How to Boost Your Immune Function?
CATEGORY: Immune System
1) Reversing Damage - Years of stressful living caused damage to your Immune System. To help reverse this, Immunice releases hundreds of phytonutrients that act at the molecular level to enhance T cell activation, improve proliferation of Lymphocytes, bone marrow cells, and Thymocytes, increase antibody, Leucocyte, Cytokine, and red blood cell production, raise mast cell levels, and stimulate Phogocytosis and plasma fibrinolytic activity in your body.
2) Exercising Regularly - Regular exercise elevates the level of leukocytes, an Immune System cell that fights infection. Exercise also increases release of endorphins, natural hormones that heighten your sense of well being and improve sleep quality, both of which have positive effects on your Immune System. Exertion stimulates the cardiovascular system, improves blood flow, circulates antibodies, flushes toxins from muscles and organs, removes germs, and helps keep the kidneys and endocrine system fully functional.
Moderate exercise must be repeated on a near-daily basis so that there is a cumulative effect that leads to a long-term immune response. Getting your heart rate up for just 20 minutes three times a week is associated with increased immune function, and a 30-minute brisk walk five days a week can help reduce your risk of catching a cold. Walking strengthens your cardiovascular system and blood flow. Walk ten minutes, three times a day if you are unable to walk 30 minutes at one time. You can also do both cardio and light weight training to make your body more resilient in fighting off and recovering from illness.
3) Increasing Antioxidants Intake - Free radicals cause cell mutations, damage immune function, and contribute to severe diseases like cancer and heart blockage. They are produced by the body’s own natural processes, toxins, radiation, and poor digestive function. Unlike a stable molecule in which every atom in your cell is ringed by pairs of electrons, free radicals carry an unmated electron that desperately wants to pair up with another. By snaring an electron from a neighboring molecule (which then makes that molecule a free radical), it can set off a chain reaction that leads to unrelentless cellular damage which wipes out cytokine pathways - disorienting immune system activities. The antidote for free radicals are antioxidants. When an antioxidant encounters a free radical, it freely gives up an electron of its own which satisfies the free radical and stops the out of control damage. This makes the antioxidant a free radical because it’s now an electron short. However, the chain reaction is stopped as the newly created free radical made from the antioxidant is very weak and unlikely to do harm. Antioxidants also support body detoxification by boosting Glutathione levels. Glutathione turns on apoptosis - the process in which "bad" mutated cells self-destruct.
There's a good supply of antioxidants in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Other immune-boosting foods include fresh garlic (which has antiviral and antibacterial properties) and old-fashioned chicken soup. Mushroom varieties such as reichi, maitake, and shiitake also have positive influence on immune function.
4) Increasing Beta-Carotene Intake - Beta-Carotene and other Carotenoids stimulate immune cells that fight free radicals and fortify the thymus gland, protecting your body from harmful effects of stress. It also protects you against cancer by stimulating macrophages cells to produce tumor necrosis factor (which kills cancer cells) and increasing the production of T-cell Lymphocytes and other natural killer cells that attack cancer cells. Beta-Carotene also reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases by preventing fats and cholesterol in the bloodstream from forming arterial plaques. There is no RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for Beta-Carotene but studies have concluded that at least 3 milligrams of it daily is necessary to reduce risk of chronic diseases. Good sources of Beta-Carotene include apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon.
5) Increasing Vitamin C Intake - Vitamin C helps to increase the number of white blood cells as part of the Immune System arsenal. It also increases the level of good cholesterol in your body, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The latest research indicates that Vitamin C also lowers the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancers. A daily dosage of 90 mg is recommended. Good supply of Vitamin C can be obtained from berries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, orange, papaya, red, green or yellow peppers, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes.
6) Increasing Vitamin E Intake - Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells (immune cells that destroy germs and cancer cells) and B-cells (immune cells responsible for producing antibodies that destroy bacteria). It also reverses some of the decline in immune response caused by aging. A daily dosage of 100 mg is recommended. Broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds.
