Diet and health fitness

How to Increase Immunity? 8 ways to boost immunity

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Posted By SUMIT SHARMA

Overview 

Coronavirus (COVID19) is an ongoing threat throughout the world. Everyone is grappling with this pandemic virus. Due to this, immunity is being a significant concern right now. Today, I am going to discuss how to increase immunity.

This coronavirus’s contagious rate is very high, affecting those already immuno-compromised, weak immune system, existing medical conditions, and older age.

Most of you are already getting information about this coronavirus outbreak. But you don’t need to panic. If there is a problem, there is a solution. Like there is a virus; definitely, there will be a vaccine too. Scientists are researching its treatment.

Have you ever think what will happen if you are exposed to infection. Do you have enough immunity to fight against diseases? If you have a weak immune system, you are at high risk of infection. 

You need to increase your immunity to fight not only coronavirus but other pathogens too.

So, this is very important to understand how to increase immunity.

Here, I am going to share some information about immunity. Before this, you need to understand the immune system.

Let’s quickly go through the immune system and see how it works?

 

What happens when the body’s defence system meets with microbes? 

Immune system

The immune system is the defence mechanism of our body that fights against infections and keeps us healthy. It is a complex network of cells and molecules like antibodies.

This is very complicated to understand, but I will try to make it simple.

Let’s understand through an example. If any terrorist enters your country, your main commandos are activated quickly. They fight with them. There is some police force that constantly patrols every area and gives the signal to commandos.

Here, the terrorists are a virus, bacteria, fungus, and other foreign particles (or pathogens). The main commandos are your body’s T-cell and B-cell, which directly kill the pathogens. The police force includes neutrophils, mast cells, basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, etc., that constantly patrol every internal part of your body.

how to increase immunity

 

Types of immunity

There are two types of immunity in our body – innate and acquired immunity.

Innate immunity (In-inside, nate-born) is also called natural immunity because it already presents since birth. It acts as non-specific means treat as a similar mechanism for all pathogens.

It is our first line of defence. It works in three ways – 

a. Epithelial and mucous membrane surfaces – It is not easy for any pathogens to infect you. Firstly, they will have to cross your natural barriers. These natural barriers protect your body via various mechanisms includes skin, respiratory tract, intestinal tract, conjunctiva, and genitourinary tract. 

b. Antibacterial substances – If pathogens enter your bloodstream, there are some non-specific components like a complement system, lysozyme, properdin, etc., which help destroy microbes.

c. Cellular factors– Your body also has essential cellular components that are necessary to kill pathogens. The phagocytic cells help to ingest harmful foreign particles. 

It includes neutrophils (62%), basophils (0.4%), eosinophils (2-3%), monocytes (5.3%), macrophage, natural killer cells and dendritic cells.

Every cell has a different method of attack, which helps to protect your body. 

 

Acquired immunity is also called adaptive immunity. It develops after birth, and it acts on the specific infection. It is the second line of defence of our body. There are two primary components of acquired immunity.

  1. T-lymphocytes (Cellular immunity)
  2. B-lymphocytes (Humoral immunity)

T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes are part of leucocytes (WBC). They have around two trillion lymphocytes and 20-40% of WBC.

T-lymphocytes have Helper T-cells (CD4) and Killer T-cells (CD8). Killer T-cells directly kill the pathogens, but Helper T-cells kill the pathogens with other components like phagocytes.

Whereas B-lymphocytes produce antibodies that help in the capture of antigens or any pathogens. They make the antigen-antibody complex. These cells remember the pathogen’s identity and store their information in the memory cell.  

It means if pathogens (antigens) attack your immune system, the antibodies will ready to do their job. That’s why if you get sick with a disease, like measles, smallpox, whooping cough, etc. usually won’t get sick from it again.

Generally, there are two types of acquired immunity – active acquired immunity and passive acquired immunity

 

Active acquired immunity – This type of immunity is acquired after being exposed to an infection or introduce a vaccine. 

If immunity develops by natural subclinical or clinical infections, then it would say natural acquired active immunity

Suppose if you are recovering from a COVID-19 infection that helps to develop natural acquired active immunity. Because it starts to make antibodies after exposure to COVID-19 or other infections. 

These antibodies remain a long time that provides you lifelong protection. 

If antibodies develop in your body after getting a vaccine, it would say artificial acquired active immunity. The vaccines are prepared from live-attenuated or killed micro-organisms or subunits.

They help to prevent future infection if it invades your body. 

 

Passive acquired immunity – 

Passive acquired immunity develops when you receive antibodies from another source, and it lasts for a short time. 

If antibodies transfer from the mother to the foetus via placenta or breast milk. It would say natural acquired passive immunity/ maternal antibody.  

If antibodies develop from biological products like a hyperimmune serum. It would say artificial acquired passive immunity.

 

How to increase immunity?

There is a big concern to boost immunity power. Most of you always think about how to increase immunity power in the body naturally. 

There are some important lifestyle factors and immunity-boosting foods which help to increase your immunity –

1. Proper sleep

Poor sleep may lower your immune function, reduced cytokines, and decreased leukocyte count. You need a certain amount of sleep depending upon your life stage to maintain a strong immune system.

