Everyone assumes that fit and healthy people will not fall sick which is not true. Today we have diseases which affect people who look strong from outside. Health and fitness is not just your external appearance, it is your internal health of the body. You can have fittest body but you can be depressed, stressed, bad gut, bad eating habits which affects your immunity. Healthy eating habits and changing lifestyle gives holistic health.
First and last line of defence system in our body is our immune system. Our body has trillion numbers of cells which are designed to be protected all times from contamination, infection and virus. If these cells are infected then we fall sick. Immune function and immunity depends on two things internal environmental condition of your body and the environmental condition outside.
To build you immune system
Sleep: If you do not have right amount of sleep then you are definitely compromise on your immune system. We sleep to balance and reset all our body organs and cells. If you are deprived of sleep, any of the immune boosting super foods will be helpless. Sleep comes natural to living beings. So do not try to change the natural habits. Any habit which goes against nature is harmful for your immunity. Especially for children, they should not compromise their sleep to accommodate the social calendar and academics. When you sleep your body actually starts its process of hormonal balance, detoxification, repair and rejuvenation. If you want to boost your immunity then definitely work on your sleeping patterns and fix it.
Protein: It has building blocks of energy. So it is important to have good quality of protein. You must have heard people taking just egg whites and avoid egg yolks to meet lean protein requirement. But let me tell you that the magic nutrients to boost immunity are in egg yolk. People are giving away their traditional meals and eating fancy foods. Combination of dal rice is complete protein. Khichdi is a wholesome meal with good amount of protein. It helps to build immunity; hence it is always given to sick people.
Wash Hand before meals: A simple practice of washing hands is equally important. So washing hands before and after meals is very important. We are moving so fast in life that we usually tend to forget washing hands before every meal even if you are eating with hands, fork or spoon.
Popping unnecessary Pills:
I have seen frequency of acidity, heart burn, indigestion is been increasing day by day. We feel its a very small issue and casually we pop a pill of antacid without focusing or trying to know the cause behind this.Antacids work by counteracting (neutralising) the acid in your stomach. That means your body has less amount of acids to act on the food you eat. When this happens repeatedly, your body stops producing those digestive acids and hence the acidity problem continues for long. Then you are been suggested tablets of digestive enzymes. And your tablets intake just go on increasing.
Gut is the main organ. Any disease or syndrome is directly related to abnormal functioning of your gut. So it’s our duty to take care of it and make the desired lifestyle changes to keep gut healthy. As long as you gut is healthy your body will have strong immunity. Some people who are on heavy dose of medicine may require antacids but rest of them don’t require those pills. By making some lifestyle changes acidity can be prevented.
If your antacids intakes are high, that sends signal to the body to stop making acids. Stomach produces acid not just for digestion but also to destroy the bacteria, pathogens, dirt and contamination. This is the prime function of acids to break down these contagions and keep us healthy. So if you take antacid pill on regular basis or treat your acidity with it quite often your stomach produces less of these acids and hence prolonged gastric issues, colon and H.Pylori sets in.
Constipation: If you are constipated then no greens or any immunity boosting powder will help you. Right now if you are constipated that means your immunity is low. So it is equally important that you poop every single day and eat nutritious food to keep your bowel moving.
Stress: Cortisol is your stress hormone. If your cortisol is high then your immunity level drops. Stress forces you to make unhealthy food choices especially sugar cravings. Also stress leads to alcohol abuse. Binge drinking decreases your immunity.
Exercise: If your activity levels are low and eating all immune boosting super foods and supplements still your immunity will be low. So it is very important to keep yourself active. At the same time you are exercising and not taking enough rest still that will decrease your immunity. So over training and sleep less, running marathon without rest will drop your immunity.
Local Food: If you avoid eating local fruits and vegetables and add fancy foods to your plate that too in a way bursting your immune cells. Nature has very important role to play. Each season has specific varieties of fruits and vegetable grown which supports your body to be healthy and immune.
Low Vitamin D: If Vit D3 levels are low that says that your immunity levels are low.
Probiotic- Prebiotic: It is essential to take prebiotic or probiotic for good gut health. If gut is healthy you are healthy. Include in form of yoghurt, apple cider vinegar, rice kanji, beet root kanji.
Cut on white sugar: White sugar is the main ingredient that destroys your immunity levels. So delete white sugar completely from your diet.
- Garlic: It has antiviral, antibacterial properties. You can eat it raw, crushed, mashed and cooked. You can add in your drinks, soups etc.
- Star Anise: This has chemical compound shikimic acid, a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of the antiinfluenza drug, oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Take star anise in your tea or boil in water and drink.
- Ginger: Mashed ginger in boiling water or tea helps.
- Coconut oil: Cook in cold pressed coconut oil or raw coconut oil on salads
- Vitamin C: Take citrus fruits and vegetables. Take supplements to help your immunity.
- Thyme and Tulsi: Indian herbs helps in boosting immunity. It is also great for respiratory health.
- Zinc and selenium: Present majorly in dry fruits, nuts, seeds and mushrooms. If not possible to include in diet then take supplements for the same.
- Super Foods: Broccoli, raddish, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms has many immunity boosting properties. Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, onion, moringa.
If you have stronger immunity and you fall sick, you recover faster as compared to person who has lower immunity. All foods work in synergy. So just taking the super foods to build immunity will not help. It’s all about absorption and assimilation. So if your body has good immunity then absorption will be better and your body can assimilate in better way.
Recipe For immunity Detox
Mix all above ingredients in equal amount. Grind to powder and pack in small bottle. Take this with warm water. 1tsp in morning and evening works well. You will see that your frequency of falling ill reduces.
Do try and keep your immunity high so we can fight against any disease and virus.
RD Neha Kava
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