Having a healthy immune system is important because it supports your body’s ability to fight disease and infection. Our immune systems are made up of cells, tissues and organs that work together to protect against illness and other aggressors that enter our bodies. Having healthy lungs is also essential to our well-being because they provide oxygen to our bodies and help keep all of our organs functioning properly.
COVID-19 is a disease that causes a wide range of symptoms, with some of the more common ones being a persistent cough, difficulty breathing, fever, and loss of taste or smell. Many COVID-19 patients’ upper and lower respiratory systems are affected, and CT scans and X-rays have shown that the disease can cause significant damage to the lungs as well.
Because there is currently no vaccine or cure for COVID-19, the millions of people who have been infected have had to rely on their immune systems to help fight off the disease Here are ways to strengthen your immunity and keep your lungs healthy in order to reduce your risk of illness and help you recover faster:
Fruits, vegetables, nuts and proteins are rich in nutrients, amino acids and antioxidants, which help decrease inflammation in our bodies by fighting unstable compounds known as free radicals that can cause inflammation as they build up. It’s also important to maintain a healthy amount of good bacteria that make up the microbiome in our gut as they improve immunity and prevent harmful pathogens from enteringthe body via the digestive tract. Avoid eating too many processed foods that are filled with preservatives, artificial sugars and chemicals, which can further weaken the immune system.
Get adequate sleep.
Immunity is closely tied to how we sleep and studies have shown that inadequate or poor sleep is linked to a higher likelihood of getting sick. While we sleep our body repairs itself and our immune system has a better opportunity to fight off illness or infection. Aim to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night to strengthen your natural immunity.
One of the first lines of defense for keeping germs at bay and to reduce spread to others is to practice good personal hygiene. This includes washing hands with soap and water frequently, as well as covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or coughing into your elbow instead of your hand.
Such as daily walks, jogging or biking help improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, decrease inflammation, and increase blood and lymph flow, as well as the circulation of immune cells, which find pathogens like viruses and help wipe them out. Physical activity may also help rid the lungs and airways of bacteria, which can reduce your chances of getting a cold or other illness. When you are physically active, your heart and lungs are working harder to supply additional oxygen to your muscles, and become stronger as a result.
In addition to putting you at greater risk for cancer, heart and lung disease, smoking destroys antioxidants in the body such as vitamin C, which helps kill free radicals. Smoking also destroys antibodies in the blood stream, which normally fight off infectious illnesses. This compromises the immune system, which can increase your susceptibility to illness. When smoke enters your lungs, it can damage delicate tissues and increase your chances of developing a respiratory illness such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
Drink alcohol in moderation.
Regular and excessive consumption of alcohol can weaken the immune system and make you more prone to getting sick. Alcohol affects your gut’s microbiome, which is made up of different good bacteria that perform crucial roles for your health, including supporting your immune system. Drinking alcohol may also damage the immune cells that line our intestines, which serve as a line of defense against viruses and bacteria.
Our immune systems can only function at their best when sufficient nutrients are available, and many of us don’t get the required daily minimum of various vitamins. Important vitamins that boost the immune system include vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent the common cold; B vitamins, which impact the immune response and boost the immune system; and vitamin D (studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in susceptibility to infection).
Long-term stress causes your body to produce greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which in large amounts can cause inflammation. Stress also decreases the body’s lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that help fight off infection. To better manage your stress levels, participate in activities that help reduce stress like yoga, exercise, meditation, reading or taking a bath.