Medically reviewed by Dr. Shunmukha Priya, Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition
With Corona virus creating a world-havoc, everyone has started thinking of ways to remain healthy and hygienic. From better sanitisation to opting for healthier foods, people are becoming aware.
Today, the entire world is facing a crisis situation. Through caller tune awareness or through public health notices, every one of us is learning to be safe and preparing for this existing catastrophe.
While we may have changed our routine and become more acquainted with desolation, we should also focus on improving our immune system to defend our bodies better.
Our bodies need a continuous supply of nutrients to help it function properly and to keep the body’s immune system strong.
The immune system is a defense system of the host body that helps it fight several diseases. This system comprises different organs and processes of the body that act as walls of resistance to various types of infection and toxins. In simple words, the immune system is like a natural Armour for the body to protect it and help it cope with emergency situations.
In this article, we bring you a few natural ways to boost the immune system. Before that, let’s know more about our immune system and how it works.
How Does the Immune System Work?
Our body is a complex interface of a vast network of cells and tissues that is alert all the time to spot, fight and protect the body from invaders like parasites, viruses, bacteria etc. The immune system is interconnected throughout our body.
The system is designed in a way that it recognizes foreign pathogens and prepares every cell of the body to put up a fight against the invaders. The immune system detects the alien cells known as antigens and forms a series of functions to destroy them. 
What constitutes the Immune System?
Our immune system is mainly composed of white blood cells. Also known as leukocytes, these cells circulate in the body and are always in the lookout for pathogens.
When they come across a foreign cell, they signal to all the cells within the body to get ready to attack the antigen. WBCs either break the antigens or prepare antibodies to fight against the antigens.
These white blood cells are derived from the multi-potent cells in the bone marrow region. Even though these cells constitute just about one per cent of your blood, the impact of them in your body is quite integral.
There are many types of WBCs that work differently on foreign bodies. When the WBC counts lower, the immune system of the body weakens – allowing several diseases to come and attack the body.
How to Boost the Immune System Naturally?
The Immune System needs its fair doses of vitamins and other nutrients to work properly. When the In babies are in the womb, antibodies are passed on by the mother through the placenta that works for the baby’s immunity. But as the baby grows, it depends on external sources for the growth of the immune system.
Through diet and healthy routines, one’s immune system can be strengthened naturally. So, if you are thinking of popping some immune-boosting pills, it is time to ditch that all and embrace a natural way to boost the immune system.
Here are the 10 natural ways to boost the immune system.
1. Warm drinks first in the morning:
Relish your body with warm drinks right in the morning. Drinks like warm water plus a few drops of lemon and honey, turmeric water or ginger water helps your body to clear off the impurities.
It also helps you relax and release your stress out. It is one of the easiest and most effective home remedies for improving your immune system.
2. Yogurt for Breakfast:
Probiotic foods like yogurt are not just high in protein but also great for boosting your immune system. They are also rich in Vitamin A and zinc.
For a cup of organic Greek yogurt add up some cut fruits and your favourite nuts like almonds or pistachios and some granola. Do not miss out on adding a spoon of cinnamon powder and honey.
This fills you up until your lunch giving you more energy and boosting your immune system.
3. Frequent teatime with green tea:
While having frequent teatime sounds like a decrease in productivity, in reality it improves your ability to work before time and helps you deal with work stress.
Green teas are composed of antioxidants called polyphenols that help boost your immunity. This home remedy for increasing immune power is most effective for the workaholics out there.
4. Foods that should be mandatory:
There are thousands of vegetables and fruits which helps you increase your immune power, boosting it to fight off the invaders.
Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, fruits like citrus fruits, papaya, kiwi contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are rich in vitamins and minerals. These properties provide you with an improved immune system.
Now let us not disappoint the non veg lovers. Chicken meat is high with protein. Prepare a soup with vegetables and some amount of chicken and have it as a lunch or dinner.
