Healthy habits help boost immune system — nutritionist

Healthy tips
Nutritionist Farah Khirfan told Jordan News that people in Jordan are unaware of the impact food has on the body. (Photo: Unsplash)

AMMAN — The impact of a person’s lifestyle on their immune system can be fascinating. Experts increasingly believe that factors such as diet, exercise, age, and stress prompt immunological responses in people. As such, healthy life practices are proving beneficial to immune function and come with other health advantages.اضافة اعلان

Adopting good and healthy habits can help the immune system function more effectively, nutritionist Farah Khirfan told Jordan News.

“Food, water, sleep, and exercise are the most essential factors that affect the immune system of the human body,” she contended. “Many hormones in the body, such as leptin and ghrelin, are affected by these four factors.”

She added that ghrelin is linked to hunger, whereas leptin is linked to fullness. Sleep deprivation has been linked to elevated ghrelin levels and decreased leptin levels, resulting in increased hunger and appetite.

“The body secretes growth hormones and dopamine during sleep, which impacts eating and the immune system. Sleep prevents cortisol secretion,” Khirfan said.

According to Khirfan, one of the pillars of a healthy life is regular exercise. It boosts cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps with weight loss, and protects against several ailments. Exercise can assist with naturally boosting the immune system and maintaining its health. It can also contribute to overall health and therefore a strong immune system.

“Exercise is so important to boost the immune system,” she said. “It lowers the risk of several diseases, including osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease. In addition, it is suitable for people of all ages especially the elderly.”

People are unaware of the impact of food on the body and that food is the basis for good health, she added.

“Healthy food is available in every home, and anybody can prepare it. Nonetheless, it is important to pay attention to the amounts consumed and how they are prepared,” Khirfan said. “All types of foods should be eaten, but in moderation.”

The nutritionist stated that one of the most essential steps to take to improve the immune system is to pay attention to how food is prepared. For example, instead of consuming fried foods, meals can be made in the oven with healthy oils like soybean oil that does not contain large amounts of fat. This helps reduce the percentage of fat in the body and lower risk of diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.

“People who eat large amounts of oils are at risk of having fat around their internal organs,” said Khirfan.

Additionally, she said, the body needs fat for energy, so people can replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats, otherwise known as unsaturated fats. These fats are found in abundance in a variety of foods, including avocados, olive oil, and peanut oil, and help strengthen immune defenses.

“Healthy fats should be consumed in different proportions according to the individual's body,” according to Khirfan.

The nutritionist said that “Everyone should pay attention to the nutrition label and to the type of products you buy and the number of fats and salts in them.”

Khirfan also advised people to refrain from consuming salt and to replace full-fat dairy products with low-fat ones.

“Ginger, honey, garlic, and onion are the foods that boost immunity,” she added.

She said that a healthy immune system can defeat invading diseases, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone should take care of their body and must follow health tips in order promote their immune system.

“Our immune system is influenced by an ideal balance of many foods, minerals, and vitamins that make it able to fight diseases,” Khirfan said.

Read more Lifestyle