8 ways to boost immunity
If you associate autumn with a series of illnesses, then we are here for you. With tips to help you get sick less. Immunity depends on two factors – physical and mental health. How can we support them? We chose the main thing from the book “The program for the restoration of the immune system”, which was written by MD Susan Bloom, as well as advice from other works about health.
Eliminate foods that lead to allergies from the diet
You need to choose food depending on how it affects the cells of the body, and not just for reasons of calorie content. Many people have allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients. Moreover, a person may not even suspect about this! The inflammatory process in the body can be caused by gluten, dairy products, corn, soy. You must eliminate the appropriate foods from your diet for at least six months.
If you test positive for celiac disease, you will have to follow a gluten-free diet for life. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, kamut, and spelled. Thanks to gene modification, it has become more stable and concentrated. Studies have shown that these proteins are extremely difficult to digest, causing heartburn, reflux, flatulence and bloating after eating. Increased levels of gluten in food have been linked to increased prevalence of food allergies. This is especially true in the past few decades, because gluten is a relatively new component of our diet.
Most of us don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables that are rich in trace minerals that are essential for optimal functioning of our immune system – antioxidants, B vitamins and minerals.
What are antioxidants? Every day our body produces so-called free radicals – molecules with an electric charge, which are released in cells during their life. Unfortunately, these free radicals damage our tissues. Normally, the body produces small amounts of these molecules, and their reactivity is blocked by antioxidants from food. Antioxidants, like a sponge, remove free radicals from the body. However, when exposed to toxins such as mercury or other heavy metals or pesticides, these toxic compounds cause excess free radical production and the need for antioxidants to absorb them and prevent tissue damage increases. Getting rid of free radicals is critical to protecting DNA and tissues from damage that can cause autoimmune disease, cancer, and chronic inflammation.
Natural antioxidants. A source
How to solve this problem? Nature provides an abundance of antioxidants in foods to help us prevent the build-up of excess free radicals. Therefore, in order to protect the tissues and cells of the body, it is necessary to consume enough of these foods. It’s that simple, because fruits and vegetables are literally packed with antioxidants!
Choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. In order to protect plants from being destroyed by insects, chemical agents are used – pesticides. Since organic fruits and vegetables are grown without them, plants have to work hard to deal with pests on their own, and to do this, they produce antioxidants. As a result, the concentration of antioxidants in organic products is much higher than in those grown using traditional methods. Hence, the consumption of organic fruits and vegetables is of great benefit.
This is what your plate should look like.
Most of us fill our plate with a huge portion of protein and a large portion of grains like rice or pasta, or starchy vegetables like potatoes, leaving very little room for healthy vegetables. You need to change the ratio of foods, giving first place to vegetables rich in antioxidants.
Go on a low sugar diet
In the medical community, this diet is also referred to as the glycemic index diet (or low glycemic load diet) and is the first step in reducing the amount of sugar circulating in the body. With high blood sugar levels, inflammation occurs and the immune system suffers. Each food has a so-called glycemic index, which is determined by how quickly and strongly a given food increases blood sugar levels. When you consume foods with a high glycemic index, blood sugar levels rise sharply, which increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. In addition, it causes feelings of fatigue and depression.
Click to find out which foods you can eat and which ones are best to avoid. Table from the book “The Immune System Restoration Program”
Instead of eating foods that cause a spike in blood sugar, start eating foods with a low glycemic index. First of all, it is necessary to exclude products from white flour and refined sugar. This is one of the most important steps towards good health.
Eat more healthy fats
It is very important for the immune system to increase the intake of good, healthy fats. These include essential fatty acids, which are not produced in our body, although we really need them. Therefore, we must get them from food. These are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Good sources of healthy fats include fish, nuts, seeds, and leafy vegetables, which are foods that are typically lacking in a standard diet. Other healthy fats are saturated vegetable fats, such as those found in avocados and coconuts.
Along with the consumption of healthy fats, it is necessary to exclude unhealthy ones from the diet. Avoid trans fats (found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) and saturated animal fats (especially from beef and dairy products).
As surprising as it sounds, every viral disease we have ever suffered leaves viral particles in the body. Among them are herpes simplex viruses, chickenpox, shingles, hepatitis, Epstein-Barr and others. All of these viruses can be reactivated when stress hormones or neurotransmitters suppress the immune system, making it harder for it to fight infection.
Stress medicine – activities that you enjoy. A source
How does this happen? It is generally accepted that severe stress causes suppression of cellular immunity (the familiar cytotoxic T cells), which allows the virus to invade our body tissues. In addition, it is known that many autoimmune diseases can be triggered by infections. Therefore, creating a favorable environment for viruses in the body is another factor through which stress triggers an autoimmune disease or exacerbates an existing one. It can be both emotional stress and intense physical stress caused by unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking, alcohol abuse and unhealthy diet. Strengthening the immune system will help keep the residual viral particles in remission.
Try to avoid peak stress – emotional and physical. If by the end of the month you always have a rush at work, prepare in advance – sleep more, rest, both before peak load and after.
One of the most effective ways to avoid stress is exercising. Ignite Yourself contains research that supports the conclusion that physical activity helps fight diseases caused by prolonged stress. They come from a weakening of the immune system, and muscle activity can dramatically strengthen the immune system.
In recent years, doctors have begun recommending aerobic exercise for cancer patients in an effort to boost their immune response and help fight stress and depression.
As long as the weather permits, practice outside.
The paradox of evolution: in the modern world it is much easier to survive, but we experience much more stress than our ancestors. And the fact that we are physically much less active than them only makes the situation worse. Always remember that the more stressors put pressure on you, the more the body needs movement for the brain to function properly.
Get enough sleep
It’s trite, but quality sleep helps the body recharge and restore immune functions. In the book Always On Time, you will find descriptions of sleep patterns for each chronotype. Not everyone needs 8 hours of sleep. A 7-hour sleep is enough for certain chronotypes, but at a certain time.
Meditation is one of the components of psychosomatic medicine. She looks at the effect of our thoughts, feelings and emotions on physical health and, conversely, the effect of physical health on mental and emotional well-being. Practicing psychosomatic techniques such as meditation, controlled relaxation and visualization on a regular basis can have powerful positive effects on us and our health. How can you benefit from practicing psychosomatic techniques? First, our body will learn to respond to the situation with a different reaction, which does not trigger the production of harmful hormones, but, on the contrary, maintains our inner world in balance, which will prevent and stop any chronic disease, especially related to the immune system. It is equally important that these techniques will help to understand what colossal stress loads the body is experiencing. Realizing this, in turn, will help you see what needs to be changed in lifestyle and behavior so as not to harm your health.
Based on materials from the books “Program for the restoration of the immune system”, “Light yourself up”, “Always on time”
Post cover: unsplash.com.