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With the covid-19 pandemic still on the rise, we’re all damsels in distress right now. And the only knight in shining armour that can possibly rescue us from the deadly disease is the system comprising of almost five litres of blood and a transparent fluid called lymph. No points for guessing, we’re talking about our immune system.
While the two fluids mentioned above work their ass off carrying the antibodies produced by our white blood cells when antigens attack the body (bacteria and virus), their biggest enemy could still be your careless habits that might have been weakening your immune system.
Wondering what these habits are? Well here are five to wary of:
1. You’re a mess in stress
If you stress over everything, right from a freshly-popped pimple to a nearing deadline at work and even the minutest details of your relationship, then congratulations! You’re on a super-speedy path to destroying your immunity.
Fine! Don’t believe us. But a study conducted in April 2012 found that people, who were chronically stressed were more prone to catching a cold and flu—because of a weaker immunity—all thanks to the production of the cortisol hormone that simply ends up killing the defensive white blood cells in the body and thus, lowering your immunity.
2. You’re not sleeping well enough
If you’re unable to get proper sleep for at least six to eight hours every night, your immunity system could be doomed, or so, says a study conducted at the University of Washington.
This is because inadequate sleep can result in a weaker action on antigens by your body. So, if you can’t seem to stop binge-watching all night or get off your social media accounts, you’re basically hampering your immunity, sissy.
3. You’re always indoors
Right now, that should be the case, right? Sure, no one is asking you to step out and forget all about the lockdown and social distancing. All you need to do here is to catch some sunlight every day. But, if you’ve turned nocturnal off late and have been missing your morning dose of nature’s vitamin D-shower, you’re doing your immune system a great injustice.
According to a study conducted at Georgetown University, U.S, sunlight directly activates key immune cells (T-cells) and promotes their circulation through the body. Obviously, you don’t have to risk skin issues by exposing yourself to sunlight for long hours, that too without sunscreen; but getting the recommended 15-30 minutes of early-morning sunlight can help you a great deal, girls.
4. You’re lazy and that drives your immunity crazy
Ahh, well! The point is that laziness looms over everyone, more so, in these days of (un)lockdown. If not that, then there’s always an excuse such as a hectic work schedule or pending household chores handy to avoid a workout. That’s exactly the kind of health blunder that can lower your immunity.
According to a study published in the Frontiers of Immunology, working out regularly can boost the production of antibodies and white blood cells, which allows your body to target the infection and fight it off effectively.
5. Your eating and drinking habits are not up to the mark
If you’re a junk-food lover who cannot survive without packaged, preserved, or instant foods, then there’s an important lesson that you HAVE TO take from a study conducted at the University Hospital of Bonn. The study clearly mentions that the consumption of such foods can lower your immunity as they have a high sodium content.
The study further explains that when your kidneys work extra hard to excrete that extra dose of sodium, a domino effect occurs on other important body organs, leading to dysfunction and weaker immunity. So, for heaven’s sake, stay away from those instant noodles, chips, and other forms of junk food.
6. You drink and smoke
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), US, defines excessive drinking as consuming four or more drinks during a single occasion for women, and five or more for men. Now, if you happen to meet this criterion, you’re doomed. Or at least your immune system is because according to a study published in the journal Alcohol Research, this behaviour can lower the rate of response from your immune system and make you more prone to catching diseases.
Also read: Too much alcohol can wreck your immunity, so don’t drown your lockdown sorrows in booze
That’s not all! If you also happen to be a smoker, you’ve got yourself into some real trouble here. As per the CDC, smoking can also hamper the response of your immune system and reduce its efficiency of fighting diseases off. In fact, it can aggravate conditions such as asthma and encourage your body to develop an autoimmune disease in which your immune system ends up killing the healthy cells of your body instead of fighting off antigens (foreign bodies that enter your body)
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