The immune system plays a vital role in the human body. It is in charge of defending and protecting you against microorganisms that cause infections, illnesses, diseases, and other health problems. If your immune system is weak, you will have a tough time warding off germs that will invade your body and make you sick. What should you do to ensure that your immune system is always working well? Is there a way for you to naturally enhance your immunity against various health threats?
Some interesting facts about the immune system
Below are things that some people may not know about the role of the immune system in the body:
- The immune system includes a network of organs, tissues, and cells that work together to provide the body the protection that it needs against infections and diseases, and to ensure optimal overall health and wellbeing.
- The environment is home to many parasites, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens that can cause different kinds of diseases. With a healthy immune system, your body can shut them all out or at least limit their access into the body, preventing them from growing and thriving inside you.
- The immune system functions like the military. Its first line of defense is the white blood cells, which primarily carries out the identification of pathogens and the creation of a shield that prevents invasion.
- Other important parts of the immune system are the bone marrow, which is the production center of the white blood cells; lymph nodes, which are behind the production of cells that fight off infections; and spleen, which regulates the amount of blood the body has, and removes damaged, old, and impaired cells in the body.
- Vaccination is a medical procedure that helps the immune system develop immunity or protection from disease. It is usually administered via injections or orally. The vaccines contain some weakened or killed viruses or microorganisms, or toxins from the dangerous organism, and they are introduced into the body to stimulate the immune system and prepare it for the future. So, if you run across that particular infection one day, your body already knows how to keep it away.
- Your immune health can be negatively affected by a variety of factors, including your diet, the amount of sleep that you get, your stress levels, how much you exercise, and if you smoke or drink a lot. Therefore, it is recommended that you make smarter and healthier lifestyle choices for the good of your immune system.
Immunity-boosting foods to include in your diet
Eating certain kinds of foods can be greatly beneficial to your immune system. They can help improve your immunity against the flu, colds, and other common illnesses, as well as the more serious ones. The next time you go to the supermarket, for optimal immune health, do not forget to buy the following:
Broccoli is a green, leafy vegetable that is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which can boost bone and muscle strength, facilitate cell and tissue growth and development, and lower your risk of inflammation and cancer. In addition, it is an excellent source of antioxidants, which are vital to cellular health and protection against free radicals.
Orange is a citrus fruit containing high concentrations of vitamin C. It helps boost skin health, manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce blood glucose levels, and lower the risk of infections, cancer, and other diseases. Because it is also low in calories and high in fiber, it is great for digestion, bowel movement, weight loss, and weight management.
Garlic is frequently used as an ingredient in making different kinds of dishes because of how it can enhance the flavor of foods. It is also a health food that offers a ton of benefits, including fighting off infections, lowering blood pressure levels, preventing the hardening of the arteries, and reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications.
Spinach is overflowing with vitamin C, which plays a key role in the growth, development, and repair of the tissues of the body. It is also vital to the formation of collagen, wound healing, iron absorption, and health of your teeth, cartilage, and bones. Furthermore, it contains abundant amounts of antioxidants and beta carotene, which are compounds that can aid in fighting off infections and building solid immunity.
Turmeric is not only a typical ingredient in several kinds of curries, but it also has anti-inflammatory abilities that can help prevent rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In addition, it is a great source of bioactive compounds that have very potent medicinal properties, which help in lowering the risk of infections, brain diseases, and other complications.
Papaya is a fruit overflowing with vitamin C, which is essential in keeping your tissues and cells, teeth, bones and muscles, and skin healthy. It is also loaded with papain, which is a digestive enzyme that can reduce the risk of inflammation. There are other essential nutrients present in papayas, such as folate, B vitamins, and potassium, which are vital to blood pressure levels management, cardiovascular health, muscle and bone health, production of red and white blood cells, brain function, energy levels, cell metabolism, and infection prevention.
7. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of essential nutrients that keep the body infection-free and disease-free. Thanks to their high vitamin E levels, sunflower seeds can promote a healthy and well functioning immune system. They also contain magnesium, vitamin B6, and phosphorous, which are key to bone health, calcium absorption, nerve function, red blood cell production, kidney health, and DNA and RNA production.
Healthy lifestyle changes to make to improve your immunity
In addition to eating healthy, the following are other positive lifestyle changes to make to help build your immunity against infections and diseases:
- Exercise regularly.
- Quit smoking.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Take good care of your personal hygiene by frequently washing your hands, bathing, etc.
- Get enough sleep.
- Learn to handle your stress better.
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.