Immunity is an ability of a body to fight against living or non-living pathogens as well as to stop their harmful effects on the body that may cause infectious diseases. It maintains the integrity of organisms by neutralizing, counteracting, and clearing harmful agents from the body. If an organism has strong immunity, he/she will be able to fight against pathogens without any external help such as medications. But if someone has weak immunity then he/she will have a greater susceptibility for infectious diseases.
In simple words, it is the responsibility of our immune system to defend your body against illness and disease. This multifaceted structure is composed of cells that are found in your blood, skin, bone marrow, organs, and tissues. If all these cells work appropriately, they should defend your body against possibly harmful pathogens like bacteria and viruses as well as reduce damage to the body caused by noninfectious agents like sunburn or cancer.
For a good understanding of immunity, just think about a piano. For optimal working of piano, it is necessary to keep coordination and harmony in every keyboard button of a piano. If any of the buttons are not working properly, then you will not be able to compose music. The same is the case with your immunity, to best protect your body from harm, every component of your immune system needs to perform exactly according to plan and in perfect coordination. The best way to boost your immunity is to adopt some lifestyle factors that will enable you to fight against infectious agents.
Here are six key factors that must be adopted to strengthen your immunity.
1. Consuming Vitamin C rich foods: It is the fact that 80% of the immune system is present in the gut. It means that when our gut is healthy, we will be able to fight against infections better and faster. But when it's not healthy, our immune system becomes weak and much more vulnerable to infections. To keep your gut healthy and boost your immunity, it is necessary to eat Vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant and reduces oxidative stress.
Vitamin C rich foods are:
a) Citrus fruits (lemon, oranges)
c) Red bell peppers
e) Sweet potato
2. Eat Vitamin E rich foods: Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant in the body. It helps to reduce oxidative stress and enables white blood cells to fight against infectious diseases. It also helps in the body’s metabolic processes and prevents cell damage.
Rich sources of Vitamin E are
• Vegetable oils,
• Wheat germ oil
It is also available in supplemental form (capsules).
3. Stay Active: Working out is an influential way to boost your immune system. It enables immune system soldiers such as antibodies and white blood cells to move more rapidly throughout the body and detect foreign agents and kill them timely. Workout also reduces the levels of stress hormones, which ultimately reduces your probabilities of becoming sick. Research also suggests the effect of exercise on fighting against viral infections.
4. Reduce your stress level: During stress, the ability of the immune system to fight against antigens is compromised. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. This is because the hormone corticosteroid, also called stress hormone; can reduce the efficacy of the immune system such as drops the number of lymphocytes in the body. So, to boost immunity, we should cope up with our stress levels by adopting different strategies such as being positive, keep calm, avoid negative influences, etc.
5. Sleep more: When we are sleeping, our immune system produces some proteins called cytokines. Some of these cytokines help to promote sleep while others are working in strengthening white blood cells to fight against infections. Sleep deficiency may reduce the production of these defensive cytokines. Moreover, some of the infection-fighting cells and antibodies also reduced during periods when you don't get adequate sleep. That’s why it is necessary to take adequate sleep of at least 8 hours to boost your immunity.
6. Stay positive and be happy: When you are happy, your body produces such hormones that keep you unconditionally positive. Being positive helps the body to work optimally. In this way, the body maintains coordination and keeps harmony in different cells and tissues including immunity cells, thus happiness boosts immunity and keeps you healthy.