Welcome to my 'Boost the Immune System Naturally' post!
First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Health is wealth, meaning that when someone is healthy, they can live their life to the fullest - enjoying their family, job, and hobbies. The immune system is a vital aspect of being healthy.
Join me as I continue to embark on this green lifestyle, hoping each one of us will do our part in keeping our world pleasurable habitable for the coming generations.
As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives.
These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green.
Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green!
The Immune System...
While in the prime of our life, health may not be our top priority. But overall health is like a building block. If you put smaller blocks in the lower part and stack the bigger ones later, the tower will topple over as it grows higher.
Let's take a closer look at this analogy and the human body. Unhealthy habits can damage the body's immune system builders. When the time comes that these soldiers will be called to fight, they cannot do their job because they are weak, they have not spent enough time preparing for this incident.
These soldiers I am referring to are the white blood cells of the body that are produced in the bone marrow. However, the white blood cells don't work alone. They work alongside antigens and antibodies to make the body more robust and active.
Together, the white blood cells, antigens, and antibodies produced in the body, lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, and thymus, work to protect the body. Without this line of defense, the body will crumble when attacked by disease-causing microbes, bacteria, and viruses.
The health industry is the largest and the fastest-growing industry the world over, taking up at least 10% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of most developed countries today.
It is also projected that global healthcare spending will reach over $10 trillion by 2022. In the US alone, healthcare expenses steadily increased from close to $300 billion in the ‘70s to a staggering $3500 billion in the last few years.
It is projected that by 2023, the US healthcare expenditure would reach $4.3 trillion. About 33% of the average expense goes to hospital care, 20% to the physician and clinical services, and 10% on retail prescription drugs. This shows how expensive it is to be sick in today's world.
Immune System Health Factors...
Age is one of the determinants of immune system health. While it is not clear to scientists why the immune system decreases with age, they do know a few useful things about it.
Firstly, elderly people do not respond to vaccination as well as they did at a younger age. With age, the body reacts more slowly to infections resulting in slower recovery and healing.
Secondly, the aging immune system produces B and T cells in bone marrow much slower than the young immune system. These cells play a crucial role in the effectiveness of the adaptive immune system.
Stress increases the cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol works as the alarm clock of the body. It awakens your body natural systems, forcing it to react in a certain way. Bad stress or distress can be just that - bad for the body. Distress can be caused by several reasons - the death of a loved one, losing a job, poor grades in school, or strained relationships.
Too much bad stress can cause a lot of problems including sudden weight changes, diabetes, low blood pressure, and tiredness. Chronic stress can wreak havoc in your body. Stressed people tend to have skin problems such as acne and eczema. Psoriasis also flares up when a person is stressed.
Increased blood pressure damages the arteries resulting in a higher risk for heart diseases and stroke. Stressed people also move their bowel less frequently, resulting in constipation, dyspepsia, and heartburn or acid reflux. Insomniacs were found to have high-stress levels. Thinking too much before bedtime can result in disrupted sleep patterns.
On the other hand, good stress or eustress can push you to perform better. Like bad stress, good stress can come from various sources. Being pregnant after trying to conceive for a long time, getting a raise at work, taking a pleasurable vacation, or learning something new can give you an exhilarating feeling.
Good stress gives you a good feeling by giving your body a “sugar rush” with increased blood sugar and it regulates your metabolic processes. It keeps you going and your body sets a pattern so you will experience that feeling again too.
However, be careful to keep the need to feel exhilarated as this can lead to adrenaline addiction. Both good and bad stress should be kept in check as anything in excess can be bad for our health.
A diet of processed foods, sugar, and caffeine will negatively affect the immune system's health. When the body has high levels of sugar and it undergoes stressors, and the body’s sugar level spikes.
If we pile up on sugar, the blood sugar levels in our body double, eventually resulting in diabetes if left unchecked. White bread, canned foods, and canned fruits and juices pack more sodium than usual. These foods result in increased blood pressure and stress.
Sudden weather changes may take a toll on your immune system. The immune system's health tends to go down with the colder weather. Many researchers believe that exposure to the weather makes it harder for the body to repel infections. The reasons for this might include reduced vitamin D levels, which we obtain from the sun.
We can be thankful that the current COVID 19 pandemic didn’t come in the winter. If it did, the levels of infection would have been far higher than we have been experiencing.
Naturally Boost the Immune System...
The healthcare industry continues to grow and this is directly related to our living choices such as the food we eat, the chemicals we expose ourselves to, and higher levels of stress in today's society. Reducing the number of hospital visits can be achieved by having a strong immune system.
While we cannot control our age and the pollution in our community, we do have control over the other aspects of our lives. Here are a few simple tips on how to boost the immune system.
Maintain a Healthy Diet...
The best way to support a healthy immune system is by maintaining a healthy diet over a long period. In doing so you will prepare your body to fight and illness when it arrives.
If you eat a spread of healthy foods, rich in fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, whole grains, and healthy fats, you will be in great shape and your system will be too.
