These days, you may have spared a thought to your immune system and whether it is strong enough to keep you healthy. Although many people are practicing more vigilant hand washing and social etiquette to stop the spread of germs, it’s also wise to work on building up your own internal defenses. That way, if a bug does come your way, you’re more equipped to fight it off, or at least reduce the length and intensity of symptoms.
Before you grab your weed-killing tool of choice and get to work eradicating the dandelions from your garden, you may want to continue reading. Dandelion is actually an incredibly healthy edible plant with several surprising benefits. Here are our favorite and how you can enjoy this yellow weed today.
No matter who you speak to, the pandemic is on everyone’s minds these days. And the question at hand, “how can I avoid coronavirus?” Well, beyond social distancing, frequent handwashing, and a disinfected home, the next most logical approach seems to be building a stronger immune system. Time is of the essence. So, while there’s currently no cure for coronavirus, researchers are exploring the links between lifestyle and stronger immune function. In the meantime, here are some healthy strategies that may help you build a stronger immune system fast.
You can’t turn your immune system on and off
Your immune system is a complex network of cells, molecules, tissues, and organs that lives throughout your entire body. It can’t be turned on and off. Its role is to protect your body from invaders like infection, disease, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. And it does a pretty awesome job doing this. But sometimes it can fail. Germs invade the body, making you sick. That’s why researchers are working hard to study the immune system and trying to find ways to make it work even better. And within the current climate, researchers need to do this quickly.
In the meantime, what can you do to build a stronger immune system? While science continues to discover the benefits of diet, exercise, and psychological stress factors on immunity, there are lifestyle changes you can make to build up your immune system and give you a fighting chance against disease, infection, and viruses.
Does getting sick build a stronger immune system?
There is actually some truth to this question. When you get a virus, you can build immunity up for that particular strain. The problem is, there could be hundreds of different strains for one family of viruses. For instance, the coronavirus that emerged out of Wuhan, China, is the product of natural evolution, according to research published in the journal Nature Medicine.
Coronaviruses are, in fact, a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from mild to severe. Coronavirus first showed up in China in 2003 as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or (SARS). A second outbreak emerged in 2012 in Saudi Arabia as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or (MERS). So, while you can still build up immunity to the two or three viruses, there are hundreds more that have not yet been encountered. Building a stronger immune system may not cure viruses like COVID-19 but it may help your body better defend itself. Here’s what you can do now.
Maintain a healthy weight
Easier said than done, right? Well, according to research, a little goes a long way. Losing just 10 pounds could correct a somewhat shaky immune system. Body fat, in general, but particularly abdominal fat, triggers the production of “pro-inflammatory” immune cells. These circulate in the blood and encourage inflammation. Want to lose 10 pounds fast? We’re not talking about starvation here. Here are a few simple steps to lose weight fast.
- Up your protein intake and eat fewer carbs. High protein diets can help reduce cravings and stop you from continuously thinking about your next meal by 60 percent.
- Remember, “protein, fat, and vegetables.” Load up on lean meat and low-carb veggies.
- Avoid processed (junk) food and eat whole food instead.
- Lower your calories by avoiding sugary sodas and drinks. Stick to three meals a day.
- Stay active with cardio exercises and try to do strength training at least three times per week.
Supplement with Turmeric
Turmeric (a bright yellow spice often used in Asian cuisine) has been touted as a wonder spice that helps ward off inflammation. Research from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center found that curcumin, the active compound of turmeric may be used for immune disorders due to its anti-inflammatory effects. The problem is, a dash of turmeric in a recipe every once in a while won’t allow you to reap anti-inflammatory benefits. Instead, the Arthritis Foundation recommends supplementing with 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric, three times per day. If you prefer spice form, take up to three grams of the root powder per day to boost your immunity and fight inflammation.
This is a no brainer, but it bears mentioning. Studies have found that tobacco smoke, whether firsthand or secondhand, contributes to the development of many diseases. Smoking leads to pro-inflammatory responses and dysfunction of immune cells. What does that mean in terms of fighting off viruses? More and more evidence suggests that smoking weakens the immune system, making it extremely hard for your immune system to fight off disease, infections, and viruses.
Get enough sleep
If you are deprived or lack quality sleep, you’re more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus like coronavirus. Not enough sleep negatively affects your immune system, says the Mayo Clinic. That’s not all; not enough sleep can also affect how fast your body recovers because when you sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines.
Cytokines promote sleep and also decrease in production when an infection, inflammation, or stress is present. That means that while you were up all night partying, your production of protective cytokines decreased, leaving you more vulnerable to viruses. Plus, antibodies and cells that help fight the virus are also reduced.
The hard truth is, for now, there is no cure for COVID-19. But while we wait for modern medicine to catch up, why not give your immune system a fighting chance by eating healthier and making a few positive lifestyle changes. Before you know it, you’ll be on the road to building a stronger immune system, and in turn, a stronger, healthier you.
Disclaimer: “None of this has been proven to prevent, treat or remedy COVID-19, these are just things to consider.”
By now, you probably realize that a healthy diet, adequate sleep, proper water intake, and regular exercise are the foundational building blocks of a healthy diet. Usually, simple solutions are always the best, and this statement is certainly true when it comes to boosting your immune system. If you have been worried about the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there are a few things you can do to help boost your defenses against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens…naturally.
As the life-giving sun peeks over the horizon in the morning, it brings warmth and the promise of a new day, helping to improve your mood, boost your immune system, and allowing you to sleep better. The sun is a powerful medication, one that we should take advantage of every day. Here’s why.
There is nothing fun about the flu. It interrupts your daily life and leaves you feeling sore, achy, feverish, and fatigued for a few days. If you’re extra lucky, you’ll even get to experience sore throat, coughing, and chills along with your other symptoms. For most people, the flu is a minor inconvenience that simply means a sick day curled up on the couch with a bowl of soup and a cup of tea. Yes, you’ll likely be miserable, but there’s nothing life-threatening to be worried about. For others, contracting the flu could be deadly. It is essential to know if you are in the high-risk flu group so that you can take proper precautions. Here’s how to tell.
Winter not only brings the promise of warm drinks and cozy sweaters, but it also brings along something much more sinister in the form of stuffy noses, sneezes, sore throats, and irritating coughs. If you are smart, you are taking steps now to boost your immune system and give it a fighting chance against cold and flu season. Because, unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold, so prevention is your best choice. However, you may want to ease up on those vitamin C tablets you’ve been eating like candy (as they’re not incredibly effective) and try these easy, natural methods instead.
Sea buckthorn oil is an essential oil extracted from the berries or seeds of the sea buckthorn plant. Contrary to what its name suggests, this plant does not grow on the sea floor, or anywhere near the ocean. In fact, it is a small shrub that grows most predominately in the northwest region of the Himalayas at high altitudes.
As we hibernate in our warm homes waiting for the defrost of Spring, cold and flu bugs often take this opportunity to jump into action. Between decreased vitamin D levels, lack of activity, and chilly winter winds, circumstances are perfect for developing irritating stuffy noses and painful sore throats. Rather than reaching for that bottle of cough syrup at the first signs of a cold, try utilizing these herbal elixirs to take preventative action and heal your body naturally.