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How to Boost Your Immune System

by | March 27, 2020

Despite what you may see from some chiropractic offices, there is no proof that chiropractic adjustments help to boost the immune system. In fact, doing so is not permitted by the Ohio State Chiropractic Board. There are many people that want to sell you unproven products because of the current situation related to COVID-19. 

What you can do is try to improve your health as it is one of the few things that we can control in these uncertain times. The following article is meant to help give you idea on natural things that you can do to boost your immune system. It is not a substitute for social distancing, avoiding crowds and avoiding contact with people that have been exposed in order to “flatten the curve”. The goal of boosting your immune system is to help your body fight it if you do catch something and hopefully decrease the severity of the illness or the length of time that it affects you. Being stressed and eating fast food is not going to help you in the slightest.

What is the Immune System?

The immune system is one of the most important parts of the body. It is a large system that includes several compounds, including white blood cells. The immune system’s primary role is to protect you from pathogens, including both chemicals and microbes that pose a threat to your body. The immune system itself is divided into several parts, including the innate and specific immunity.

When your immune system is down, it means you are more likely to be infected with viruses and bacteria. This can lead to a frequent occurrence of infectious diseases. You are also more likely to suffer from serious diseases when you have a weak immune system. Your levels of chronic inflammation are also related to your susceptibility to illness.

There are ways to strengthen your immune system. In this post, we consider some of the best ways to help protect yourself against viruses, bacteria, and other invading pathogens.

Focus on Improving Your Sleep

Sleep deficiency is a common problem among the worldwide population. At least 35% of the global population does not sleep enough each night. The average adult needs about seven to nine hours of sleep to remain healthy.

Sleep has a major impact on several aspects of your health – including your immune system. One study explains that sleep deprivation makes your body more susceptible to infectious diseases. This is due to a weakening of your immune system. In turn, your body is not as capable of defending itself against invading pathogens.

Thus, start by focusing on improving your sleep. If you are sleep deprived, work on getting to bed earlier. Try some relaxation techniques if you have trouble falling asleep. By sleeping better and for an adequate duration of time, you may already give your immune system a boost.

Reduce Your Stress to Boost Your Immune System

Stress is something that most people face today. Stress comes from the workplace, relationships, family issues, and even due to financials. Acute stress responses are beneficial for your body, sure, but when stress starts to become a chronic problem, your body will start to suffer.

Your immune system is just one part of your body that suffers when you have too much stress. One study explains that psychological stress can reduce the immune system’s ability to make antibodies. These antibodies are crucial to fighting against bacteria, viruses, and other microbes that may invade your body.

Try a few ways to reduce your stress levels. Mindfulness meditation is just one option that has been proven to yield effective results. The calming effects of a tea infused with some chamomile flower extract may help you relax too – and could even be a great option for helping you sleep faster at night.

Exercise More to Boost Your Immune System

A sedentary lifestyle is something that is becoming a bigger concern than ever before. Too many people fail to meet the recommended physical activity levels. When you are sedentary, you are at risk of experiencing excessive weight gain. Your risk of heart disease and several other chronic diseases will increase.

Exercise has been suggested as a way of reducing the incidence of serious chronic diseases. Exercise helps to promote the recirculation of certain immune cells. These immune cells have anti-inflammatory effects and also act as antioxidants in your body. Thus, physical activity may be an effective way of improving the immune system’s general functions.

While exercise is great for increasing your immune system’s overall health and function, make sure not to overdo it. Prolonged periods of intense physical activity may rather have a depressive effect on your body’s immunity.

Find a good balance and participate in activities that will not push your body too far.

Have Some Green Tea to boost immunity

Green tea is actually a very popular drink all over the world. There are many ways to enjoy green tea – and the tea has been linked to quite a number of impressive health benefits.

It is the epigallocatechin-3 content found in the green tea that seems to produce these impressive effects. The epigallocatechin-3 is sometimes simply referred to as EGCG.

Studies show that green tea possesses potent antioxidant properties. This means drinking green tea could help to protect your body against free radical damage.

In addition to these findings, it has also been shown that green tea’s components hold immunomodulating potential.

One study explains that the EGCG content in green tea affects cells that are part of both the adaptive and innate immune systems in the human body. The impact of the EGCG content on these immune systems seems to be favorable. In fact, the study also explains that the effects of EGCG could not only be useful in enhancing the immune system but could also be a preventative measure against autoimmune diseases

Include Immune-Boosting Foods in Your Diet

What you eat also affects how well your immune system is able to protect you from invading microbes and other pathogens. Thus, you should also take a closer look at your diet if you are looking for ways to improve your immune system.

There are several foods that may help to improve your immune system.

The Vitamin C content in citrus food can help your body make more white blood cells. These cells, in turn, have a role to play in fighting against infectious diseases. Thus, try to eat more oranges, lemons, tangerines, grapefruit, and limes.

Garlic is also another herb that you might want to start adding to more dishes. Garlic contains certain chemicals that may be helpful to your body. The main chemical of interest is called allicin. One study explains that garlic contains immunomodulating effects and also acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory component in the human body.

Many supplements are supposed to be good for boosting your immunity but that is another issue for another blog post

Boosting your Immune System

Your immune system is your body’s defense against invading pathogens. This includes viruses, bacteria, and other germs that may enter your body. By strengthening your immune system, you give your body the ability to fight against these invaders more effectively. We shared some of the top ways on how to boost the immune system in this post using food of changing certain habits, but you can also improve the immune system but using proper supplementation.

References

Schultz KT, Grieder F. Structure and function of the immune system. Toxicol Pathol. 1987;15(3):262-4.

Chattu VK, Manzar MD, Kumary S, Burman D, Spence DW, Pandi-Perumal SR. The Global Problem of Insufficient Sleep and Its Serious Public Health Implications. Healthcare (Basel). 2018;7(1):1.

Asif N, Iqbal R, Nazir CF. Human immune system during sleep. Am J Clin Exp Immunol. 2017;6(6):92–96.

Dragoş D, Tănăsescu MD. The effect of stress on the defense systems. J Med Life. 2010;3(1):10–18.

Edenfield TM, Saeed SA. An update on mindfulness meditation as a self-help treatment for anxiety and depression. Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2012;5:131–141.

Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Rep. 2010;3(6):895–901.

Nieman DC, Wentz LM. The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. J Sport Health Sci. 2019;8(3):201–217. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2018.09.009

Simpson RJ, Kunz H, Agha N, Graff R. Exercise and the Regulation of Immune Functions. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2015;135:355-80.

Pae M, Wu D. Immunomodulating effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea: mechanisms and applications. Food Funct. 2013 Sep;4(9):1287-303.

Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211.

Arreola R, Quintero-Fabián S, López-Roa RI, et al. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:401630. doi:10.1155/2015/401630

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