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How To Boost Immune System Naturally To Fight Cancer And Reverse Aging

Do you find yourself ill more often than your peers? Does your immune system have anything to do with it? If yes, doesn’t it also mean that you can be healthy for life just by strengthening your immune system? Something to consider, right? :)

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But before we learn how to boost immune system, it is essential we study a little more about the immune system itself.

Dr Raman Sardani, specialist in Microbiology at Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi, India, says,

“To a large extent our immunity is genetically determined.” 

While innate immunity is forwarded in the womb, we develop our adaptive immunity as we grow up and are exposed to the different kinds of germs.

“Though you can’t change your innate immunity, you sure can do small things to give your health an overall boost,”

according to Dr BS Ajaikumar, CEO, HCG Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru.  

How the immune system keeps you in the pink

1. It fights infections.

To protect you against harmful germs, your immune system functions 24×7 and creates a three-degree protection. Your skin is a physical barrier that shields you from germs. It is only penetrable if you get cut. When a germ tries to enter your body through your nose, your nose discharges more mucus or activates a sneeze to force the germ out. Your ear wax plays a significant role in shunning germs, too, and so does the acid in your stomach.

According to Dr Sardana,

“In case the germ manages to get past these, fighter cells like phagocytes and killer T cells are ready to take them on. If this fails too, the immune system gets out specific weapons (mainly T and B cells) to mark the invader and kill it. To keep the killer germs at bay, hygienic habits such as keeping cuts covered, washing hands before eating help.”

2. It kills cancer cells


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The innate immunity that gets transmitted in the womb is responsible for killing the cancer cells in your body. This is why all of us don’t develop cancer. While most of us fight cancer cells effectively, others cannot. Researchers of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in New York tested about a 100 blood samples, recently, and found out that the white blood cells of some of the participants destroyed almost 97 per cent of the cancerous cells, while those of others only managed to kill 2 per cent. So, ramping up your immunity is going to help you fight cancer.

3. It slows down aging


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Scientists have observed that there is a linkage between a drop in the number of killer T cells and one’s age. Though there is no evidence to prove this, the report on Immunity, Ageing and Cancer carried out by researchers in Spain and Germany holds,

“There is a decrease in the diversity of the naïve T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire, so the elderly is unable to resist infections they were not previously exposed to.”

Researchers from the University of Arkansas have found out that the elderly immune system tends to evade its memory of germs, and so, when they reappear, fails to identify them. Thus, the body cannot pose a strong immune response.

The immune system of a person slowly declines with age. This weakening is influenced by a number of factors, the most important being the kind of germs he or she has been exposed to through life.

You need to reduce inflammation and infections, and trim down immune hyperactivity. Omega-3 fats help to fight inflammation. Lean protein also is vital since it repairs almost every cell in your body, on a daily basis, to avert ageing.

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How to boost immune system

Ramping up your immunity is key to healthy living. If you have an under-active immune system, you cannot defend yourself from germ-attacks, and similarly, if it’s over-active, it will trigger allergies on its own and cause immune disorders. So, balance and harmony are crucial when planning on how to boost immune system.

1. Eat healthy and clean food

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“Avoid food with artificial color and preservatives that are known to interfere with the body,” warns Dr Sardana.

Pick out foods that enhance your immunity like yoghurt, which lines the gut with bacteria that is good for us and keeps us free from disease-wrecking germs. The Truths About Your Immune System, a report by the Harvard Medical School, suggests that there are a number of bacteria that boost our immunity by fixing deficiencies and improving the number of T cells we produce. A diet that is rich in anti-oxidants protects your cells from free radicals. Omega-3 reduces inflammation by bringing down the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).

Stay away from junk foods as much as you possibly can. The two main culprits that are major ingredients in junk foods are fat and sugar. While the former suppresses your immunity, the latter inhibits phagocytosis, a naturally-occurring process that helps chew up viruses and bacteria.

