The immune system is a system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. To function properly, an immune system must detect a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from the organism’s own healthy tissue.
Your health is one of the most valuable things you have. To develop a strong immune system, try some of the following practices.
1. Get into shape
When it comes to protecting and enhancing the immune system, exercise is even more important than diet. Regular exercise combats depression, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness, which may negatively also influence your immune health. Start by walking briskly for half-an-hour a day five days a week or take a quick jog â?? the benefits are truly remarkable.
2. Maintain a healthy diet to develop a strong immune system
In particular, try to consume plenty of antioxidants, which combat the free radicals that have been linked to cancer, heart disease, atherosclerosis, and other diseases. Important, too, are vitamins (particularly vitamin C) and minerals, which assist your bodyâ??s ability to fight infection.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, use olive oil (which contains healthy, mono-saturated fats) for as much of your cooking as possible. Eat oily fish like salmon (omega-3 fatty acids are naturally anti-inflammatory), avoid red meat whenever possible, and add fibre to your diet. The food pyramid can help you customize a healthy diet.
Try to drink organic milk and avoid milk produced with antibiotics (choose BST-free), that can lead to the adaptation and immunity of bacteria.
3. Reduce your stress levels
Stress has been shown to impact negatively on your immune system. Even mild stress-induced mood disorders such as sub-clinical depression can ravage a personâ??s immune system.
To combat stress or moodiness, try
Taking up yoga, tai-chi, or meditation.
Smiling – smiling relieves stress, and in so doing, may boost immune system functions.
Getting help from a stress counsellor if all else fails.
4. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is extremely important for immune functions. While you sleep, your body produces infection-fighting cells. Too little sleep makes you more prone to getting sick, and increases the time you need to recover from illness.
5. Only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary
Without exposure to germs, you will never develop a strong immune system. So don’t live in an illogically clean environment. Exposing yourself to germs will create antibodies and aid immunity to disease.
More importantly, antibiotics are effective only against bacterial infections (e.g. bladder, â?? and not viral infections (e.g. colds, bronchitis, flu). Even worse, the widespread overuse and often unnecessary use of antibiotics has created many drug-resistant strains of bacteria such as MRSA (staph infection). Do yourself and everyone else a favour by using antibiotics appropriately.
6. Avoid using pesticides and noxious chemicals
Avoid using pesticides and clean your home without using harsh chemicals. Noxious chemicals affect your immune system negatively and can be extremely damaging to your environment.
7. Take a daily multi-vitamin
Even the healthiest meal plan can do with supplemental nutrition. Some of the most studied supplements are vitamins C, E, and A, beta-carotene, and selenium, all of which have been shown to have immune-boosting properties.
8. Eat probiotic foods to develop a strong immune system
Though the exact molecular interactions between probiotic bacteria and intestinal cells are not yet well understood, experiments have shown that probiotics can enhance immunity. Eat probiotic foods such as natural yogurt and fermented (non-vinegar) foods like kefir or kimchi.
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to develop a strong immune system. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.
While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.