With so many epidemics and pandemics floating around these days, it has become an urgent concern on the part of everyone’s life these days on how to boost immunity and detox our body naturally.
We have all seen the havoc that the recent pandemic and its many evolving variants have caused and are still creating.
With so many changes in life, climate and science, it appears that pathogens are also evolving rapidly.
So the question of how to boost immunity naturally by making lifestyle changes is becoming more relevant as well.
Just like in every superhero movie, super villains also arrive on the scene as formidable and deadly opponents, it appears that with newer breakthroughs in science and medicine, viruses and other pathogens are getting more and more deadlier.
In this post, let’s talk about how we can boost immunity and detox our body naturally by making some simple lifestyle changes and inculcating some practices in our daily life.
These tips to boost immunity naturally vary from food, diet, work, personal and physical activities and will help your body cope with infections as well as act as a preventive and defensive mechanism to foster your health, fitness and longevity.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Consider that your body has tiny warriors (immune cells) who guard against pathogens and disease.
Now in order to keep you healthy, those tiny warriors prepare to fight against external pathogens and microbes as you sleep.
The better you sleep, these soldiers grow stronger and retain the ability to repel any harmful microorganisms you may come into contact with.
So in order for your soldiers to keep your body safe and powerful against internal and external threats, a healthy sleep is like giving them a decent rest and training period.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can help a lot when it comes to physical fitness and improving general health and natural immunity of the body. There are a number of ways in which regular exercise can help boost your natural immunity.
First of all, when you exercise, it increases the circulation of blood and the lymph throughout your body.
Lymphatic system is the network of vessels that are responsible for the flow of fluids through the body and remove the toxins and waste products from our body.
Lymphs also carry white blood cells that fight the microbes and infections. With increased circulation these protective cells are able to reach their target faster and keep our body safe from internal and external microbodies.
When you exercise, there’s contraction of muscles depending upon the vigor of the activity. This contraction leads to an increase in cytokines which are known for their anti-inflammatory action. Thus regular exercise helps keep chronic inflammation like joint pain and arthritis at bay by strengthening our immune system. 
Other ways in which regular exercise can help boost immunity naturally and remove toxins and waste products from our system is through increased production and circulation of white blood cells (WBCs are immune cells that fight infections), reduction of stress and improved respiratory system. 
3. Avoid Excess Alcohol
Drinking alcohol heavily over a longer period of time can suppress your immune system severely. It makes your body unable to respond to microbes and external and internal threats thus making you vulnerable to fall ill often.
Consumption of alcohol over a long duration of time adversely affects your liver, gut health and even affects your sleep. Liver is an important organ responsible for detoxification of our body by removing waste products from our system.
Proper sleep is also vital for our body and immune system to work efficiently. Alcohol addiction also increases inflammation in our body leaving our immune system weak and our body vulnerable to diseases. Try our ayurvedic formulation Addiction Killer to quit addiction to alcohol naturally.
By cutting down or quitting alcohol addiction, you can see noticeable changes and a natural boost to immunity of your body. Quitting alcohol increases the production of white blood cells responsible for fighting infections in our body.
Drinking alcohol affects the gut microbiomes adversely which play an important role in the body’s natural immunity.  Avoiding alcohol significantly improves digestion and gut health as microbiomes in the gut begin to heal thus reducing inflammation naturally.
4. Ayurvedic Herbs and Spices
Since time immemorial, herbs and spices have been held in great reverence in the traditional system of medicine in India also known as Ayurveda, the science of life. Now backed by modern research, the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda has been widely adopted, recommended and accepted across the world.
As modern research has shown, these powerful ayurvedic herbs and spices are known to be endowed richly with an array of medicinal and nutritional properties. As part of a healthy diet, they provide vital nutrition through antioxidants, polyphenol, phytonutrients, flavonoids and various bio-active compounds. 
Some of the most powerful ayurvedic herbs to boost immunity and detoxify the body through cleansing the waste products from our system include:
The immunity enhancing properties of these herbs and spices can be attributed to the compounds present in them which gives them ability to fight below mentioned conditions. 
- Prevent liver damage
- Fights cancer
- Diabetes Management
5. Eat Healthy Fats
Recent studies and discoveries of bioactive lipid mediators have shown that including healthy fats can contribute to a natural boost in immunomodulatory response of our body. 
Immunomodulators here refers to substances that can modify, enhance or modulate the immune system to help our body fight illness and various diseases.
