Rainy season is here! Rain is a mixed blessing when it comes to our health. Positive ones are related to the country’s food supply, while the negative is associated with cold- and flu-related illnesses.
We cannot stay-away from the rain forever, thus the best way to combat these diseases is to boost your immunity. Immunity or the capability to resist infections or toxins is one of our innate abilities as human beings. Our bodies are capable (and are doing a great job!) of protecting ourselves from harmful organisms or substances that can cause diseases.
Hence, in order to strengthen our immune system, our first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the ways to boost your immunity.
1. Eat a balanced, healthy diet
Choose foods that are high in antioxidants- Vitamin A, C, E, and Selenium. Antioxidants help to stabilize free radicals that can cause inflammation and weaken your immunity. Vegetables and fruits are the best sources of these micronutrients. According to Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Filipinos are encouraged to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits per day.
2. Do not smoke
When you smoke, you expose yourself to several chemicals that can harm your body, particularly nicotine. Based on scientific studies, smoking can increase the number of white blood cells (Cells in the blood that protects you from infection). But this increase is not necessarily good. Frequent smoking damages many organs in the body and puts it under stress, leading to higher production of white blood cells that you see in smoking. Bottomline is, smoking (whether e-cigarettes, tobacco or cigarettes) will put your body under stress and damage thereby weakening it.
3. Engage in physical activity
Exercise coupled with healthy diet are pillars of good health. Regular exercise can help your blood to move faster within your body. This means that your white blood cells circulate rapidly, detecting potential toxins earlier. This also means that your body can prevent illnesses before it can adversely affect you.
4. Get adequate sleep and minimize stress
Both inadequate sleep and stress have an immunosuppressive effect on the body. When your body is in an immunosuppressed state, pathogens would have an easier time proliferating within the body and thus makes you sick.
5. Have proper hygiene
This is a simple and effective way to avoid contracting organisms that can cause illnesses, yet it is frequently overlooked advise. Proper hygiene includes taking a bath every day, brushing your teeth daily, and washing your hands with soap and water every time after you go to the bathroom and before and after eating
It is important to note that our immune function decreases with age. Just like protecting a kingdom, it is better to start early before the enemy gets to you. However, it is never too late to start changing your lifestyle to a better one. Also, immunity is a multi-systemic function, not a task of a single organ. To function well, it needs balance and harmony throughout the body. Therefore, a healthy lifestyle can keep you away from disease and let you enjoy any kind of weather.