Today we are going a little bit on the medical side. To maintain a healthy body and mind, we need to learn about how our body works and what we can do to keep it at its best. Especially we need to learn about the Immune System and how we can be proactive to keep it healthy. For this article, I have interviewed Pauline J. Jose, MD, a specialist in family medicine. She will be answering some of the basic questions about the Immune system and what you can do to keep yourself and your family healthy.
Thank you Pauline for the great advice. I believe the readers will be benefitted from it.
Immune System: What should you know:
What is an immune system and why do we have to be concerned about it?
The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that has three main functions. To simplify, it helps fight infections, rids the body of excess fluids in the form of lymph, and carries out fatty acids from the intestine. It also has cells where cancer attaches to which it then carries to other organs (metastasis). It consists of many organs including the thymus, spleen, bone marrow, and the lymph nodes themselves that are scattered all over the body and lymphocytes in the blood.
What are the best practices for a healthy immune system?
- To maintain a good immune system, it is vital that we eat enough fruits and vegetables that contain the essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. More specifically for a strong immune system, we need a robust amount of Vitamin C, more than the RDA, when we are sick or when we feel like we are about to get sick, or during the flu season or any pandemic.
- We also need all the Vitamin B as they help boost immunity by making sure the bone marrow makes enough lymphocytes and other cells that fight infections.
- Magnesium-rich foods are also essential to a healthy immune system thus supplementing may be a good idea if we are unable to consume enough Mg-rich foods.
You can do meal-prepping to get you started on a healthy eating journey. Here’s how you can start: Beginners Guide to Meal Prepping.
- It might be best to take a multivitamin that contains all these vitamins and minerals as to make the immune system function well, we should not be depleted of any of these nutrients. Vitamin D may not be in multivitamins and it is also essential to our immune systems and at this pandemic, 5000 IU per day for people over 50 yo and 2500 IU for those under 50 yo will be sufficient. Getting some sun in our backyards will also help.
- A good probiotic is essential to ascertain good gut health and it also makes sure we absorb the nutrients we ingest.
- Certain herbs that may help are Garlic, astragalus, milk thistle, ginseng, green tea, black cumin, elderberry, Echinacea, oregano, licorice.
- Mushrooms like cordyceps, shiitake, maitake and reishi also help.
Read more about nutrition on the previous article: Top 5 Nutrition Tips When You Are Working from Home…
What can we do at home to make sure we are keeping our immune systems healthy?
- We should get enough sleep and regulate our Netflix watching in this quarantine days!
- We shouldn’t drink too much alcohol as this can harm our immune system.
- We should avoid eating too much sugar and other junk foods as these can be inflammatory.
- We should stay active even at home with jumping jacks, a jump rope, dancing or video exercises, if we don’t have home gyms. Here are 5 Easy Exercises You Can Do While Making Dinner.
- We should meditate, relax, and de-stress as being worried and stressed will put a toll on our immune systems making us more vulnerable to infections or other diseases.
- We should play cards or board games with our families for fun as laughter is another immune system booster. Or, you can try something like this: 10 Fun At-Home Fitness Routines for those who don’t like “Workouts”.
- Diffusing with essential oils like lemon, lavender, frankincense or thyme for a few examples will boost the immune system.
- We can give each other massages.
- Last but not least we should pray because if we believe in a Higher being then nothing else will matter as we know that He will take care of everything!
About Pauline J. Jose:
Pauline J. Jose, MD is a specialist in family medicine and a member of the pH Labs health team, a national non-profit health information company that provides education and tools needed to achieve optimal health. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook.
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