6 simple ways to help strengthen the immune system

To strengthen the immune system, you need to eat well, be physically active, avoid stress, get enough sleep, quit smoking and avoid drinking too much alcohol.

According to MSc Vo Huynh Quoc Kha, Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital - Facility 3, the immune system helps protect the body from infection. When not functioning normally, the immune system can launch an attack on the body even when bacteria are not present or cannot prevent bacteria from entering the body.

Autoimmune diseases, allergies are some examples of immune disorders that can affect our body. Below are some ways to help strengthen the immune system, according to Dr. Kha.

Eat well

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products. You should also limit saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt.

Eating well provides many nutrients that support optimal immune function. However, also note that too many vitamins and minerals can be harmful to the body.

Physical activity

Regular physical activity helps us feel better, sleep better and reduce anxiety. Combined with healthy eating, physical activity brings many benefits to the immune system.

Studies have demonstrated that moderate-intensity exercise for periods of less than 60 minutes shows increased circulating immunoglobulins, anti-inflammatory cytokines, and neutrophils along with improved immune surveillance. , helps fight pathogens, cancer cells and reduce systemic inflammation.

Avoid stress

When stressed, the body increases cortisol secretion. Cortisol has many functions in the human body, such as regulating metabolism, inflammation and immunity. Cortisol has anti-inflammatory effects and inhibits the immune response. Chronic hypercortisolemia can lead to resistance of the immune system.

Individuals with higher levels of stress have been shown to be more likely to experience clinical symptoms during respiratory viral infections. Besides, stress also promotes other negative lifestyle factors such as unhealthy eating and poor sleep quality.

Get enough sleep

Much scientific evidence has shown that insomnia negatively affects various parts of the immune system. This can lead to the development of many types of disorders.

Not getting enough sleep reduces NK cell activity, which plays a significant role in killing cancer cells. Specifically, reduced function of NK cells was associated with a 1.6-fold higher risk of cancer death (all sites).

Quitting smoking

Smoking affects both innate and adaptive immunity. Immune system disorders caused by cigarette smoke lead to many diseases, including cardiovascular, respiratory and autoimmune diseases, allergies, cancer...

Avoid drinking too much alcohol

Moderate alcohol consumption is effective in reducing inflammatory responses. However, excessive and long-term alcohol consumption impairs the ability of white blood cells to migrate to sites of damage and infection, causing functional abnormalities of T and B lymphocytes, NK cells and monocytes/macrophages and altered cytokine production.

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