To strengthen the immune system, preventing the development of some diseases and helping the body to react to those that have already manifested, it is important to eat more foods rich in vitamins and minerals, decrease the consumption of fat, sugar and industrialized sources, with dyes and preservatives, and it may be indicated to take remedies or supplements that increase immunity.
In addition, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also one of the best strategies to keep the body’s natural defense system always strong and efficient and so it is recommended not to smoke, eat healthy foods, exercise light or moderate on a regular basis, have the appropriate weight, sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, avoid stress and consume alcoholic beverages in moderation. These habits should be followed by all throughout life, not only at times when the person is sick or easily ill.
How to increase immunity (with natural foods and remedies)
Foods that increase immunity
Food is important for the proper functioning of the immune system and foods rich in omega-3, selenium, zinc, probiotics, vitamins A, C and E are the most suitable to enhance the immune system, since they favor the production of the organism’s defence cells more efficiently. Some examples are:
- Omega 3: sardines, salmon, herring, tuna, chia seeds, walnuts and linseed;
- selenium: Brazil nuts, wheat, rice, egg yolk, sunflower seeds, chicken, bread, cheese, cabbage and wheat flour;
- Zinc: oysters, shrimp, beef, chicken, turkey and fish, liver, wheat germ, whole grains and dried fruit (chestnuts, peanuts and Brazil nuts);
- Vitamin C: orange, tangerine, pineapple, lemon, strawberry, melon, papaya, mango, kiwi, broccoli, tomato, watermelon and peeled potato;
- Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, hazelnut, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, mango, olive oil, tomato sauce, sunflower oil, walnuts and papaya;
- Vitamin A: carrot, sweet babata, mango, spinach, melon, chard, red pepper, broccoli, lettuce and egg;
- Probiotics: natural yogurt, kefir-type fermented milk or Yakult to maintain bowel health.
The person who needs to strengthen his immune system must consume a greater amount of these foods, daily and regularly, not only when he is already sick, but to avoid getting sick again.
Natural remedies to enhance immunity
A good way to improve the immunity of the body naturally is to take a food supplement in the form of capsules, which can be purchased in pharmacies, drugstores or stores of natural products. Some examples are:
- Bovine colostrum: Bovine colostrum is a nutritional supplement rich in enzymes, antibodies and growth factors that could help increase the body’s defenses. The recommended dose varies between 20 and 60 grams per day.
- Seeds of astragalus: The seed supplement of Astragalus membranaceus is rich in flavonoids that can have cardioprotective effects, in addition to activating the body’s defense cells. The recommended dose of the supplement varies between 5 to 10 mg per day.
- Echinacea: Echinacea is apparently more effective at fighting diseases and accelerating recovery, especially in people who get sick more often. The recommended dose and capsules can range from 900 to 1500 mg per day. If it is liquid, it is recommended that 2.5 mL of echinacea be used three times a day or up to 10 mL per day.
- Extract of propolis: Propolis extract has immunomodulatory effects, since it stimulates immune system cells and, therefore, can be used in the treatment of acute and chronic inflammations and in respiratory tract diseases, skin ulcers, periodontitis and sinusitis.
Although they can be purchased without a prescription, it is best to consult the nutritionist before they are ingested.
See other examples of home remedies that help increase immunity.
How to Increase Immunity Quickly
To increase immunity quickly leaving the body stronger in the fight against agents aggressors must:
- Adopt good health habits, performing physical activity, sleeping properly and avoiding stress situations;
- avoid the cigarette or be exposed to the cigarette;
- be exposed to the sun daily, preferably until 10:00 in the morning and after 16:00 without sunscreen, to increase vitamin D production in the body;
- consume healthy foods and maintain a balanced diet, including the consumption of fruits, vegetables, preferably organic or produced at home without pesticides;
- avoid as much fast food as possible and processed foods and frozen foods such as pizzas and lasagnas as they contain substances that promote inflammation of the body;
- avoid taking medicines without medical guidance;
- Drink about 2 litres of mineral or filtered water every day.
In addition, if you have a disease caused by viruses such as flu, for example, it is important to avoid going to closed public places such as shopping malls, theatres and cinemas, and it is important to wash your hands often with soap and water, as well as to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands. In this way, it is possible to reduce the risk of acquiring the disease and the development of complications, especially in the case of the weaker immune system.
How to Increase Immunity of Baby and Children
The best way to strengthen the baby’s immune system is by investing in breastfeeding on demand, since breast milk contains all the nutrients that allow the immune system to develop properly. In the case of the baby taking milk formulas, supplementation can be made with vitamins and minerals necessary for the proper development of the immune system, this way the baby’s organism can produce more defense cells that are able to fight infectious agents like viruses and bacteria.
In the case of infants after 6 months it is recommended to continue breastfeeding and ensure a healthy and diverse diet that includes the foods mentioned above, so that the body’s defenses are stimulated.
In addition, it is important that vaccines are up to date and good health habits are maintained, such as not smoking near the baby and avoiding giving medications without the guidance of the pediatrician.
Causes of low immunity
Some situations that can cause weakening of the immune system are poor diet, poor hygiene habits, not being vaccinated when necessary, and the habit of smoking.
In addition, during pregnancy it is normal to have a fall of the immune system, which happens naturally in all women, as a way to prevent the mother’s body from rejecting the baby, and during treatment against cancer or against the HIV virus.
People who have some syndrome or other diseases such as lupus or malnutrition also naturally have a less efficient defense system and become ill frequently. The use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants used in case of organ transplants, during cancer treatment or with the prolonged use of some anti-inflammatory remedies, such as Dipirona, also diminish the body’s immunity.
How to know if the immune system is weak
The immune system is composed of the white portion of the blood, responsible for the production of antibodies whenever the body is exposed to some foreign body, such as viruses or bacteria. However, it can also be considered that the defense mechanism is composed by the skin itself and the acid secretion of the stomach, which often neutralizes the microorganisms present in the diet, preventing them from developing within the human body.
What characterizes a weakened immune system is the increase in the number of times a person becomes ill, with flu, colds and other viral infections such as herpes, very often. In this case it is likely that your body is not able to produce the defense cells efficiently, which facilitates the installation of diseases. In this case, in addition to being usually ill, the person may have symptoms such as tiredness, fever, and have simple diseases that worsen easily, such as a cold that turns into a respiratory infection, for example. See more symptoms that indicate low immunity.