The immune system is the body’s defence mechanism against the nasties the world has to throw at us, like infections and foreign pathogens that cause diseases. It enables the body to identify which cells are dangerous and is able to attack these without damaging our own much-needed cells. It quickly dismantles what we associate as being common infections before they get to the stage of getting through to us as the host, and multiplying, risking our lives. Specialised cells release anti-inflammatory cell mediators that hone in on and destroy harmful invaders.
Like anything in the body, the immune system can be bolstered or weakened by different lifestyle factors. It’s key to cut out activities that damage your immune system or prevent it from functioning effectively, as this can put you at a significantly higher risk of becoming ill from an infection.Get the best out of your immune system
- Nail your diet:
Your body needs sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals to effectively function, and deficiencies in these can lead to a weakened immune system. These nutrients include:
○ Amino acid arginine - Maintains healthy cell functioning, and can be found in meats and dairy, and other foods high in protein.
○ Glutamine - Necessary for white blood cells, glutamine acts as an energy source and is also found in high protein foods.
○ Vitamin A - Helps in cell division and combatting infections, and is found is fruit and vegetables.
○ Vitamin D - Critical to the immune system, get your Vitamin D from sunlight or supplements to decrease chance of infection.
- Be within a healthy weight bracket:
Obesity can be one of the biggest obstacles to successful and efficient immune system functioning, having to do with how it affects your metabolism. Using methods of losing weight, such as calorie-restrictive diets and plenty of exercise, will help get back to a healthy weight. Additionally, there are a selection of clinically-proven weight loss medications that are approved by the regulatory authority, like Alli or Orlistat, that can be a quick and safe way to lose weight when used alongside a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. These prescribed medications are available from pharmacies, such as the popular online pharmacy Pharmica.
- Lower your stress levels:
Whilst some low levels of stress are in fact good for your health, chronic stress releases glucocorticoids which impede immune system functioning and hinder the response of your antibodies to foreign invaders. Try to factor in regular stress-relieving practices into your daily routine, such as meditation, reading a book, yoga or deep stretching.
- Exercise regularly:
In the work-focused world that we live in, it’s often too easy to neglect our bodies by not performing enough physical activity each week. Doing regularly exercise or frequently doing something physical, even walking to and from your work office for example, will enhance your immune system, and is especially the case with age. You should do at least 2 and a half hours per week of moderate exercise, or an hour and a half of intense exercise. Split this up by alternative days on and off during the week, and this is a very manageable amount of physical activity that you wil thank yourself for in the short and long term.