7) Increasing Zinc Intake - Zinc increases the number of infection-fighting T-cells, especially in elderly people who are often deficient in Zinc, and whose Immune System often weakens with age. Zinc also helps to reduce incidence of acute respiratory infections. One meta-analysis that compared several studies on Zinc found that taking it within 24 hours after the start of a cold may help to reduce symptoms. A daily dosage of 30 milligrams is recommended. If you are a strict vegetarian, you may require as much as 50% more dietary Zinc because your body absorbs less Zinc from plant-based foods. Zinc is found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products.
8) Increasing Selenium Intake - Selenium is found in nearly every cell in the body, though the highest concentrations are in the kidneys, liver, testes, pancreas and spleen. It is a potent Immune System booster as it activates hormonal production of the thyroid gland, increases the number of natural killer cells, and mobilizes cancer-fighting cells. It is known for its antioxidant activities which protect your body against cancer, heart attack, stroke, macular degeneration, cold sores, shingles and lupus, as well as effects of aging. A daily dosage of 200 cg is recommended. Among the good sources of Selenium are brazil nuts, tuna, beef, poultry and fortified breads, and other grain products.
9) Getting Adequate Sleep - You may have noticed you’re more likely to catch a cold or other infections when you’re not getting enough sleep. Fatigue increases your susceptibility to illness. Adequate restful sleep rejuvenates our bodies and refreshes our minds. During deep sleep, your body produces blood cells and raises oxygen levels to strengthen immune function. Like stress, insomnia elevates cortisol production which engenders inflammation in your body. Getting adequate sleep, 7 to 9 hours for adults, is essential for good health.
10) Practicing Relaxation Techniques - Stress reduction lowers cortisol levels and improves sleep quality. Studies indicate that people who meditate regularly enjoy improved Immune System response. In one experiment, people who meditated over an 8-week period produced more antibodies to a flu vaccine than people who didn’t meditate. And they still showed an increased Immune System response four months later. Laughing decreases the levels of stress hormones in the body while increasing Leukocytes (type of white blood cell that fights infection). In fact, even just anticipating a funny event can have a positive effect on your Immune System. A good way to relax is to do yoga stretches for a few minutes daily. Yoga postures calm and relax the nervous system and the slow, deep breathing practiced along with yoga positions invokes a meditative state that relieves stress.
Learn how to make your body resistant to germs and disease so you can live a longer, healthier life.
To complete this How-To you will need:
Daily moderate exercise
Something to laugh about
Lots of friends
A healthy diet
Seven to nine hours of sleep per night
A bridge group (optional)
Step 1: Get moving
Get moving: Just 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise will do. You can even split it into three 10-minute bursts of activity.
Step 2: Laugh it off
Find something to laugh about every day -- even force it if you have to. Real or fake, laughter strengthens your immune system by increasing good-for-you hormones and reducing stress ones; lowering your blood pressure; and slowing your resting heart rate.
Step 3: Look at the bright side
Train yourself to look at the bright side. Optimistic people were two and a half times less likely to develop cancer of any kind than their pessimistic peers, according to one study.
Step 4: Make time for friends
Make time for the friends you have and cultivate new ones. A study found that seniors with a lot of pals were 22 percent less likely than their less social counterparts to die during the decade when they participated in the study.
Tip: Start a bridge group. Research shows that bridge boosts the body's defense against infections and illness.
Step 5: Eat well
Eat a healthy diet: at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day focusing on the antioxidant powerhouses; complex carbs, fatty fish, and a few cups of green tea at least two times a week; a daily handful of nuts; no more than one glass of alcohol per day; and a limited amount of meat and sweets.
Tip: Eat more mushrooms during cold and flu season: Research shows that when a virus is present, mushrooms may rally the immune system to fight them.
Step 6: Catch your zzzzz's
Get at least seven hours of sleep every night, more if you can.
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