The immune system is a network of cells and organs that work together to defend you against disease. It stops infections by bacteria or viruses and keeps the body disease free. The immune system has a powerful "search and destroy" task force. It sends immune-cell forces out to hunt down the unwanted intruders and get rid of them.
How Does It Work?
The human body makes proteins called antibodies in response to antigens carried by bacteria, viruses or foreign cells. They help fend off common ailments like the flu or a cold. The immune system also protects against major illnesses like cancer or heart disease. The "cell-mediated immune system helps the body create memories of past defenses against certain threats. So when the body encounters the same invader again, it calls up that memory and destroys the threat before the disease develops. This phenomenon makes vaccines or immunizations work for illnesses like the flu, measles, chicken pox, or hepatitis. The shot has a small but harmless amount of the disease organisms in it so that the immune cells can react, learn, and remember how to protect you from it next time.
Ways to boost and improve immunity to colds and flu
Taking a vitamin D supplement can be beneficial in respiratory infections including flu.
Get enough sunlight:
Getting sunlight helps produce more vitamin D in your body.
Try using a high-quality air filter in your home:
It can filter out bacteria and mold spores that may be circulating inside your home.
Get regular exercise:
It helps to boost your circulation and immune strength. Exercise should be frequent and moderate. One should not over-stress at the gym, or the immune system will be temporarily compromised.
Minimize exposure to immune-damaging chemicals:
Minimize exposure to immune-damaging chemicals that might be found in some laundry products, cosmetics, personal care products and fragrances. These products may not be beneficial for health
Avoid excess medications:
Excess medications can suppress your immune system, liver function, kidney function and even your reproductive function.
Eat more meals that are rich in pungent spices:
Eat more meals that are rich in pungent spices like turmeric, ginger, cilantro, rosemary, thyme and other spices. Cloves and nutmeg can also boost immune functions as recommended by Ayurveda.
Take a healthy diet:
Cheese and dairy products may cause sinus stuffiness and may be avoided
Take care of your mineral intake, especially zinc:
Both zinc and selenium are crucial for immune function. Zinc supplementation can help in prevent duration of cold symptoms. . One may also switch to a natural sea salt or a high-mineral salt.
Move your lymph:
Jumping rope and hopping in place for a few minutes can help. Do arm rotations and other simple movements to keep your lymph circulating. Lymph movement is vital for immunity.
Maintain good hygiene:
Wash your hands more frequently. Many of the infections develop due to touching contaminated surfaces and then touching our eyes, nose or mouth. Washing your hands can dramatically cut down on viral infections.
Demand high levels of hygiene from those around you:
Ask people around you to wash their hands, boost their immunity with herbs, nutrients and supplements. Merely relying on a vaccine does not help.
Get adequate sleep:
Get adequate sleep because lack of sleep compromises the immune system.
Reduce your levels of chronic stress:
Stress compromises the immune system. It "uses up" nutrients in your body, leaving you nutritionally depleted.
Consuming vegetable juice is beneficial. Warm but raw vegetable soups can also help:
Laugh a little:
Spend some fun time with family and friends. Laughter boosts immune function. It improves mental health also.