2. Beware of the unwanted kilos and the inches

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Overweight people, according to an article by Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), were 8 to 10 times more disposed to having a hyperactive immune system. Also, the extra inches around your belly can be really dangerous. Journal of Epidemiology has published a study that shows that even people with normal BMI but a waist as large as their hip have a hyperactive immune system.

“Moreover researchers have found that obesity is an independent risk factor for various cancers,” reminds Dr Sardana.

So, what you need to do is workout moderately. If your exercise is too rigorous, you can actually destroy your immune system. To find the best workout regime for you, consult a dietitian.

3. Try to keep yourself active throughout the day


You may not be overweight, but it is essential you keep yourself active all day. It takes just half an hour of aerobic exercise to keep your immune system alive and kicking, according to experts.  The white blood cells that remain stuck on your blood vessels otherwise, get swept back into circulation when you exercise. Also, a proper workout can reduce your CRP levels. Researchers recently compared two groups of people, one that remained inactive all day, and the other, the participants of which walked briskly every day. It was seen that the former took almost double the number of sick days in a period of 4 months compared to the latter.

So to rev up your immunity, try to work out 5 times a week for just half an hour.

4. Do not compromise on your sleep

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A poor sleep cycle is linked to lower immunity. You destroy your killer cells by compromising on your sleep. Killer cells form a part of your immune system, which fight cells that divide rapidly causing cancer. So by destroying your killer cells you are increasing the risk of having cancer. Also, lack of proper sleep hastens the aging process.  When you restrict yourself to 4-6 hours of sleep, you might experience hormone imbalance and changes in carbohydrate metabolism that imitate ageing alterations.

5. De-stress

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Chronic stress is the root cause of a weak immune system. When you are going through a period of prolonged worry, your natural killer cell count declines. Inactive killer T cells and reduced macrophage activity can intensify your immune response. Therefore, severe stress results in illnesses and alteration in the development of pre-existing ailments. Studies show that people who have lost a S.O. are more likely to catch an illness during the initial period of the hurt, than others who haven’t faced similar losses.

6. Stop smoking and avoid pesticides

It only takes about one-millionth of a gram of contaminants like pesticides and chemicals to disrupt our immune system. A study conducted by Environmental Health Perspectives, an online journal, shows that childhood exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can reduce immune response to various vaccines. Try and lessen your exposure to toxins from cigarette smoke, illegal drugs and alcohol. Purchase only organic produce. Wash your fruits and vegetables properly to remove the pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

Suggested read: A day without laughter is a day wasted

7. Adopt a pet

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By adopting a dog or a cat, in your growing years, makes your immune system come in contact with harmless but necessary germs. According to Mark Liponis, author of UltraLongevity: The Seven Step Program for a Younger, Heathier You, your immune system has to be exposed to a mix of harmless germs so that your it does not react to things like pollen or dander or mold.

8. Make friends and laugh like crazy


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Positive emotions that are associated with laughing and keeping yourself happy decrease hormones that cause stress and increase some immune cells while turning on others. The fewer human connections you have, whether at home or work or in the community, there are more chances of you getting sick.

So, find reasons to be happy in life. Isn’t life itself a reason enough to be happy? Read books, make friends, develop a hobby, connect with nature, do what you love doing, and subscribe to our daily newsletter! 😉

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Article Name
How To Boost Immune System Naturally To Fight Cancer And Reverse Aging
Do you fall ill more often than your peers? Here's how to boost immune system to ensure a healthier, vigorous & cancer-free life. Read on for more.
Riya Roy

Riya Roy

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” This Isaac Asimov line, embraces my love for writing in the finest and most desperate way that it is and should be! I was tormented by the earnestness of the written word not very early in my journey. But once smitten, it has helped me devour life twice over; savoring the moment and indulging in its memories. As a flâneuse, I wander to understand the intricacies of human relationships. Realizing that, they are just different manifestations of the same feeling of love, has been my greatest learning. I seek to share its opulence through the words I type.