–  Rishika Porandla

You may have heard a lot about the term “immune system” during this COVID-19 crisis, and that is for good reason. Healthy and productive immune systems are essential during this pandemic so that B lymphocytes and antibodies can effectively fight off the coronavirus and prevent our bodies from getting infected and spreading the virus even further. There are many people who are now taking it upon themselves to strengthen their bodies against COVID-19, but there are many differing opinions as to what aid our immune systems require. So, the pertinent question remains: how to boost your immune system??

What Is the Immune System?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, our immune system is what keeps us healthy and maintains homeostasis within our bodies. This body system consists of various cells, proteins, and organs that defend us from external invaders like viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Without our immune systems there to protect us, our bodies would be extremely susceptible to infection and we could succumb easily to viruses.

What Foods Boost Our Immune System?

According to Healthline, there are 15 foods that have been scientifically proven to improve immune systems and boost the body’s inflammatory response. To begin with, citrus fruits contain a large amount of Vitamin C, which is considered to quicken the production of white blood cells that are essential to fighting off infection. However, citrus fruits are not the only food that have Vitamin C. Red bell peppers have almost three times as much and kiwis and papayas contain it as well. Furthermore, foods like broccoli, garlic, ginger, and spinach are also rich in infection-fighting compounds and vitamins.

Vitamin D is great for regulating the immune system and boosting the body’s defenses, and this vitamin is abundant in foods like yogurt. Yogurt is even being tested in clinical trials to determine if it is effective against COVID-19.

People should also consume sunflower seeds, almonds, green tea, turmeric, and meats like poultry and shellfish to boost the vitamin content in their bodies.

Other Ways to Form a Stronger Immune System

Have you ever wondered, other than eating a healthy diet, how to boost your immune system by practicing certain actions?

Exercising is known to improve immune function by facilitating the circulation in the body, therefore quickening the rate that disease-fighting cells and molecules travel throughout the body. Scientists have stated that even 30 minutes of exercising a day puts you on the right track to boosting your immune response. 

Another important step to take is making sure that you are hydrating adequately and with the right liquids. The “lymph” fluid in our circulatory system transfers immune cells and is largely dependent on water, meaning that an individual should consume an adequate amount of water in order to ensure that the lymph fluid is functioning properly. It is also essential to replace the water you lose through urination, breathing, or sweat by hydrating so that our body is energized and replenished when fighting infection.

Moreover, getting plenty of sleep is another excellent way to boost your immune system’s strength. Infection-fighting molecules are created during our sleeping hours and dozing off allows our body to take a break and energize itself. Furthermore, studies show that people who do not get an adequate amount of sleep are more prone to becoming sick after being exposed to viruses, including the common cold. 

Stress is a factor that can majorly hinder your immune system’s ability to function at its best, so it is ideal to avoid unnecessary worrying as much as possible. When one is stressed, the body produces the stress response that suppresses the immune system, therefore not allowing it to operate properly.

So, whenever you ponder about how to boost your immune system, consider incorporating some healthy choices in your day-to-day life. A nutritious diet, regular exercise and increased intake of water will boost your immune system to a great extent.

Information Sources:
  1. https://www.houstonmethodist.org/blog/articles/2020/mar/5-ways-to-boost-your-immune-system/
  1. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-immune-foods
  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system