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?
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.
- Feed Your Gut Right
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat Food With Zinc(Zn) and Magnesium (Mg)
- Empower the Immune System with well tasted Herbs and Spices
- Follow a Lifestyle Conducive to Build and Sustain Immunity
- 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.
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.