Since the pandemic started “boosting immunity” has become the new buzzword. But is it really possible?
Luckily for many, vaccines are already available and hopefully, we will all be able to get them. But some of us, depending on where we live, have to wait before we receive the shot. So many are looking for ways to strengthen the immune system. Do some claim that vitamin D or probiotics can do so, but is it really true?
How does the immune system work?
The immune system is distributed throughout the body and good nutrition is what supports the immune system’s functions, but it is not something you can change in a day or two, it’s built over time with the right dietary patterns. The studies are usually performed on people who had a deficiency, to begin with, so it may not benefit someone who is not deficient.
So are there any immune boosters that work?
Acupuncture may help reduce inflammation –but it does not work for everyone. If acupuncture helps you reduce your anxiety and sleep better, it will benefit your immune system. By addressing a condition that might affect your immune system you will be boosting it.
Though there is some research on this supplement being able to shorten the duration of influenza, the evidence is not conclusive. The potential benefit of elderberries is their antioxidants and vitamins that are great to boost your immune system.
Garlic extract has been found to have antioxidant properties and some research may indicate the ability of garlic to increase the immune response in white cells.
Probiotics are live bacteria that help diversify the gut system and assist the immune system in regulating inflammation. the more diverse the bacteria, the better we will feel. But the appropriate diversity varies from person to person and it is not known, so simply adding probiotics might not be effective.
Turmeric is said to downregulate some inflammatory responses and regulate the immune responses in other cases. The curcumin in it works as a prebiotic and helps feed bacteria in your gut, it fights inflammation and cell damage and it also has plenty of antioxidant content. Turmeric also lowers cortisol levels –the stress hormone–, thus helping indirectly keep a healthy immune system.
The best source of vitamin C is citrus fruits and it helps stimulate the production of lymphocytes –white blood cells that protect the body against infection. Vitamin c also alloy white blood cells to function better and protects them from any damage.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a greater chance of getting colds and influenza, however, taking supplements may not be the answer, probably you are not getting enough vitamin D from the sun.
The bottom line
To boost your immune system, the best you can do is to eat a balanced diet. increase your intake of fruits and vegetables –rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. Try to stay away from alcohol and fad diets and cleansers. Exercise regularly, stay hydrated and try to keep your stress controlled. This is the best piece of advice to maintain a healthy immune system.
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