YOUR HEALTH FIRST

18 Ways to Boost your Immune system

The immune system is an interactive network of organs, cells and proteins that protect the body from viruses and bacteria or any foreign substances.

We are continually exposed to organisms that are inhaled, swallowed or inhabit our skin and mucous membranes. Whether or not these organisms lead to disease is decided by the strength of our immune system.

1. Vitamin C

A daily intake of vitamin C is essential for immunity. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Citrus fruits and red bell peppers are high in vitamin C. You can find 224% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fibre, and is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat.

3. Water

Drinking water can do wonders for your immune system, as it can help your kidneys flush toxins effectively from the body.

4. Garlic

Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a compound called allicin, which helps the immune system to fight germs.

5. Ginger

Ginger is a strong antioxidant that has been shown to naturally boost the immune system. It contains tons of vitamins, some of which are magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Ginger helps kill cold viruses and has been said to combat chills and fever.

6. Exercise

Try to get regular, moderate exercise, like a daily 30-minute walk. It can help your immune system fight infection.

7. Spinach

Spinach is not only rich in vitamin C, it is also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.

8. Yogurt

Yogurt can be a great source of vitamin D, which helps to regulate the immune system and boost our body’s natural defences against diseases.

9. Echinacea

This powerful herb contains a compound called echinacein that inhibits bacteria and viruses from penetrating healthy cells.

10. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. A half-cup serving of almonds, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E. Sunflower seeds are also packed with Vitamin E and B-6.

11. Green tea

Green tea is packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, as well as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant, which has been shown to enhance immune function.

12. Avoid tobacco smoke

Tobacco smoke weakens basic immune defences and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia.

13. Poultry & Cold Water Fish

Chicken and turkey are high in vitamin B-6 - an important factor in many of the chemical reactions in the body and vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. This can also be found in cold water fish like salmon and tuna.

14. Warm water with lemon

Lemon helps to cleanse our bodies of toxins as well as giving us an extra boost of Vitamin C.

15. Eat rainbow colours

When it comes to shopping for fruit and veg, a simple rule to remember is – the more colour the better. A study in older adults showed that boosting fruit & veg intake improved antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine, which protects against Streptococcus pneumonia.

16. Get enough sleep and manage stress

Sleep deprivation and excess stress levels increase the hormone cortisol and inflammation in the body. When the level of cortisol is elevated for a prolonged period, this can suppress immune function and make you more vulnerable to illness.

17. Drink less alcohol

Excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections.

18. Probiotics

Studies indicate supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.