Our immune system plays a vital role in ensuring the health of our bodies. As an attentive protector, it a defends us against disease-causing pathogens. When our immune system fails, harmful microorganisms are allowed to invade the body and we get sick. When illness strikes, the body needs a therapeutic intervention.
Let’s look at natural ways to support our immune system that allow our bodies to function better and even thrive. Luckily, these tips are simple, effective and inexpensive.
Get enough sleep
Good quality sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. Inadequate sleep reduces the effectiveness of T cells, a specialised type of immune cells, which are designed to respond when foreign pathogens enter the body. Once the T cells identify the intruders, they need integrins, a type of protein, in order to attach and fight the invader. Adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones prevent integrins from activating which leads to immunosuppression. When we don’t get enough sleep, the levels of these two hormones tend to be higher, and therefore integrins don’t activate and we are more vulnerable to getting sick.
Though everyone’s body is different, it's recommended to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night and to be in bed by 10pm.
Eat a diet rich in vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, promotes the production of white blood cells which are designed to fight disease. As an antioxidant, it protects cells from damage by free radicals and other unstable molecules produced by the body as a result of our environment.
By fighting these harmful invaders, Vitamin C reduces chances of oxidative stress, thus promoting healthy ageing, and delaying heart diseases and cancer. This vitamin is also essential for repair and growth of body tissues, wound healing, and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones, skin, and cartilage. Additionally, Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron, which is essential for the formation of red blood cells which carry oxygen to the body.
Take an immune tonic
Fire immune tonic also known as fire cider is a traditional remedy that is packed with nutrients, anti-bacterial properties, and decongestants. It can be used to alleviate symptoms of flu and cold as well as used as a preventative measure to keep the body strong. Depending on the recipe, most tonics include garlic, lemon, orange, ginger, turmeric, chilli, vinegar, and other herbs.
Though you can purchase fire tonics at most health-conscious grocery stores, for even greater effectiveness, prepare this simple drink yourself and consume it immediately after preparation. Most people prefer to take it before bedtime, but it can be taken at any time of day.
Inflammation can result from injury and infections and tends to appear as swelling, redness, stiffness, or pain. This essential immune system response informs us that something is not right.
While acute inflammations may resolve in a few days, inflammation related to chronic diseases may take time to fix. CBD oil proves to be a better alternative to addressing inflammation than traditional pharmaceutical treatments as it works on neuro-inflammation as well as other inflammation diseases by binding to the cannabinoid receptors that maintain homeostasis in the body. Make sure to use the correct dose of this oil since too little can result in no improvements while a very high dosage could cause side effects like diarrhea, drowsiness, or lack of appetite.
Listen to Music
Music can also play a vital role in boosting the immune system. It can help reduce stress and anxiety more successfully than prescription drugs as it works on effectively lowering cortisol, a stress hormone while increasing an antibody that supports the body’s mucous system. Less stress helps the body focus its efforts on maintaining health instead of surviving a potential threat.
When we commit to living a healthy lifestyle, we reduce the risks of contracting infections that end up lowering our immunity and making us sick. By developing good sleeping patterns, taking supplements, and reducing stress, we support or body’s natural defence mechanism against illness and disease.
Author: Erika Long loves corgis, curry and comedy. Always searching for the next great snuggle, flavour or laugh, she inspires people to live their best life now. When not writing, Erika can be found at her local brewery dominating Harry Potter trivia night.