Most people seldom thought about immunity before the COVID pandemic. 2020 has definitely revolutionized the way we work, but the biggest change it has brought to our lives is perhaps that we now realize just how important physical fitness, health, and immunity really is.
Two of the most important influences on our immune health are diet and exercise. You can take any vitamin supplement you want or follow any immune-boosting activity, but you won’t get the results you want until you focus on your diet. Your immune system is responsible for eliminating bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens to keep you healthy. It needs to work harder to fight the pathogens if you don’t give your body the right nutrition.
Similarly, physical fitness is essential for a strong immune system. Fortunately, you don’t have to lift weights or hit the gym every day in order to maintain adequate fitness levels. A simple exercise routine that involves regular walks, meditation, and some yoga is enough. Your diet and the amount of exercise you do are the two most important factors when it comes to immunity.
In this post, we’ll take a look at how your diet and exercise can boost your immunity and keep you healthy for years to come. Let’s start with your diet.
A Healthy and Balanced Diet for Immunity
Your diet affects your immune health just as it impacts the other functions of your body, according to a study published in March 2020. Your eating habits and lifestyle choices make a big difference to your physical health. Your body is what you eat and if you don’t give it the right nutrition, your immune system will have to work harder to fight infections when required. Your diet is also closely linked to your mental and emotional health. The food you eat will not only impact on your physical health, but it also affects your mood and overall wellbeing. All in all, it is your diet that keeps you healthy and happy.
So, what exactly is a healthy and balanced diet? Which foods should you eat to keep your immunity in check and which nutrients does your body need to work properly? The definition of a balanced diet can differ from person to person. However, the general rule is that you should eat foods that give your body the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre it needs. You will find these nutrients in a plethora of colorful fruits and vegetables.
By giving your body the right nutrients, you make it strong enough to fight pathogens. It also makes it easier for your immune system to kill bacteria and viruses entering your body through food. You don’t have to go on a complex immune-boosting diet. Just add a few important ingredients to your regular diet and you are good to go.
Here are some foods you should try to boost your immune system:
- Vitamin C and all citrus fruits
- Red bell peppers
- Ginger and garlic
- Sunflower seeds
- Green tea
- Kiwi and papaya
These just a few of the things you can add to your diet for better immune health. In general terms, eat plenty of different fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy proteins and whole grains.
Exercise for Immunity
Your immune system is your body’s most crucial defence system. A simple exercise routine can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health. If you don’t have time to practice immunity-boosting exercises regularly, simply go for a walk outside for 20 to 30 minutes, at least five times a week. Not only will it improve your physical health, but it gives you fresh air and uplifts your mood.
You could also try a sport like cricket, basketball, football, swimming, or biking. These are fun activities that you can do with your friends and family, so you’ll barely notice that you’re exercising. Yoga is another activity that’s gained a great deal of popularity in recent years. This relaxing form of exercise helps to boost your immunity and keep your body in good shape while also fighting stress and anxiety.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not only affect us physically, but it had a profound impact on people’s mental health as well. Studies have shown an increase in anxiety and depression during the pandemic. Exercise id not only essential for strong immunity, but it is one of the easiest ways to maintain your mental and physical health.
So, What’s More Important for Immunity – Exercise or Diet?
Both exercise and diet are two vital elements of a healthy immune system. They both work in tandem. Your body needs exercise as much as it needs nutrition to function. A healthy diet and the right lifestyle choices can improve your cardiovascular health and control your weight, both of which are essential for good immunity.