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9 Effective Tips to Boost Your Immune System Quickly

The natural process of immunity shaping on a regular basis lasts lifelong.  With a naturally strong immune system, you are protected from viral infections, illness and chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart diseases. This is different from vaccination generated immunity.  For example the  Covid 19 vaccines are currently used to defend us from corona virus infection.

Of course, the world is fortunate to have multiple vaccines now which build resistance to Covid 19 pandemic infections in a short time. The amazing miracle of these vaccines can protect you from multiple variants of Covid 19. Thanks! to science and scientists.

The vital question which is asked by many  is-how to boost your immune system quickly and what really works to instate or reinstate our immune system back in place.  Can one fend off the infections and related illness instantaneously? 

 

Boost Your Immune System

How Can One Boost the Immune System? What Really Works?

What is  strong immunity in a layman’s language? 

It is that simple difference between living healthy and living with infections, diseases and illness.  Good immunity results from a strong immune system. Having a strong immune system is like having a natural vaccine acting against any kind of pathogen attacking your body. 

A weak immune system may result mostly from nutritional and/or lifestyle deficiencies. However, there are ways to fill in these gaps to boost the power of the immune system and that too relatively quickly. 

Here are  the 9 immune health boosting essentials that really work together to help you accomplish this very important goal of building natural defense of your body. 

Here are those.

  1. Feed Your Gut Right
  2.  Drink plenty of water
  3. Eat Food With Zinc(Zn) and Magnesium (Mg)
  4.  Vitamin-D
  5.  Vitamin-C 
  6.  Vitamin-E
  7. Empower the Immune System with well tasted Herbs and Spices
  8. Follow a Lifestyle Conducive to Build and Sustain Immunity
  9. Glutathione-Flush Your Body with Antioxidants

There are recommendations of nutrients for each of these tips. Yes, suppose one practices everything above.  Then, how quickly does one see the effect?  We have seen this question  been asked in social media.

How Quickly Can One Improve Low Immune System Response?

If you are constantly, consistently and adequately feeding your immune cells with , you start protecting your body within 72 hours. Achieving optimal immune system performance may take weeks.  It depends where your health is at when you started out. An antibiotic treated body takes longer to shape up your defense system. It saves you from the gnawing concern about your deteriorated health conditions.

Now  let’s delve in for the tips.

#1. Feed Your Gut Right- Up Your Immune System to  >75% to 85%!

Don’t be surprised by this scientific claim.

The gut microbiota contributes to >75% of the immunity in our body. May this not sound complicated (this is emerging science) to you by any means. Eat what the microbes love. Then you grow more beneficial bacteria inside your body. This gigantic microbial community is interconnected with immune system performance. 

Take care of your gut health  if you haven’t done so or have slipped off from your healthy diet. Do this one simple change to your diet.

Eat varieties of fruits and vegetables. They contain plenty of fibers which is the food  for the microbes. What does it do? The microbes ferment the  fibers producing short chain fatty acids like acetate, propionate and butyrate. These are essential commodities for building immune cell functions and communications. 

#2. Drink Plenty of Water-How Does Simple Water Solve Complex Problems?

Sounds simple! Right. But not really if you see the following statistics. Here is what the study says: A study of 2,000 people from the US found just 22 percent drink the USDA recommended eight to 10 glasses a day”.

Why is hydration of the body so important?

Water can’t stop infection. However it helps boost the low or weak immunity of the body. This is what water does:

  • Water circulates the nutrients around the body adding strength to the body
  • The soluble oxygen in water helps oxygenate the cells offering vitality.
  •  It helps maintain and manage body temperature. For example, it replenishes the body needs during a fever during cold or infection. Dehydrations are due to mucus secretion, sneezing and sweats.
  • Water is a necessity for body functions and helps the joint functions flexibly.

The task of drinking enough water may be easily forgotten. Make sure you have it as a must in your schedule.

#3.  Eat Food With Zinc and Magnesium-Exploit the Power of  Micronutrients

Zinc (Zn) is essential for coordinating different biological functions of the body:

  • Zinc helps in the production of immune cells
  • It regulates immune responses

Foods Rich in Zinc: red meat, shellfish, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, kale, and garlic

Magnesium offers unique aspects to help immunity

  • It strengthens the “Natural Killer” Cells activity towards invaders.
  • Magnesium acts as a carrier of oxygen which is directly related to hemoglobin action.
  • Vit-D3 conversion to calciferol: the active form of important Vitamin-D needs Magnesium as the microelement to do the biochemical conversion to the hormone form. That is the hormone play vital role in the body.

