Posted By Humphrey Bwayo Posted On

BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY: AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN A POUND OF CURE

Have you noticed that for the last couple of months, more and more people all over the world are beginning to take a keen interest in their health? If you take time, like the rest of us, going through your social media feeds, you’ll quickly get depressed, feeling like you’re doing less to achieve your health goals.

Everyone seems to be on some healthy diet, bodyweight exercise plan, morning and evening run, or weight loss routine. But why?

It’s simple, more and more people are getting concerned about their body’s immune response.

On the whole, your immune system, on its own, does quite a remarkable job defending you against illness-causing micro-organisms. But once in a while, it fails, and harmful germs or bacteria successfully invade and makes you sick.

Could you possibly intervene? They say you are what you eat, right? Maybe a proper diet, vitamins, lifestyle changes could help build a near-perfect immune response, no?

Like a wise man once advised, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Understanding the Immune System

The immune system is much like the “Special Forces” of the army, or the “SWAT,” it’s ruthless and is reserved to come in and protect the body against harmful invaders. Without this special body defense unit, you would consistently get sick from viruses and bacteria.

The immune system is a complicated network, and you’ll probably need to attend an entire course to understand its intricate functionalities —Ask any medical professional.

A big part of your body’s security defense system is the lymph or lymphatic system (Lymph nodes and vessels).

  1. Lymph vessels: The lymphatic vessels in their simplest form are thin tubes, and just like blood vessels, they are spread out through the body. They carry the lymph – a clear fluid that contain immune system cells, tissue fluid, and waste products.
  2. Lymph nodes: The lymph nodes, on the other hand, are bean-shaped clumps that are directly connected by the lymphatic vessels. The lymph nodes carry white blood cells whose primary function is to trap bacteria and viruses, as well as other invaders, including cancer-causing cells.

Can Your Immune System Malfunction?

Yes. When your immune system isn’t working as it should, it is called an immune system disorder. Depending on your condition, you may:

  • Have an overactive immune system that commonly happens with an allergic reaction.
  • May be born with a weak immune system, also known as primary immune deficiency.
  • Contract a disease that weakens your immune system, also known as acquired immune deficiency.
  • You may also have an immune system that turns against you, also known as an autoimmune disease.

How Can I Build a Strong Immune System?

We can all relate how it often feels when you have a cold coming, that pain in your sinuses or the tickle in your throat, without forgetting how heavy your body gets. You are getting sick! No one wishes to get sick, and this is the reason why you might need to keep your immune system healthy.

There’s a secret to this; it’s not complicated or even expensive. According to Harvard Health, if you take care of your body, your immune system will take care of itself.  Prevention is better than cure, and while there are faster and more effective ways to fight sickness, one of the best methods you can apply is prevention.

Here are a few ways you can build a robust immune system.

Exercise Daily

The best way to fight off infections is by establishing a moderate exercise routine. When you have increased health, it helps boost your natural immune system helping you get over sickness more quickly. You don’t have to kill yourself at the gym to build a robust immune system. Going for a brisk walk that lasts at least 30 minutes, most days will do the trick. In case you don’t exercise regularly, you could also get involved in social activities that promote fitness like a hiking group, or a sports club.

Eat a well-rounded, nutrient-packed diet

One of the best ways to keep your immune system healthy is by going the old fashioned way, diet. While most people hate dieting and exercise, having a varied diet is worth trying and will keep you much healthier in the long run. When you start an eating plan that is rich in fruits, whole grains, veggies, and lean proteins, your body will be in a much better position to defend your body against germs.

Enough sleep is vital for immunity

When you have an endless to-do list, and you are feeling overwhelmed, you might get tempted to skip sleep so that you can get everything done. However, if you do not prioritize sleep, it can have some severe implications for your health. There’s a thin line between lacking sleep and getting ill.

Wash your hands with soap and water

It might seem like a simple thing to do, but it’s often ignored. Washing your hands is an extraordinary method of avoiding illness; sadly, it’s something most people do not do well. According to the FDA, washing your hands with plain soap and water is all you need to avoid getting infections from germs, anti-bacterial soap isn’t really necessary.

Avoid cigarette smoke

It’s important to avoid smoking for yourself and many other health reasons. Being around people who smoke can also contribute to a decreased immune system. Therefore, in case you are a smoker, you need to quit. If any of your friends or family members are a smoker, you might need to encourage them to stop the habit. In case this does not work, then you might need to avoid smoking during times your immune system needs to be at its strongest. Smoking with conditions such as a cold or during flu season can severely cripple your immune system.

Bottomline

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Watching over your health has many more benefits, apart from boosting your immune system. You can start today by making several dietary and lifestyle changes to strengthen your immune system.

Start simple; reduce your sugar intake, stay hydrated, get adequate sleep, and manage your stress levels.

Sources

Harvard Health

Everydayhealth

US National Library of Medicine

US Food and Drug Administration