Scientific studies have concluded that “Good” unsaturated fats lower disease risk.  There are two categories of healthy fats
- Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA)
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids
As a part of your balanced diet, foods containing these healthy fats can benefit you with a healthier immune system. Besides immunity, these fats also help improve brain function.
Foods high in good fats include vegetable oils like olive, canola and sunflower oil, nuts like avocado, seeds like flax seeds and chia seeds, fatty fish and dark chocolate.
6. Maintain Healthy Weight
Like any forces on march, immune cells also need proper nourishment in order to fight external invaders and internal enemies. Research has shown that obesity or being overweight can impair your body’s natural immune system by affecting the count of leucocytes or the white blood cells. 
White blood cells are the warriors that fight the external microbes and internal infections to keep you safe from disease and illness caused by invaders like viruses and harmful bacteria. Having excess fat around the abdominal area tend to trigger inflammation by increasing the count of harmful cells.
A proper nutrient rich balanced diet together with regular exercise triggers a healthy immune response system by increasing blood flow, strengthening antibodies count, reducing stress and inflammation. So when it comes to immunity and obesity, maintaining a healthy weight, doing regular exercise and eating a balanced diet is the real deal. 
7. Cut Down on Processed Foods
Unhealthy substances like added sugars, additives, unhealthy fats are present in processed foods for change in taste and textures and add artificial flavors.
These substances are known to weaken the natural immune response of our body. It is recommended to either avoid completely or significantly lower intake of processed foods in your diet to naturally boost immunity.
Some of the most common examples of everyday processed foods are:
- Breakfast cereals
- Canned fish
- Fruits in syrup
- Bottled vegetables
8. Include Vitamin Rich Food
Including vitamin rich foods in our daily diet is yet another way to boost immunity naturally.
Research and studies have have identified some of of nutrients which are key for the growth and function of immune cells include
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
|Foods to include
|Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit), Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), Cantaloupe, Honeydew melon, Kiwi, Mango, Papaya, Pineapple, Red and green bell peppers and Tomatoes
|Unfortunately, you can’t get Vitamin D from fruits and foods except in case it is fortified. Some of the good sources for Vitamin D are Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines), Fortified milk and yogurt, Fortified orange juice, and Eggs.
|Beans and lentils, Nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds), Whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice), Shrimp, Lobster, and Crab
|Chicken, Eggs, Brown rice, Shrimp, Crab
|Beans and lentils, Spinach, Dark chocolate, Nuts and seeds (cashews, almonds, pistachios)
|Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Beans and lentils, Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese), Whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice)
9. Include More Leafy Greens
Leafy greens contain a variety of nutrients which provide a load of health benefits. Loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. Leafy greens also come packed with an abundance of beta carotene which converts into vitamin A in our body.
These vitamins, fiber and folates present in leafy greens make them a natural source to boost immunity, improve eyesight and healthy skin. Some of the leafy greens you should include as a part of daily diet are:
- Cabbage – (गोभी / Gobhi)
- Lettuce (सलाद / Salad)
- Mustard greens (सरसों का साग / Sarson ka Saag)
- Spinach (पालक / Palak)
- Turnip greens (शलजम का साग / Shalgam ka Saag)
10. Minimize Sugar Intake
This goes without saying that intake of sugar, especially added sugar and refined carbohydrates – which our body processes as sugar – may significantly lower our immune response.
Studies have shown that 100 gm sugar or 1 liter bottle of soda reduces the reactivity of White Blood Cells (WBCs) by 40%.
White blood cells are our guards or soldier cells that fight external and internal disease causing microbes and pathogens. Reduction of 40% reactivity of our WBCs is like soldiers fighting without shields for 4-5 hours with external enemies.
This makes our immune system vulnerable to attacks from bacteria and other pathogens and more chances of us getting sick or infected.
11. Include More Fermented Food
Gut health is vital for a healthy immune system. Our gut is home to 70% of our immune cells.
Gut microbiomes are responsible for producing the food for our intestine. The intestinal cells in turn help create a strong immune system.
Some fermented foods contain probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that interact and stimulate immune cells by restoring the composition of the gut microbiomes which leads to lesser chances of constipation and eases bowel movement . They do so by boosting T-lymphocytes, cytokines, and natural killer cell toxicity. 
Including fermented foods like kombucha, yogurt (curd), apple cider vinegar, pickles and chutneys can help us boost immunity naturally.
