Having a good immune system is vital to warding off disease-causing microorganisms. If you or any of your family gets flu, cold, or illnesses (viral and bacterial infections) easily, then it can be a clear sign that the immune system needs to be improved. Here are the top 10 ways to boost your family’s immune system.
Research shows, adults and kids who are physically active have a good immune system, healthier body composition, and great motor skills (1).
Further, aging hampers the functioning of the immune system, which results in increased infection and inflamation in older people. Studies state that regular exercise could help reinvigorate the aging immune system thereby improving the defense mechanism of the immune system (2).
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can negatively influence the immune system, and it can even affect how quickly you recover if you get ill. Lack of sleep decreases the production of infection-fighting antibodies and cells. That is why people who do not sleep enough tend to become sick and get the common cold virus (4). So, quality sleep is important not only for an efficient immune system but also a healthy life (5).
Practice Good Nutrition
The immune system involves numerous cell types that are distributed throughout the body. Therefore, not getting enough micronutrients impairs immune function, making a person exposed to infections (6).
You need to consume foods that boost the immune system, such as green tea, citrus fruits, broccoli, sweet potatoes, turmeric, red bell pepper, garlic, spinach, ginger, almonds, yogurt, fish with a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and more (7, 8). Consuming immunity boosting food will make your body strong enough to fight diseases. It is equally important to minimize foods that weaken the immune system, such as soda, processed foods, food and drinks high in sugar, alcoholic beverages, refined carbohydrates, and refined oils.
Manage Your Stress
Research shows that short-term stress, which lasts for minutes to hours enhances innate and adaptive immune responses. Chronic or long-term stress suppresses these protective immune responses (9). Therefore, people must manage stress by incorporating healthy habits such as positive thinking, visualization, and meditation.
It is worth noting that optimism is linked to a stronger immune system. It’s been seen that people who are positive and lead a good quality of life have a good immune system (10).
There are many laughter therapy clubs in the country, and while this may not sound realistic given busy schedules, finding time to incorporate activities that make you laugh are important.
The research elucidates that laughter therapy improves general health; moreover, it plays a key role in boosting the immune system and maintaining health and wellness (11).
Avoid Junk Food
Tempting junk food is unhealthy, yet children and adults alike love to eat their favorite sweets and carb-loaded foods. These foods and the Western diet have a direct impact on immune function. The high intake of salt, refined sugar, and fat, damages the immune system, heart, and kidneys (12).
Also, eating unhealthy food in the long term can make the immune system more aggressive, and people may develop health issues such as diabetes and arteriosclerosis (13). This is why people must consume the best food for immunity and give immunity-boosting foods and supplements to their kids.
Perform Good Hygiene
Regular hand washing is imperative to immune health, and it’s been noted that hand washing removes germs and prevents gut problems in people with a weak immune system (14).
You do not need to use antibacterial soap every time you wash your hands. Regular soap and water can do the job as well (15). Be aware of the germ hot spots so that you do not touch anything unnecessarily and if in case you touch the things that are touched by others, then make sure you wash your hands with soap.
Maintain A Gut Healthy
To have a healthy gut is crucial as half of our immune system is in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). It is vital to note that the gut microbiome provides important signals that are essential for the development as well as the function of the immune system (16).
Gut, brain and immune health are interconnected. Therefore, it becomes crucial to take care of your gut health so that it can help in the proper functioning of the brain and immune system. You can keep your gut healthy by consuming supplements such as probiotics, as they help in maintaining an epithelial barrier against allergens (17).
Practice Meditation and Yoga
Research suggests that meditation and yoga may have positive effects on specific markers of cell-mediated immunity and inflammation. However, more research is needed in this regard (18, 19).
Quit Smoking and Vaping
We all have heard that smoking is bad for your health, but still, people smoke cigarettes or even vape (thinking this is better than cigarettes). This act leads to respiratory, immune, cardiovascular problems, cancer, and allergies (20).
Further, smoking impairs the immune response against coughs, fever, diarrhea, and sore throats (21). E-cigarettes also have adverse effects on the innate immune system, and users of E-cigarettes tend to have improper inflammatory responses and harmful bacterial infections (22).
From kids to adults, anyone can get into the nest of common illnesses and infections. So, follow these easy steps to boost the immune system naturally and maximize your family's overall health.