Foods Rich in Magnesium: spinach and greens, broccoli, avocados, raspberries, nuts and seeds, salmon fish, dark chocolate, black beans.

#4. Vitamin D -Defend Your Body in Multiple Ways

Vitamin D helps immunity:

  • Decreases the risk of viral infections
  • Reduces the danger of viral infections and mortality
  • Protects damage due to viral infections
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Increases adaptive immunity

Vitamin-D is free and available in plenty from exposure of your naked body (without sunscreen) to sunlight during Vitamin D production time typically around noon time. 

Foods Rich in Vitamin-D: Sunlight is a major source of vitamin D. Vitamin-D2 (plant origin) foods: Some special mushrooms, finger millet. Vitamin-D  fortified cereals, bread, yogurt, eggs. More and more products these days are fortified with vitamin-D. You search for them in the supermarket isle

#5. Vitamin-C is The Other Known Name for Immunity Enhancement

Vitamin C helps immunity boosting throughout the human growth cycle. 

  • It helps maintain the integrity of immune cells by scavenging internally produced free radicals
  • Vitamin-C protects you from environmental stress
  • Protects your skin  which is  acts as barrier to infection
  • It helps wound healing
  • Supports both your inborn (innate) immunity and your acquired immunity

Foods Rich in Vitamin-C: Vitamin-C can be easily available from a variety of sources. Green vegetables, Broccoli, papaya, eggplant, kale, turmeric, spirulina, lemon, moringa leaves.

#6. Vitamin-E- Use the Power of Radical Scavenging to Fight off Bacterial and Viral Infections 

As per National Institute of Health (NIH): 

“The body also needs vitamin E to boost  immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting within them. In addition, cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and to carry out many important functions” https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-Consumer/

It protects our skin fighting off the free radicals.

Foods Rich in Vitamin-E: Soaked almond, peanut butter, sunflower seeds.

#7. Herbs and Spices- Mighty Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicines

With respect to herbs and spices which are commonly used can be capitalized based on their immunity improvement aspect.

Herbs Improving Immunity: Garlic, black cumin, licorice (yashtimadhu), cinnamon, turmeric

Include them with your food to achieve the best of the time tasted spices.

#8.  Life Style Can be the Most Neglected Piece-Watch Out

  • Limit your TV time or screen time which can impact your immune system. 
  • Sleep 8-9 hours. Sleep duration was extremely important by doctors in the recovery of the patients during Spanish flu pandemic.

 Sleep helps healing. Chronic sleep deprivation (because of chronic stress) leads to low grade inflammation . This in general negatively impacts immune response.

  • Exercise  helps raise White Blood Cells (WBC)-the marker of immunity and antibodies that fights off infection. It is extremely important to exercise after a critical illness to improve muscle mass build resiliency. It helps prevent blood clots (Seen in some people who have contracted from Covid-19). Sleep helps healing. Chronic sleep deprivation (because of chronic stress) leads to low grade inflammation . This in general negatively impacts immune response. Don’t swap your exercise time something else which happens to many.
  • Nature-Health: Spend time in nature. breathe fresh air. take a walk, to enjoy mental health benefits which are connected to immunity positively. 
  • Relieve Stress
  • Gut Friendly Diet: Nutrition influences immunity positively. Tweak your diet to add more vegetables and fruits containing fiber, choose whole grains

#9. Glutathione-Eat Immunity Helping Antioxidant Foods

  • Antioxidants swipe off the free radicals that destroy DNA.
  • They prevent cellular damage inside and outside the body.
  • Keeping a healthier heart and even prevent cancer can result from not having enough antioxidants.
  • They can serve as natural skin care and help having healthy hair.

Body has its own internal protection against free radicals generated inside the body from various biochemical processes. Glutathione is a highly effective antioxidant which is formed in the body. It helps your immune system to be strong.

Alert! There are supplements available. However, getting a prescription from a doctor to administer the supplements is recommended for safety consideration. 