Eat Whole Foods...
As discussed earlier, processed foods have more sugar and sodium than whole foods, which have a huge variety of benefits. The nutrients they provide help keep your immune system healthy.
A cup of jam or jelly is delicious but is packed with more sugar than a cup of fresh fruits. Choose whole-wheat bread over white bread and rolled oats over instant oats. Both have more fiber and nutrients than refined ones.
Try eating raw foods without too much salad dressing. A healthy vinaigrette made of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and lemon juice is a fantastic alternative to high-fat salad dressings.
A well-hydrated body can eliminate more toxins, deliver more nutrients to the cells, and keep the skin healthy.
Water helps your body by removing toxins from the body. Therefore drinking an appropriate amount of water could help prevent toxins from building up within and stop that build up from harming your immune system.
The skin is the body's first line of offense. It also plays an important role in keeping out in keeping your body healthy. It acts as a passive physical barrier against infection and resists infections from pathogens. The skin also contains elements of the innate and adaptive immune systems which enable our body to actively fight infections.
It is important to ensure you are drinking the right amount of water. Health experts recommend 8-10 glasses of water; it also depends on the age and weight of the person. Younger children should drink 5-6 cups of water per day while adult men should drink at least 13 cups a day. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers also have their specific needs.
If you are living in the tropics and sweat profusely, you will need more water. Other considerations would be when you are ill, on a strenuous workout, or living in high altitude areas.
Keep the Lungs Healthy...
I understood the importance of healthy lungs when I was a friend of mine who was diagnosed with pneumonia and could no longer breathe without the aid of a ventilator.
Healthy lungs can take in almost 400 cubic feet of air each day and about a third of this is oxygen. An unhealthy lung uses far less air and oxygen. The reduction in oxygen results in sluggish brain and behavioral changes. The heart will have to pump faster to get the limited oxygen to the body cells.
Lung diseases and conditions hurt the immune system. Smoking is one of the major causes of lung diseases. Six out of the ten deadliest diseases in the world are connected to smoking. Chronic asthma damages the lungs resulting in swollen airways.
Avoid smoking and maintain a healthy diet to ensure you and your loved ones don't get lung diseases. Stay away from allergens that may trigger an asthma attack. Did you know people with poor diets and more likely to have conditions such as allergies and they can pass these conditions down to their children genetically?
Another cause of impaired lungs is air pollutants. Air pollution results in 7 million premature deaths each year. China has the most polluted cities in the top 500 list, but cities from India take the top spots on the list with 9 cities in the top 10 most polluted!
Regular exercise promotes heart and lung health, which in turn promotes the immune system's health is too! Exercise improves your blood circulation, increasing blood flow, and helps flush the blood through your arteries. The blood has an essential role in the immune system. Having good blood circulation helps the immune system to work effectively.
Most health experts recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. For example walking, jogging, yoga, and dancing can all improve the overall health of the body. Exercise also increases the number of happy hormones in the body, resulting in less stress and a healthier immune system.
Protect Your Liver...
The liver acts as the filter of the body. When the liver is damaged from excessive alcohol intake, infections, fatty liver, excess medication, the liver cannot work effectively to produce the necessary antibodies to fight diseases. To protect your liver, consume alcoholic beverages in moderation, and maintain healthy body weight.
Take Adequate Periods of Rest...
Sleep is very important for the immune system and fighting infections. Our age will affect the amount of sleep our bodies need per night. Adults should have at least 8 hours of sleep each day to recharge their bodies. Babies need the most sleep and this will gradually decrease with their age.
Ensure you are sleeping before 11 pm because this is when the body usually performs its repair and maintenance routine. This may be difficult for graveyard shift workers to achieve. However, they can establish a good sleep pattern by avoiding frequent shift rotations, limiting caffeine intake, and sticking to a regular sleep cycle.
Lack of sleep is correlated to a higher risk of obesity, heart attack, early deaths, and poorer brain functions.
Maintain a Positive Attitude...
Negative emotions can weaken the immune response. Although it is important to support our loved ones in a time of crisis, avoid exposing your self to negative emotions regularly. You can do this by avoiding chronically sad people and emotional vampires. They tend to lean on the negative side of life and drain our positive energy, negatively impacting your immune system and health.
A positive attitude helps relieve stress and keeps depression at bay. High levels of happy hormones in the brain uplifts the mood and gives you a feel-good feeling. Another way to develop a positive attitude is to share your positive experiences and talents with others.
Dr. Stephen Post said that giving is receiving in disguise. Whatever positive things you give come back to you in what they call a "giver's glow" where you feel happier after giving instead of feeling empty.
Boost the Immune System Naturally: The Final Verdict!
The world is currently bombarded with health and economic issues and because of this stress can manifest and we might make less healthy life choices. However, the best way to combat disease is to stay healthy, adopt a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy outlook in life. This will boost your immune system which is essential in fighting COVID 19.