It keeps you fuller and refreshing. Not just chicken meat, shellfish are a great source of vitamins and minerals. They play a major part in boosting your immunity.
5. Garlic to the rescue:
Garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a common home remedy to boost your immune system. It is easily available and widely known. The benefits of garlic also include lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol and reduces risk of cancer.
For the best results, crush or chop a few garlic cloves and have it raw in the morning. It is the most effective home remedy for strengthening the immune system.
6. Snacking with nuts:
It is common to feel hungry in between your meals. Especially if you are working from home. Generally, we tend to open a chip’s packets or high calorie cookies.
Instead, let us start munching on nuts and raisins like almonds, walnuts, pistachios. They are rich in Vitamin E and taste amazing. You can add these nuts in your salads or meals as per your convenience.
7. Exercise can never go wrong:
A lot of us assume how any physical activity affects our immune system, but let us ask why not? So, any physical activity can help our body remove bacteria out of our lungs and airways.
They lead to positive changes in white blood cells and antibodies which are majorly fighting off viruses and other invaders.
Exercises also deters release of stress hormones protecting you mentally. The body temperature increases during and after exercise which prevents bacteria growth.
8. Self-time and Family time:
Spending time alone is under-rated since ages. The time you spend alone knowing and understanding your internal mind helps you grow mentally strong.
Indirectly this prepares your body cells to fight more and grow stronger with the immune system.
Lot of us are busy getting our lives settled so that we forget people around us are also growing and getting older.
Their age cannot wait for your leisure time. Spending time with family lets you release the work stress making you mentally strong.
9. Drink plenty of water:
This is a major home remedy for keeping up with your immune system. Yes! Keep a one litre bottle with you and fill in the bottle with water as and when it is empty. Drink an ounce of water each time you hold the bottle.
This is the cheapest of home remedies for boosting your immune system. It keeps you hydrated, and your stomach feels fuller avoiding overeating.
10. Get enough sleep:
When you are asleep, your body’s immune system releases a type of proteins called cytokines, and antibodies and cells that fight infections.
If you do not get enough sleep the production of antibodies and cells decrease affecting your immune system negatively.
These home remedies for boosting your immune system, can only be effective if you are consistent with following them. Follow each remedy with utmost dedication, for if you do so, no virus can break you off.
If you are really busy and can’t find time to do the cooking, we bring to you this Immune Boosting Tea Recipe that can help you!
- 200 ml – Water
- 5 – 6 nos Tulsi Leaves
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon Stick(Powdered)
- 1/4 tsp Green Tea
- Take some water in a tea vessel and add some tulsi leaves and boil.
- Add crushed cinnamon sticks and start boiling more.
- Now add the green tea leaves.
- After straining the tea, add one teaspoon of honey.
Enjoy your drink!
1. How can I boost my immune system fast?
A. You can fastly and naturally boost the immune system by maintaining a balanced diet that fulfils your body requirements. There are other ways like regulating enough sleep, maintaining stress and managing a proper weight that can speed up your immune system.
2. What are the signs of a weak immune system?
A. Some of the major signs of a weak immune system are chronic digestive issues, loss of appetite, inflammation of internal organs, blood abnormalities like anaemia and other autoimmune diseases.
3. What vitamins can boost your immune system?
A. Vitamin C is a major immune booster. Besides it, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E also help in strengthening the immune system.
4. What foods weaken the immune system?
A. There are studies that have shown that a high intake of sugar content can suppress the immune system. Foods like deep fried foods, carbonated drinks, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, alcoholic drinks are associated with weakening of the immune system.
5. How to naturally boost the immune system?
A. With the right foods and the right lifestyle, you can power up your immunity naturally. However, there are some diseases that may lead to the degradation of the immune system. In that case, it is advisable to consult a physician.
Diseases that target the immune system usually occur due to deficiency of certain nutrients in the body, hence the first step to fight immunity issues is to get the right nutrition for the body!