 

As per the National Sleep Foundation, the average sleeps needs at a different stage of life –

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hrs/day
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hrs/day
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hrs/day
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hrs/day
  • School-age children (6-13): 9-11 hrs/day
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hrs/day
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hrs/day
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hrs/day
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hrs/day

 

2. Regular exercise

The sedentary lifestyle or lack of physical activities always harm in every way for your body. Regular physical activities can fight against infections, reduce stress, and increase the production of WBC counts.

 

The study showed that if you do excessive exercise, it can decrease your WBC counts. Since your body has a specific limit to do exercise. If you try to push it beyond the limit, it stops your immune system’s functioning and may lead to infection easily.

More than 90 minutes of high-intensity exercise makes you more susceptible to illness.

 

3. Quit smoking

Tobacco smoke contains more than 250 highly toxic compounds such as nicotine, ammonia, arsenic, toluene, hydrogen cyanide, etc., which slowly decrease the immune function and cause some other cancer-related diseases.

One of the experimental studies showed that smoking cessation can increase immunity.

 

4. Reduced alcohol consumption

A study published in alcohol research current reviews 2015 found that excessive alcohol consumption can damage your immune system. Also, it reduces the production of three essential kinds of cells in your immune system–macrophages, T – lymphocytes, and B- lymphocytes.

 

5. Avoid excessive junk foods

A recent study by the University of Bonn, 2018 showed that fast food makes the immune system more vulnerable in the long term.

Excess junk food can be bad for your health because it contains saturated fat and high calories. They damage your immune system and make you obese that causes other medical problems.

 

6. Avoid too much consumption of caffeine

 

Too much amount of caffeine

Secretes cortisol – a stress hormone

Cortisol suppresses the immune system.

You may more prone to infection.

 

Daily advice: One to two cup per day is sufficient for you.

 

7. Older adults

The increasing age may affect your body’s defence system tends to get weaker. As age advances, you will be more susceptible to a high risk of infection.

The exact cause still a bit of mystery.

“The scientists are still trying to determine exactly how and why immunity decreases with age,” says Kira Rubtsova, PhD. Rubtsova is an immunity scientist at National Jewish Health in Denver.

There is a need for more precautions and take care of yourself. Maintain proper hygiene.

 

8. Home remedies foods

There are a lot of immunity booster fruits and foods available which help to increase immunity. It includes – 

a. Citrus fruits

Most of you already know that citrus fruits are a great source of immunity. Citrus fruits contain vitamin C and antioxidant properties, which increase the production of WBC counts and fight from an infection like cold, flu, and other respiratory tract infections. Examples are Amla, kiwis, grapes, oranges, lemons, and limes.

Daily advised – 75 to 100 mg of vitamin C.

how to increase immunity

 

how to increase immunity

 

b. Papaya

In 2016, in-vivo and in-vitro study showed that papaya extracts and papaya-associated phytochemicals possess anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.

The chemical constituents present in Papaya are papain enzyme, loaded with vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A and B, antioxidants, and folate, which boost immunity.

how to increase immunity

 

c. Tulsi

Tulsi, also called Holi Basil, is the best herb from a medicinal point of view. It is a natural immune system booster which fights against virus, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. 

Daily advised – 500 mg (5-8 leaves)

how to increase immunity

 

d. Coconut water or coconut oil

Coconut contains lauric acid, which helps to fight against infection and increase immunity. 

Coconut water also helps to boost platelet counts. So, it can be effective in dengue patients. 

 

e. Garlic 

Garlic is also called an immunity-boosting superstar. It contains an allicin compound that gives the medicinal properties to fight against infection. 

how to increase immunity

 

f. Ginger

Ginger contains gingerol, which prevents you from bacterial and viral infection. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well.

 

g. Green tea

Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a powerful antioxidant. In some studies shows that it has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti collagenase, and antifibrosis effects properties. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which helps in the production of T-lymphocytes.

how to increase immunity

 

 

h. Broccoli

Broccoli, one of the healthiest vegetables containing vitamin A, C, E, and antioxidant compounds, helps boost immune function.

 

i. Apple 

In every perspective, the apple has various health benefits. It contains many vitamins A, E, B1, B2, C, and antioxidants essential for the immune system’s proper functioning.

 

j. Red bell peppers

Red bell peppers also knowns as capsicum. It is a rich source of vitamin C. Red bell peppers contain more vitamin C than green bell peppers. It also contains beta-carotene and antioxidant properties.

how to increase immunity

 

 

Recommendation 

In this post, we have seen how to increase immunity at home naturally.

If you are getting sick more very frequently, the concern is your immunity. You need just change in your lifestyle then you will see the benefits. It is not the story of one day; you will have to keep this in your habits. 

The foods, which we discussed above, would be effective if you used this as raw or uncooked because cooking ingredients may become inactive.  

If you have a solid immune system, either coronavirus (COVID19) or other microbes, it won’t affect your body.

Please share this post, if you found this post informative 

Stay healthy!

 

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