- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Best 6 Tips to Protect and Strengthen your Immunity.
Your immune system natural defences are patrolling 24 hours a day to fight bacteria, viruses and parasites. Nowadays, our developing immune system is not challenged enough with environmental pathogens and dirt like it used to be due to the use of soaps and antiseptics. This over-clean environment resulted in a weak immune system that is less capable to recognise different threats simply because it wasn’t confronted with them when it was evolving.
Recent studies are highlighting that our immune systems is getting frailer and the pathogens around us are getting even stronger than before and resisting the existing medications like antibiotics and vaccination. At the moment, we are living the era of antibody resistant bacterial strains, with recent alarming discovery of more and more antibiotic resistant bacterial strains like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain 398 (MRSA ST398) and Neisseria gonorrhoea; the pathogen that cause gonorrhoea infection. The annual number of newly discovered infections of this disease in the U.S. alone is around 700,000 and 50 million worldwide. In addition, more toxins and chemicals are challenging our weak immune system all the time.
Since a lot of factors can weaken your immune system like stress, malnutrition, infections and the overuse of antibiotics. It makes sense to invest in strengthening our immune system’s health and enforcing it against the imminent challenges it constantly encountering on daily bases so we can extend our healthy life span. It has to be noted however that there is no single technique that completely eradicate the risk of catching an infection. Nevertheless, healthy nutrition and good personal hygiene practises can help reduce the risk of catching such serious diseases. Also, avoiding the interaction with large crowds and sick people, getting enough sleep and limiting daily stress can help to keep diseases at bay. Below are some highlights on what science and research found effective in eradicating diseases.
1. Watch your diet: Your first line of defence is your diet. Eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats will keep your cells nourished and energised for any possible attack. If you are malnourished your immune activity will consume a significant amount of your energy resources. Scientist were able to correlate levels of dietary protein to the efficiency of the immune system functions; When tadpoles consumed high and low protein diets it was found that high dietary protein significantly increased resistance to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis pathogen.
2. Adopt a healthy life style: Exercising, keeping fit, monitoring your weight, avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol and keeping a good hygiene will keep your immunity in top conditions. In a study published in 2011 to monitor the role of exercise and diet on the immune system, neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio and levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines were evaluated in overweight, male adolescents upon completing a 4-week diet and physical exercise intervention. The neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio was significantly lower after the 4-week diet and physical exercise intervention. The weight loss caused by the intervention was associated with a significant decrease of pro-inflammatory cytokine levels.
3. Avoid misusing antibiotics: Antibiotics should not be used to treat viral infections because its use is not effective in killing viruses. Usually antibiotics are prescribed to treat serious bacterial infections, if the whole course of medication is not completed this will create an environment for some surviving bacteria to develop a trait that resist the antibiotic. When we misuse antibiotics we are creating more powerful resistant bacterial strains that are difficult to control by our immune system and any existing medication.
4. Eliminate stress: Try and stay away from social and physical stress. Modern science is correlating stressful environments to weakened immunity. Experiments on mice concluded that stress can delay the production of antibodies and suppress T cells activity.
5. Consume Probiotics:Probiotics are good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium which can live safely in your digestive tract. Our digestive system containshundreds of different species of bacteria which help us in digesting food. Scientists are correlating a relationship between such beneficial bacteria and a healthy immune system.Scientists examined probiotics for their use in the prevention and treatment of a diverse spectrum of gastrointestinal disorders such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea, infectious bacterial and viral diarrhea, Helicobacter pylori gastroenteritis, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance. Probiotics are even found to inhibit some kinds of cancer. They also enhance health through stimulating our immune system to fight invaders, and inhibiting foreign proteins from adhering to epithelial and mucosal cells. They also compete with any bugs for food resources thus making it difficult for other unwanted visitors to pop in and stay without enough food supply. Probiotics are also known to produce antimicrobial substances that can attenuate bacteria.
6. Use high quality supplements: You should consider taking daily supplements to complement your diet. Taking multivitamins and minerals is proven to bring many health benefits to the immune system and your health in general. Vitamins and minerals like zinc, vitamin B complex, vitamin C are essential to boost your immunity. You need to keep in mind that all these nutrients have to be taken in optimal amounts to be effective in boosting your immune health. If your diet is lacking all or some of the macro and micronutrients needed or if you are not sure if it has the required concentration of such nutrients, then taking supplements will insure that you’re having the required effective daily allowance of vitamins and minerals.