Immune system is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks from foreign invaders.
Foreign invaders are primarily microbes (germs) which are tiny organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that cause infection and lead towards illness.
Human body provides an ideal environment to these microbes.
Once they enter the human body, the response system which we refer to as immune system gets activated and starts to identify and fight against these microbes.
Ideally, the human immune system has a remarkable capability to distinguish between the body’s cells and foreign cells however sometime due to certain reasons the immune system tend to hit the wrong targets.
In such cases, human body experiences various diseases such as allergy, arthritis etc.
To ensure, we stay on top of our health we therefore need to have a good immune system.
Though there are certain factors that contribute to what can be called a healthy immune system, but there are few simple common steps that you can take to boost your immune system.
Maintain Good Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene is a practice conducive to maintaining health and preventing diseases especially through cleanliness.
The practice includes bathing, washing your hands, dental care, hygienic clothes etc. Good hygiene is important for both health and social reasons.
- Hand washing – Hand washing with soap and water removes germs from hands. This important as it helps prevent spread of infection because people often touch their eyes, face, nose and mouth mostly without realizing. Germs then get into the body and cause infection.
Unwashed hands also contaminate food items where germs multiply and eventually make a person sick. Germs from unwashed hands also gets transferred to objects such as handrails, table tops etc.
Other people touching these surfaces then get infected and fall sick.
Recently during Coronavirus outbreak, this is the major reasoning behind the spread of the virus. Alcohol based hand sanitisers are useful in case you do not have access to soap and water.
- Bathing – Taking a good shower or a bath is a good way to energize yourself and keep yourself clean.
Apart from keeping away foul body odour, regular shower each day helps you keep healthy. It is a matter of personal choice if you would like to take shower in morning or the evening.
Many people prefer to take bath in the morning as that keeps them fresh and energetic throughout the day however some people like to take bath before they go to bed.
As per some scientific study, you may get better sleep if you take shower before going to bed.
- Hygienic clothes – This is one those few things people often forget. Washing hands, taking a shower covers one aspect of hygiene but if your clothes are not clean it is not good for your health.
You should always regularly wash clothes with warm water or as per instructions on specific clothing.
You can use mild antiseptic detergents while cleaning your clothes especially if you are washing clothes for a sick person or you are yourself sick.
This will ensure that the clothes are clean and help them recover fast. Apart from clothes, you should always remember to clean your towels every few days and when not in use they should be kept under sunlight or should be dried properly before use.
Eating Healthy Food
Keeping a healthy diet is key to boost immune system.
There are different types of fruits and vegetables which can help you boost your immune system.
Certain type of food due to their antimicrobial properties will help your immune system.
Some of the items which you can include in your diet are –
- Citrus fruits
- Sunflower seeds
Vaccination are a good option as they make you immune against serious infections.
Vaccines are generally safe and effective however if you want to go vaccination then you must consult your doctor or healthcare provider who would guide you through the process.
Children should always be vaccinated so they stay healthy and don’t get infected.
Adults should consult their doctors in case they feel they may need to be vaccinated.
If you are planning a travel to a country where the health services or basic personal hygiene are not up to the mark, then we recommend consulting your healthcare provider for appropriate vaccination shots to build immunity.
Regular Exercise & Lifestyle Changes
Physical activities such as exercise helps improve cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps controls weight, improves body functions and protects against variety of diseases.
Researchers are trying to establish more strong link between regular exercise and improved immune system however since regular exercise leads to improved and healthy lifestyle hence it is considered as a good option for keeping yourself healthy.
Apart from regular exercise some changes to lifestyle such as giving up smoking and no alcohol or drinking alcohol in moderation may also help in longer run.
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep has always been a point of interest for researchers.
Though we now know much about Sleep but there are many more things that we don’t quite understand.
Some research studies show a link between healthy immune system and good sleep.
According to a scientific research, Sleep and the circadian system are strong regulators of immunological processes.
The basis of this influence is a bidirectional communication between the central nervous and immune system which is mediated by shared signals (neurotransmitters, hormones and cytokines) and direct innervations of the immune system by the autonomic nervous system.
As we can see, just by bringing in some few simple changes in our lifestyle we can easily boost our immune system which is our defense mechanism against many diseases.
If we check recent outbreak of Coronavirus we can see health experts and organizations mentioning the role of individuals immune system in helping them get better in few days time.
Researchers are trying to find out a vaccine for the new virus outbreak however until then it is your immune system against the Coronavirus.
With this we wish you all to stay healthy and stay safe.