Human body is susceptible to infections on a daily basis. Infections from various microorganisms and germs including bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins etc. can occur almost anywhere, in schools, at our offices, on the roads, in public transportation vehicles and so on.Our body can get infected from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, also the place we live in, and its surroundings. Infections can lead to various health ailments ranging from a simple headache or fever to dangerous diseases like cholera, which causes dehydration and can lead to death.
In order to deal with diseases and health ailments, we generally take medicines, which are prescribed by our doctor. Different people have different capacities and level of tolerances against various diseases. The reason for their different capacities to tolerate a health ailment is the difference in their immunity.Immunity is our body’s natural defense system against invaders attacking the human body. It is a combination or a collection of different structures, series of operations, cells, tissues, and even organs, which work collectively.
How Does An Immune System Work?
The immune system works for years and years within our body and protects us until our last breath. In fact, our bodies would not be able to survive the daily attacks of various harmful organisms without the immune system. The objective of the immune system is to fight against and protect the body from infections and attacks by various pathogens.
They attack these pathogens and hence prevent them from causing any harm to the human body. They protect the body from attacks of pathogens by killing the pathogens, eating them, coating them, and filtering the body liquids and hence remove the microbes and pathogens inside them. Major types of immune cells in the body include lymphocytes and dendritic cells. It is always said that health is wealth.Weak health affects all spheres of our life, both personal, professional and the most important, our day-to-day life. Now that we know what a crucial role the immune system plays in our health, let us have a look at the causes of a weak immune system and how we can take efforts to increase our immune power naturally.
Causes Of A Weak Immune System And Natural Ways To Strengthen The Immune System
Lack Of Hygiene
Maintaining good hygiene habits applies not only to children, but also to adults. Good hygiene is the first step to improve our immunity. Good hygiene will prevents germs from entering in our body in the first place which can save us from many health problems and infections.Following are some of the simple measures we can take to improve our hygiene
Brush the teeth and floss regularly. Germs accumulated on the tongue can be removed by use of a tongue cleaner along with the brushing. Make sure the toothbrush and toothpaste are not kept in a moist place. As per dental hygiene rules, replace the toothbrush after every few months. Get your teeth checked regularly by a dentist to cure decays at an early stage.
Always wear clean washed clothes. This not only applies to the clothes we wear but also our bedding, scarfs, hair bands, handkerchiefs, bath towel etc. Bathe regularly and wash your hands without fail after using the washroom. Also, make sure you clean your legs, hands and face after coming from outside.Keep your hair, skin, eyes, nose, ears, and nails clean. Wash fruits and raw vegetables properly with water before eating.
A major part of our health depends on what we eat. Make sure that you have a balanced diet, which contains sufficient amount of fruits, vegetables, vitamins and all the necessary nutrients in the correct proportion. Food with high levels of fat, sugar, salt, and spice should be avoided.Overdose of sugar is harmful for immunity. If you have to eat outside food, make sure that the place and the surroundings are clean. Do not eat foods, which are kept open especially at the roadside. Same advice applies to water also. Make sure you drink clean water and avoid drinking outside water, which is generally contaminated. Some nutrients, which can help in increasing immunity and their easily available sources, are as follows:Vitamin A: found in eggs, milk, carrots, cheese, sweet potatoes, Selenium: found in whole grains, egg yolks, brown rice, rice, chicken, soybeans, Vitamin C: found in lemon, tomatoes, spinach, orange, Vitamin E: found in mustard greens, papaya, almonds, peanuts, spinach, sunflower oil , Zinc: found in legumes, meat, brown rice, peas, oatmeal, milk, yogurt and Carotenoids: found in mangoes, guavas, apricots, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin
Foods That Help In Increasing Immunity
There are certain foods, which help in strengthening our immune system. They are garlic, pomegranates, ginger, chilies, turmeric, yogurt, oranges, carrots, and spinach. Also, drink sufficient quantity of water on a daily basis as dehydration can affect our immune system.
Green Tea And Immunity
Green tea is becoming more and more popular today among health conscious people due to its several health benefits. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and lowers cholesterol level, which helps to strengthen the immune system. It helps in reducing stress and fat level. It increases body metabolism, prevents tooth decay, and also fights bacteria.
Lack Of Exercise And Rest
Regular exercise and adequate rest are an absolute necessity for good health and strong immunity. Benefits of exercise are several. Exercise helps to maintain healthy body weight, improve blood circulation, keeps bones healthy. It also keeps the muscles and joints strong and healthy. Exercise also helps to prevent cardiac diseases by lowering the blood pressure.
Mental or psychological effects of exercise reduce stress. Exercise has been found to increase the cells, which attack the pathogens and bacteria and increase immunity. Research however, that exercise also should be done in the correct amount as too much of exercise can prove harmful to the immune system functionality. Yoga asanas like Pranayama, Kapalbhati are useful.
Obesity Reduces Immune Power
Obesity has a very bad effect on immunity and affects the power or functionality of cells to fight germs. It is said that obesity hampers the ability of the body to fight against flu.
Unhealthy Habits, Food Allergies And Self Medication
Unhealthy habits like smoking and alcohol intake impair the immune system and increase the risk of diseases. Alcohol reduces the essential nutrients, which fight germs and protect the body. White blood cells are affected by the intake of alcohol. Food allergies can also weaken the immune system because repeated intake of foods that we are allergic to affects the intestines and damages the bowel lining.
We all fall prey sometimes to medications available in the market, which promise quick results like weight loss medicines, medicines claiming to help develop strong immunity etc. Any kind of medication targeted at increasing the immune system or such heath supplements should be taken with advice of the doctor otherwise they may do more harm than good.