Healthy lifestyle for Better immune system
The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.
But that doesn’t mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.
Put simply, it’s your immune system’s job to defend your body against illness and disease. The complex system is made up of cells in your skin, blood, bone marrow, tissues, and organs that — when working the way they should — protect your body against potentially harmful pathogens (like bacteria and viruses), and limit damage from noninfectious agents (like sunburn or cancer), according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Think of the immune system as an orchestra. For the best performance, you want every instrument and every musician in the orchestra to perform at its best. You don’t necessarily want one musician performing on double speed or one instrument suddenly producing sound at twice the volume it usually does. You want every component of that orchestra to perform exactly according to plan.
The same goes for your immune system.
Following are some healthy measure to improve your lifestyle for a better immune:
1.Get plenty of good quality sleep
Your body heals and regenerates while you sleep, making adequate sleep critical for a healthy immune response,
More specifically, sleep is a time when your body produces and distributes key immune cells like cytokines (a type of protein that can either fight or promote inflammation), T cells (a type of white blood cell that regulates immune response), and interleukin 12 (a pro-inflammatory cytokine)
When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system may not do these things as well, making it less able to defend your body against harmful invaders and making you more likely to get sick. One study published in the July–August 2017 issue of Behavioral Sleep Medicine found that compared with healthy young adults who did not have sleep problems, otherwise healthy young adults with insomnia were more susceptible to the flu even after getting vaccinated.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends all adults get at least seven hours of sleep per night to optimize health. To ensure you get quality sleep, prioritize good sleep hygiene: Turn off the electronics at least two to three hours before bed, and avoid violent or stressful books or conversations
2. Keep stress under control
For one thing, stress is difficult to define. What may appear to be a stressful situation for one person is not for another. When people are exposed to situations they regard as stressful, it is difficult for them to measure how much stress they feel, and difficult for the scientist to know if a person’s subjective impression of the amount of stress is accurate. The scientist can only measure things that may reflect stress, such as the number of times the heart beats each minute, but such measures also may reflect other factors.
Long-term stress leads to chronically elevated levels of as the steroid hormone cortisol. The body relies on hormones like cortisol during short-term bouts of stress (when your body goes into “fight-or-flight” response); cortisol has a beneficial effect of actually preventing the immune system from responding before the stressful event is over (so your body can react to the immediate stressor). But when cortisol levels are constantly high, it essentially blocks the immune system from kicking into gear and doing its job to protect the body against potential threats from germs like viruses and bacteria.
There are many effective stress-reduction techniques; the key is to find what works for you.
Any activity that you enjoy (such as fishing, playing golf, or drawing), try to do at least one stress-reducing activity every day. Short on time? Start small. Set aside five minutes at some point each day for fun and increase it when you can.
3. Stay hydrated
Hydration doesn’t necessarily protect you from germs and viruses, but preventing dehydration is important to your overall health.Dehydration can cause headaches and hinder your physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, and heart and kidney function. These complications can increase your susceptibility to illness.
To prevent dehydration, you should drink enough fluid daily to make your urine pale yellow. Water is recommended because it’s free of calories, additives, and sugar.
While tea and juice are also hydrating, it’s best to limit your intake of fruit juice and sweetened tea because of their high sugar contents.
As a general guideline, you should drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you’re no longer thirsty. You may need more fluids if you exercise intensely, work outside, or live in a hot climate
It’s important to note that older adults begin to lose the urge to drink, as their bodies do not signal thirst adequately. Older adults need to drink regularly even if they do not feel thirsty.
4. Stop Smoking
Like alcohol, cigarette smoking can also affect immune health. “Anything that’s a toxin can compromise your immune system,” In particular, the chemicals released by cigarette smoke — carbon monoxide, nicotine, nitrogen oxides, and cadmium — can interfere with growth and function of immune cells, like cytokines, T cells, and B cells.
Smoking also worsens viral and bacterial infections (especially those of the lungs, like pneumonia, flu, and tuberculosis),
post-surgical infections, and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the joints)
5. Less screen time for better immune response
Excessive screen time has been found to increase the risk of diseases like obesity, diabetes and sleep problems. Research has also shown that the overuse of devices and social media can be linked to an increase in loneliness as well as depression in teens
Teens who clock in more than one hour of screen time a day, are more likely to develop mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. These could have serious implications for teens, who are still in their developmental and formative years and can have a bad effect on immune response.
Prolonged screen time could also have adverse effects for young adults and working professionals. Apart from facing similar health issues, like poor sleep quality and physical health, working adults may also see a decline in productivity at work.
A phone-free space could be intentionally set up by designating activities and times where devices are not used. This could simply mean putting devices away while at work, during conversations and activities with friends, and not bringing them along for meals.
When it’s time to sleep, it’s best not to bring your phone to bed. If you must, set it to airplane or do-not-disturb mode.
This helps create balance during the day and ensures that device use isn’t taking away from important interactions and life activities.
6. Find a furry friend
There’s a reason we call them “man’s best friend.” Dogs and other pets aren’t just good buddies. They also give us a reason to exercise and boost our health in other ways. Pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and healthier hearts. Dogs can help your child’s immune response and make him less likely to get allergies.
7. Build your social network
We all know friends are important, but strong social ties can also have a big effect on your health. People with healthy relationships are likely to outlive those with poor social ties. Want to broaden your circle? Volunteer, take a class, or join a group that interests you. And nurture the bonds you already have.
8. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise lowers your risk of developing chronic diseases (like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease), as well as viral and bacterial infections
Exercise also increases the release of endorphins (a group of hormones that reduce pain and create feelings of pleasure) making it a great way to manage stress. Since stress negatively impacts our immune system, this is another way exercise can improve immune response.
9. Look on the bright side
When you think good thoughts, your body’s defenses work better. Want to stay in your happy place? Savor the things you enjoy. Look for a silver lining — even in tough times — and try not to dwell on the bad stuff.
10. Have a Laugh
A giggle or two is good for you. Not only does it make you feel better, there’s no downside. One study found that after people laughed out loud at funny videos, their immune systems worked better. But we aren’t sure yet if that means less illness in the long run.
11. Eat the rainbow
An easy way — though not essential — to make sure you’re getting enough immune-boosting antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is to “eat the rainbow,”
This includes a rainbow of fruits and vegetables like, – red apples, potatoes, cherries or grapes; orange sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mango, yams or tangerines; green kiwi, broccoli, olives, limes or grapes; yellow apples, pears, bananas, or pineapple; blueberries, cabbage, kale, grapes or raisins; and tan cauliflower, dates, coconut, nuts or sauerkraut.
The more variety of fruits and vegetables you consume daily builds a broader spectrum of nutrients the body uses to boost its immune system.
12. Wash Your Hands
Send those germs down the drain before your body ever has to fight them off. Use soap and clean, running water. Wash for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, a hand sanitizer can help (unless your skin is caked with dirt and grease). Just know that it won’t remove all the germs and other bad stuff. Choose one with at least 60% alcohol.
13. Take natural vitamins to strengthen your immune
Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because your body doesn’t produce or store it. The good news is that vitamin C is in so many foods that most people don’t need to take a vitamin C supplement unless a doctor advises it.
Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. Vitamin B6-rich foods include chicken and cold water fish such as salmon and tuna. Vitamin B6 also is found in green vegetables and in chickpeas, which is the main ingredient in hummus.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds and spinach. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds and spinach.
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