ability to absorb nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Acid also dehydrates the body. Likewise, for every cup of coffee you consume, make sure that you drink two glasses of water. An equally stimulating yet more beneficial alternative is drinking green tea.
4) Reduce alcohol
Alcohol abuse is associated with various immune system deficiencies. The alcoholic beverage you just guzzled down is metabolized within your body, producing harmful chemicals that destroy the white blood cells within 20 minutes of ingesting it. Additionally, drinking alcohol also makes it difficult for the body to absorb vitamins and minerals, a process that also lowers white blood cells. This means that the negative effects of alcohol in the body will still be evident even when the alcohol itself is no longer detectable.
5) Eliminate toxin
Eating healthy also means getting rid of unnatural substances in your diet. These are mostly found in processed foods that contain all the additives and preservatives that you won’t eat as is. Did you know that more than 3,000 chemicals enter the body and these are mostly found in packaged foods? In fact, the medical practitioners themselves consider these heavily processed foods as foods that destroy our immune system. Over time and without proper elimination of toxins from our body, it can lead to different illnesses. Substitute processed foods with fermented foods instead because the latter are much healthier.
6) Raise pH
Our body’s pH should stay between 7.35 and 7.45, and anything below or above such range could mean symptoms and diseases. In fact, chronic acidity can lead to osteoporosis, diabetes, cancers, and heart diseases. To neutralize your body’s pH, drink plenty of water. There’s a reason doctors encourage us to drink at least eight glasses of water everyday. Stop drinking soda because it contains high levels of sugar and is highly acidic; its pH level is 3.
7) Stop smoking
Smoking kills. We can’t emphasize this enough. Are you aware that a stick of cigarette contains more than 4,000 chemicals, forty-three of which are cancer-causing? The smoke harms nearly all organs in your body, increasing the likelihood of lung, kidney, and heart diseases. Nicotine, the addictive substance in the cigarettes, reaches the brain in about 6 seconds. It also binds with hemoglobin instead of oxygen; thus, reducing the blood’s capacity to deliver oxygen to the cells in the body.
Germs, bacteria, and viruses – or simply, the invaders – overwhelm our body’s natural defenses. Even if your health is fine, you cannot deliberately ignore the importance of strengthening your immune system. The goal is to adopt healthier living strategies from your diet to your lifestyle. Thus, if you are currently smoking; consuming excessive amounts of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and unnatural substances; and not drinking lots of water, stop right now. These aren’t doing your immune system any good.
Harry Neal is a freelance writer and a blogger. He is currently writing for Paramount Direct, one of the top insurance company in the Philippines. He gives tips for life and accident insurance on his blog.