Immunity is the defence mechanism of our body. Every day, our bodies come into contact with various micro-organisms (pathogens), yet only a small number of these cause disease. The reason for this is that our body produces antibodies to fight off pathogens and shield the body from disease. In-short, immunity is the ability of the body to defend itself against disease-causing organisms.
Types of immunity:
There are two types of immunity:
Innate or Natural immunity - Innate immunity refers to the body’s defence system. This type of immunity is present in us by birth.
Acquired or Adaptive immunity - Acquired immunity or adaptive immunity is the immunity that our body acquires or gains over time. This is not present by birth.
Five ways of improving your immunity:
Well, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help increase your immunity. A healthy lifestyle consists of a good diet, enough sleep, proper exercise, less stress, and taking additional nutrition.
Diet - One of the most important ways to boost immunity is through diet. Our immune system fighters need good and regular nourishment. A well-balanced diet includes all the crucial nutrients our body needs. Reduce the amount of processed food and unhealthy drinks like alcohol and carbonated drinks.
Sleep - Good sleep is important for everyone. When we sleep, our body begins the healing process. It gives our body organs time to relax and work at their own pace without any kind of disturbance. This healing process contributes to a healthy immune system. Researchers say, our immune system releases cytokines during sleep which protects us from infections.
Exercise - Exercise stimulates your cellular immunity by increasing the circulation of immune cells in your body. Regular exercise gives us good physical health. It improves cardiovascular health, maintains blood pressure, and controls body weight. Exercise keeps you away from many diseases that can weaken your immune system, which may invite more infections.
Minimize stress - Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. It also works the other way around. Chronic stress affects us physically such as weight loss, insomnia, upset stomach, and low appetite, which can cause viral illnesses and infections. So try to calm down, talk to your loved ones, do activities that help you relax, meditate, take small steps, and take a break if you need. Do anything that helps to reduce your stress; you can also seek professional help.
Additional nutrition - Sometimes our regular food doesn't provide us with enough or all the nutrients that our body needs. Walk into a store, and you will find bottles of pills and herbal remedies that claim to "support immunity" or otherwise boost the health of your immune system. There are some supplements like multivitamins, iron or zinc supplements, calcium tablets, etc.