Foods that contain Glutathione and other antioxidants are: Asparagus, avocados, okra, and spinach contain high amounts of glutathione, along with many other important vitamins and minerals. Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables are natural sources of antioxidants.

Bottom Line

The extraordinary power of the human body with natural strong immune health can stand a long way in your life cycle.  It protects your health from invaders. It might not prevent or cure you completely but sure enough, it reduces the power of infections, chronic diseases and severe illness. 

It needs consistent maintenance. Importantly, the immunocompromised system is kind of forgiving because  one can fill the nutritional gap to bring the immunity up. Take advantage of that. 

  • Eat the food that helps to build the natural defense. 
  • Hydrate enough. 
  • Exercise. Just walk a few minutes if nothing
  • Relieve stress- Practice being joyful
  • Feed the body with with immune helping vitamins and micronutrients
  • Look for Vitamin-D producing exposure to natural sunlight and/or supplement with vitamin-D.
  • Choose fruits and vegetables which are slowly disappearing from the modern dishes.

Aren’t these on the top of your priority list now! Healthy life makes you enjoy the essence of your existence. It is not hard at all if you think. It is lot better than visiting hospital often. 

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or  certified nutritionist by any means. This article culminated from a huge scientific of research on related  NIH/ NCBI websites, reading high quality books, authority websites. It is your responsibility to consult with your physician as necessary before you follow any practices to be on safe side.

 

Anusuya Choudhury

6 Comments

  1. Another very useful post outlining things that may seem obvious but we don’t do enough. Like drinking plenty of water. WE have water at the ready all the time, just a twist of the tap, but that coca cola in the fridge tastes so good. 

    When you first mention vitamins I wrongly assumed you were going to show us loads of pill bottles. The lists of food you provide with each vitamin section is extremely useful and vital towards keeping a healthy diet. thank you for this.

    • It is way hard specially for the kids to appreciate water when glamorous choices are around. I keep telling my kid hydrate! hydrate! hydrate!. Many adults also neglect on hydration.

      I always like food to provide us the necessary nutrition body needs. Pills are many in the market. They don’t need approval to be sold. So it needs huge scrutiny to write about them if I choose to. 

      Thanks, Kelly for your time.

  2. This was very detailed and although I was aware of the benefits of some fruits and vegetables, learning about their importance to our gut health was new to me, and the explanation makes total sense. Why hadn’t I thought of it before? The fiber 😉

    I eat a lot of avocados and I have moringa trees, a cashew tree, lime trees, and some other fruit trees. I take 2 moringa seeds after rbeakfast on most mornings and I also eat their leaves and flowers, I recently read that moringa is loaded with nutrients.

    Exercise after a disease is important, definitely. I would add, after an injury too. Someone injured my back last year, causing a hematoma and a damaged sciatic nerve. Recovery was slow and painful and my physical movements were restricted due to the pain. Because of this my belly muscles disappeared and more fat built up. Now I am doing exercise to get my flat belly back and build up the muscles I used to have. 

    I also drink a lot of water, and I drink mostly alkaline water. Do you think it’s good to drink alkaline water every day or should I switch between alkaline and purifed water?

    • Hi Christine,

      I am so sorry to know about your injury. Sciatic nerve pain is terrible and I only know the intensity if he or she has personally gone through it. I wish you a speedy recovery.

       Moringa leaves are gut friendly. They carry a healthy dose nutrition to boost you gut health and thus the immune system.  Avocado is a superfood. You are lucky to have many fruits around.

      You can talk to your physician about yoga as your exercise. I eat to drink purified water not alkaline. I might have to learn about body gets help from alkaline water . The reason being our stomach is so acid it probably will neutralize any kind of alkalinity. what is your thinking behind the alkaline water. If possible please let me know.

      Thank you for your input.

  3. There are so many ways we can improve our immune system. Someone said we should just eat the way our mothers have taught us. Eating, clean, healthy, wholesome fruits and vegetables are a big help. It is only recently that I have heard of glutathione. That is supposed to help boost our immune system. Drinking plenty of clean water, and getting our rest, also help. Thanks for writing such a splendid article.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Healthy nutrition that helps our gut can have profound effect on our immune response. Gut health is 80 to 85% of immune system as the current science. You have ell the knowledge from you mom and elsewhere to keep up your immune health which is vital for life.

      Thank you for visiting my article and offering your personal perspective.

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