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10 Simple Ways to Boost your Immune System

Updated on March 27, 2015
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Learn how to Boost your immune system

Have you ever tried to find out that why you constantly have that stifling cold or fever every month? Well, the cause to the problem might be your low immune system. The immune system, not only protects the body against sickness and certain infections, it also makes you healthy and beautiful from inside and outside of your body. So, improve your immune system and look stunning in parties and gatherings. Here are top 10 ways to boost your immune system:

1). Exercise - Regular exercise elevates the level of leukocytes which are immune system cells that fight infection. Exercising also increases the release of endorphins which are natural hormones that heighten your sense of well being and improve sleep quality, both of which have positive effects on your immune system. Exertion from exercise can also help other body systems such as the cardiovascular and endocrine system. In the cardiovascular system, exercise improves blood flow, circulates antibodies, flushes toxins from muscles/organs, and removes bacteria. Moderate exercise must be repeated on daily basis so that there is a cumulative effect that leads to a long-term immune response. Getting your heart rate up for just 20 minutes three times a week as well as a 30-minute brisk walk five days a week can help reduce your risk of catching a cold while boosting your immune system function. You can also do both cardio and light weight training to make your body more resilient in fighting off and recovering from any illnesses.


2) Antioxidants – Some natural processes of the body that conclude toxins, radiation and poor digestion can cause cell mutations, damage immune function, and contribute to severe diseases like cancer and heart blockage. Free radicals can set off a chain reaction that leads to cellular damage which wipes out cytokine pathways - disorienting any immune system activities. The antidote for free radicals is antioxidants which can boost the immune system instantaneously. There's a good supply of antioxidants in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Other immune-boosting foods include fresh garlic (which have antiviral and antibacterial properties) and old-fashioned chicken soup can also help in fighting off that horrible infection. Mushroom varieties such as reichi, maitake, and shiitake also have positive influences on immune function.

3). Beta-Carotene - Beta-Carotene and other Carotenoids stimulate immune cells that fight free pathogens and fortify the thymus gland, protecting your body from harmful effects of stress. It also protects you against cancer by stimulating certain cells to produce tumor necrosis factor (which kills cancer cells). Beta-Carotene also reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases by preventing fats and cholesterol in the bloodstream. Studies have concluded that at least 3 milligrams of it daily is necessary to reduce risk of chronic diseases. Good sources of Beta-Carotene that you can eat everyday include apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon.

4). Vitamin C - Vitamin C helps to increase the number of white blood cells in the Immune System. It also increases the level of good cholesterol in your body, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The latest research indicates that Vitamin C also lowers the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancers. A good supply of Vitamin C ( 90mg daily) can be obtained from berries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, orange, papaya, red, green or yellow peppers, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes.

5). Vitamin E - Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells (immune cells that destroy germs and cancer cells) and B-cells (immune cells responsible for producing antibodies that destroy bacteria). It also reverses some of the decline in immune response caused by aging. A daily dosage of 100 mg is recommended and can be found in broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds.

6). Zinc - Zinc increases the number of infection-fighting T-cells, especially in elderly people who are often deficient in Zinc because their immune system weakens with age. Zinc also helps to reduce incidence of respiratory infections. One research that compared several studies on Zinc found that taking it within 24 hours after the start of a cold may help to reduce symptoms. A daily dosage of 30 milligrams is recommended and is found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products.

7). Selenium - Selenium is found in nearly every cell in the body, though the highest concentrations are in the kidneys, liver, testes, pancreas and spleen. It is a potent Immune System booster as it activates hormonal production of the thyroid gland, increases the number of natural killer cells, and mobilizes cancer-fighting cells. It is known for its antioxidant activities which protect your body against cancer, heart attack, stroke, macular degeneration, cold sores, shingles and lupus, as well as effects of aging. Among the good sources of Selenium are Brazil nuts, tuna, beef, poultry and fortified breads, and other grain products.

8). Adequate Sleep - You may have noticed you are more likely to catch infections when you are not getting enough sleep. Fatigue increases your susceptibility to illness. Adequate restful sleep rejuvenates our bodies and refreshes our minds. During deep sleep, your body produces blood cells and raises oxygen levels to strengthen immune function. Like stress, insomnia elevates cortical production which engenders inflammation in your body. Getting adequate sleep, 7 to 9 hours for adults, is essential for good health.

9). Relaxing the Stress Away - Stress reduction lowers cortical levels and improves sleep quality. Studies indicate that people who meditate regularly enjoy improved Immune System response. In one experiment, people who meditated over an 8-week period produced more antibodies to a flu vaccine than people who did not meditate. And they still showed an increased Immune System response four months later. Laughing also decreases the levels of stress hormones in the body while increasing Leukocytes (type of white blood cell that fights infection). In fact, even just anticipating a funny event can have a positive effect on your Immune System. Another good way to relax is to do yoga stretches for a few minutes daily.Yoga postures calm and relax the nervous system and the slow, deep breathing practiced along with yoga positions invokes a meditative state that relieves stress.

10). Healthy Diet: Intake of a good healthy diet means a less acidic, less toxic internal environment and more alkaline food should be included.Acid formic foods are red meat, diary products, pasta, white rice, white bread.Take a raw fruit and a rainbow salad with herbs, flowers such as nasturtium, steamed vegetables and limited amounts of whole grain cereal such as oats and brown rice. Proteins like raw nuts and seeds such as sunflower,pumpkin,sesame seeds, sprouts such as alfalfa and bean, fish like salmon, sardines, soy foods such as tofu and other soy products like soy milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs. Do not take caffeine, alcohols,nicotine,refined sugar and refined flour.

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    • urmilashukla23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Urmila 

      4 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Thanks, MichelleD.

    • profile image

      MichelleD 

      4 years ago

      Great information, thanks! In addition, I also came across a great article on how to boost your immune system naturally. Thought it was worth a share: http://www.drdnaturopath.com/index.php/boost-low-i...

    • urmilashukla23 profile imageAUTHOR

      Urmila 

      6 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Thank you Happyboomernurse, for reading the hub and commenting. Good to know that you are taking care of your health. Have a great day!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      I enjoyed this well researched and presented article and the colorful, healthy illustrations and as I read it I felt good because I've been eating many of the foods listed here, doing yoga, taking frequent walks and time for laughter and fun.

      Am headed to the kitchen for lunch in a few minutes, which will be a bowl of the homemade chicken vegetable soup I cooked this morning after eating oatmeal with strawberries and almonds. LOL

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