12. Quit Smoking
Smoking can weaken our immune system in numerous ways which makes us susceptible to various infections and major health conditions including cancers.  Some of the ways in which smoking can reduce immunity and cause serious health conditions are:
- Increasing inflammation (body’s natural response to pain, injury and infections)
- Increasing oxidative stress ( increasing number of free radicals and decreasing antioxidant which leads to cell damage)
- Damaging the lungs
- Weakening the cilia (small hair-like structure present in our cells that blocks bacteria and other harmful particles)
- Reducing the number of white blood cells (the warrior or protective cells that flow through our bloodstream and protect us against virus, bacteria and other harmful pathogens and foreign invaders that can negatively affect our health)
Quitting smoking can have several benefits which not only improves your health but also your finances. Read our post on benefits of quitting smoking for your health and wallet to find out how.
13. Stay Active
When you stay active, it helps your immune cells move faster in your body because activity increases blood circulation. Immune cells or white blood cells travel to different parts of the body through our blood.
Thus when you stay active, it makes it easier for immune cells to travel to different parts of our body, identify harmful bacteria, viruses and microbes and neutralize and eliminate them and keep us disease free.
14. Herbal Tea
Some ayurvedic herbs are rich source of polyphenols like flavanols and other essential oils which enhances our immune system by aiding and strengthening our different bodily functions. 
Some of the herbal teas to include in your daily routine to boost immunity are:
- Ginger Tea
- Turmeric Tea
- Licorice Root Tea
- Peppermint Tea
- Chamomile Tea
15. Manage Stress
When we are stressed, our body creates cortisol, a hormone that in short spurts may boost immunity. These hormones have the ability to inhibit immune system activity, which makes it harder for your body to fight off infections.
Additionally, stress may also lead you to resort to bad habits like smoking, alcohol etc. which further weaken your immune system by increasing oxidative stress and inflammation.
Another way in which stress could impact your immune system is by depriving you of sleep. Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to a healthy immune system. When you are stressed you may not get enough sleep which will weaken your immune system.
16. Soak up the Sun
According to some scientific studies, Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses. We don’t get much Vitamin D from food. Sun light is one of the best way to get vitamin D naturally.
Exposure to sun light activates our key immune cells, gives us natural vitamin D and help our system fight more effectively with foreign bodies like viruses, bacteria and other harmful pathogens.
17. Engage in Yoga and Meditation
Various studies have shown that yoga and meditation may naturally boost immunity. Relaxation techniques such as Yoga and meditation could regulate the cytokine levels and hence, the immune responses during stress. 
18. Stay Connected (Healthy social connections)
It is now a science based fact that positive social connections can actually boost your immunity. This immune boosting effect of social relationships can be attributed to the fact that positive social connections can lead to below immune boosting impacts:
- Reduces stress
- Promotes healthy behavior
- Increases social support
Above positive effects are some of the reasons why doctors and experts recommend building and nurturing positive social relationships. You should spend time with people you care about, be positive and understanding and have fun activities which in turn helps boost your immune system naturally.
19. Laugh and have Fun
There’s a popular saying:
“it takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile”
Research has shown that people who laugh more often tend to have a stronger immune system and are less likely to get sick. They also tend to live longer. 
20. Stay Hydrated
Optimal hydration may help to support communication and biochemical pathways in the immune system.
Blood is the carrier of white blood cells (WBCs) which take care of our innate immune responses. 
WBCs are like soldiers in our body that shield us from and ward off and fight harmful bacteria and viruses that cause us to fall sick and infect us with various diseases.
Since blood plasma is about 90% water, hydration is necessary to support this. White blood cells circulate in the blood and mount inflammatory and cellular responses to injury or pathogens. That is why it is necessary to keep your body adequately hydrated to boost immunity.
It is recommended that you should drink at least 2-3 liters of water everyday to keep hydrated. If you drink alcohol, then it is advisable that you drink more water as drinking alcohol does lead to dehydration.
Include Probiotics in your Diet
One of the beneficial effects of probiotics is through the regulation of our immune response.
Probiotics essentially are good bacteria found in fermented food that can keep to take care of a lot of health issues related to the gut, digestion and immunity.
Studies have shown that probiotics have shown potential benefits against prevention and therapeutic response against diseases especially against immune response-related diseases, such as allergy, eczema, viral infection, and potentiating vaccination responses. 
Some of the most healthy probiotics that you should make a part of your daily diet to boost immunity naturally are:
- Traditional Buttermilk (छाछ)
A digital marketer and content crafter by profession and a keen traveler, amateur photographer, avid reader and ayurveda enthusiast by passion, Nikhil Chandra applies his educational qualification and professional experience to write on a range of topics that includes wander wisdom, ayurvedic health and wellness tips and search marketing.