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Supporting the white knights: how to supercharge your immune system

Do you remember the last conversation you had without the word ‘Corona’ in it?

No matter if you’re still at campus and sipping your Pollock Cappuccino, or in your home country under quarantine – nowadays you can hardly find anything else in the news. However, something which gets kind of lost in this seemingly never-ending, panic creating media coverage is helpful advice on what you can actually do to boost your immune system to stay healthy.

Your immune system is responsible for shielding you against any type of illness. However, stress, tiredness and nutrition negatively impact your body´s natural defence system (all of which seem a given in today’s crisis). Your white blood cells, which you can imagine as white knights fighting for your well-being, are then at higher risk to get defeated by pathogens (the bad guys, formally known as bacteria, viruses and microorganisms that cause disease). Before you reach for antibiotics, that can eventually weaken your natural immune system in the long run, there are multiple natural ways to support your white blood cell knights.


  1. Keep your gut happy

Sherry A. Rogers is right by saying that “the road to health is paved with good intestines”, since actually over 70% of the body´s immune cells are located in the gut walls. Therefore, gut health is essential for your body to function healthily. You can help your body to move toxins through the gut smoothly by adding fibre and roughage to your diet. In other words, you should eat a lot of wholegrain bread, oats and whole-wheat pasta. If you are still in the UK and one of those people who is not satisfied with British bread quality, you have other options by, for instance, adding a lot of berries, nuts, seeds or beans to your diet. You can also start eating your potatoes with their skin.


  1. Keep the vampires away

Even though, garlic might not necessarily be considered as superfood today, it has long been, especially in ancient times. Allicin, the active compound in garlic, has antibacterial properties that help to fight illness and infection. They also increase the number of white blood cells, your brave knights, fighting the harmful bacteria. The easiest way to include garlic in your diet, especially when you are not the greatest garlic enthusiast, is by adding it to your cooking in supplementary form.


  1. Keep the antioxidants in your diet

Another way to increase those white blood cells, is to have an antioxidant-rich diet. Those antioxidants offer huge support to the immune system by destroying the harmful bacteria, reducing cell death and repairing damaged DNA cells. They are giving the body the ability to repair itself, which is why some would therefore call it a true “miracle drug”. Most of the students will be very happy to hear this, because their natural habitat involves an antioxidant-rich lifestyle: lots of coffee, dark chocolate, green tea, berries and kidney beans.


  1. Always keep moving

Even though, many gyms are closed right now, there are multiple other ways to keep your body in good condition. Being physically active will not only improve your mental well-being, but it will also help the white blood cells in your body too. Besides, it has the pleasant side-effect of getting the perfect summer body. It doesn´t even have to be a full 60 minutes workout: studies have shown that just a long, nice walk is sometimes everything the body needs. And with the temperatures going up, the birds chirping and the sun shining, there are definitely worse things in life to do right now. For example, being bored and isolated in your house.


Of course, there are multiple other immune-boosting possibilities out there. Starting with a good night´s rest, over cutting down on alcohol to buying expensive vitamin supplements – the possibilities to support your brave white blood cell knights seem endless. This is why it is a good idea to write down four or five things that you actively want to change about your current lifestyle to boost your body´s defense mechanism. Because even if you do not see or feel changes immediately, one day you are happy to have a strong and well-supported immune system. At least, when we have to face the next global pandemic.

Image: silviarita via Pixabay