Our immune system can do wonders when it’s taken good care of. It is here to detect and deal with uninvited guests such as viruses, bacteria, poisonous substances, fungi, allergens.
When it operates at 100%, our immunity is invincible. Boosting it means strengthening our overall health. And although you can rarely come across a fully mobilized immune system these days, you can start with these four approaches to keep it healthy:
1. Clean environment
It means you need to protect yourself against the environmental imbalances. Certain things can’t be helped, of course. But anyway, try to avoid cigarette smoke and domestic pollutants as often as you can.
Mindfully select cleaning products for your household. It might seem trivial because the adverse effect of most laundry detergents doesn’t reveal itself immediately, but in a long run may cause so much as hormonal imbalance or even cancer. Try avoiding chlorine bleachers, as they target your heart and lungs. To keep your immune system strong, get natural alternatives instead of toxic commercial cleaners.
2. Anti-inflammatory foods
Inflammation, like so many things in life, is a good thing gone bad. Originally it happens when our immune system brings in white cells (the good guys) to fight off viruses and bacteria. And it works, as long as we don’t provoke it by additionally inflaming our bodies with foods and other inflammation promoters.
That's why you need to choose your food wisely. The most natural way to boost your immune system is to add more greens and less saturated fats to your diet. Lean toward fish rich in omega-3 and organic meat. Go for natural sweeteners, like honey and dates, instead of refined sugar and choose multigrain flour over white flour. Get rid of sunflower oil and all sorts of shortenings. And, instead, increase the daily use of olive, flaxseed, sesame oils known for their immunity-boosting power.
Look into Asian, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine to discover the world of anti-inflammatory products for yourself and adjust your diet as you see fit.
3. Active lifestyle
Show your body it matters. A human body was designed for movement and physical activity. And if you get to do less than 20 minutes of exercise every day, you’re not doing nearly enough to build up a strong immune system.
Only a 30-minute walk 7 days a week activates your immune cells and makes you more resistant to infections. It probably won’t help you build massive muscle or create a perfect bikini body, but it may be just enough to protect yourself from cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.
4. Harmony within
It's important to acknowledge the power of a serene mind because we tend to underestimate stress. It usually sneaks on us when we’re busy worrying about family or work-related issues and least expect it.
When exposed to constant emotional strain, our body overproduces cortisol (the stress hormone), which in large amounts causes inflammation and damages our tissues. Long-term stress turns into a chronic condition causing numerous health issues.
And though easier said than done, nurturing your mind, understanding and healing your emotional wounds are the most effective ways to strengthen immune system. Explore new territories, learn a new philosophy, try deep breathing exercises, be more open-minded and lighthearted, learn letting certain things go.
Think about it: we are used to invest so much time, effort and money in fighting off the symptoms which can be no more than just a quick fix. Meanwhile, boosting your immune system seems like a much more profound approach to healthy living.