Boost your Immune System Naturally
Boost your Immunity
Increased levels of pollution, urbanization, and westernization have weakened the natural resistance power of humans. A recurrent attack of many diseases has become a growing problem. A person’s genetic makeup is the decisive factor behind the strength of their immunity system. Although little can be done regarding the genes, there are certain natural ways to give a kick to your defense system to not fall ill whenever seasons change. One of these ways is through Ayurveda and Yoga.
These days, apart from keeping physical immunity intact, it is also essential to maintain mental immunity. The word mental immunity may seem rare and unused but it is a way of being stable mentally and emotionally during any crisis which usually destabilizes the mind.
Conditions due to Low Immunity
Mentioned below are some of the conditions occurring as a result of lowering of immunity in different systems of the body:
- Respiratory system – COVID-19, rhinitis, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, pain in the flanks, etc.
- Skin – Pimples, rashes, boils, abscess, eczema/dermatitis, hair fall, premature grey hair, SLE, psoriasis, etc.
- Digestive system – Gastritis, indigestion, constipation, liver disorders, GERD, gall stones, carcinoma, etc.
- Metabolic disorders – Diabetes mellitus.
- Circulatory problems – Venous disorders, arterial disorders, heart ailments, dyslipidemia, etc.
- Urinary system – Urinary stones, etc.
- Excretory system – Piles, anal fissure, anal fistula, etc.
- Reproductive system – Erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, infertility, irregular menses, etc.
Need for Good Immunity
Good immunity is a necessity to prevent or fight disease-causing agents. In this developing and pollution era, it has become a difficult task to maintain health. Now it is highly susceptible to get diagnosed with a disease, with or without a cause. Improper diet, improper sleep and sedentary lifestyle sufficiently decreases immunity enough for pathogens to attack and cause disease. Building immunity is one of the best forms of treating or preventing a disease. Health is one of the valuable assets which can fetch anything else. All natural therapies aim towards boosting physical and mental immunity. To improve immunity, one must adopt to healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and managing stress effectively. Once the body has good resistance against the disease-causing agents, the chances of getting recurrent diseases reduces drastically.
Ways of boosting immunity naturally
It is one of the best ways to give a boost to your immunity and is known to implicitly strengthen the immunity system.
- Sweat out – 30-45 minutes/day of jogging, cycling, running, aerobics, etc.
- Asana – 20 – 30 minutes/day of physical movements or body postures (asanas) practiced as a part of yoga such as Vajrasan, Sarvangasan, Halasan, Dhanurasan, Bhujangasan.
- Pranayama – 5 minutes/day of Anuloma Viloma and Kapalbhati, 1 minute/day of Bhramari.
- Meditation – 10 minutes/day of conscious breathing with closed eyes.
When your body is full of toxins, chances are your immune system is invested in fighting against these toxins, resulting in easy invasion of foreign bodies. Hence, detoxification of the body is required to help keep the body safe from internal toxins and foreign infections. Some of the potent detoxifiers are turmeric, lime, and honey. Panchakarma, an Ayurvedic therapy, is a seasonal detoxifier that helps boost immunity and decreases the occurrence of repeated conditions like cold, cough, and flu.
- Healthy diet
Diet contributes to building up a stronger immune system. Foods rich in refined sugar are known to slow down the process of generating new antibodies. A balanced diet rich in vitamins is always appreciated. On the other hand, fiber rich foods regenerate and strengthen the immune system prepping them for the next big fight. Mindful eating is a must to boost immunity.
To boost your immunity, you must avoid excess salt, sugar, spice, maida, oily/fried foods, outside foods, alcohol, smoking, and must consume 1-2 teaspoon/day ghee with food, milk, water, bitter gourd, amla, fresh warm food, dry fruits, honey and fruits (avoid for diabetics).
- Adequate sleep
Night sleep is the best to rejuvenate the body and mind. It allows the body to work on things it cannot work on while you are awake such as healing the damaged cells and generating new antibodies. Activities like smoking and drinking are known to make the immune system suffer. Circadian rhythm should be maintained in order to build and maintain immunity. Early to bed and early to wake not only keeps one healthy but also avoids recurrent infections.
- Psychological well-being
Mental health plays an important role in strengthening your defense system. Increased stress levels, anger and jealousy can worsen immunity. Yoga and meditation are two effective antidotes to stress apart from following a healthy lifestyle regime to give a natural boost to the immune system. One who follows a daily regime, seasonal regime, and mind control will be bestowed with greater immunity.
- Digital detoxification
Smart digital gadgets are a part of everyone’s life. However, becoming a slave to such gadgets can pose an alarming threat to your health. Digital detox, or digital detoxification, is the way to handle addiction towards smart devices which could either be smart phones, TV, tabs or any smart gadgets. This specifically applies concerning to building mental immunity because most of the times mental immunity is directly proportional to physical immunity.
- Rasayana and Immunity
Rasayana is a unique concept in Ayurveda aiming at overall wellness and longevity with graceful aging by using polyherbal/mineral ingredients. It provides benefits such as improving the quality of life and longevity, complexion and lustrous skin, excellent memory and intelligence, youthfulness, and greater physical and mental strength.
There are multiple immunity boosting techniques, however, you should select a natural one which can be done with minimal efforts. The time needed for the same varies from person to person. Tobacco, alcohol and narcotics diminish physical and mental immunity; hence, it is better to keep them at bay. Waking before dawn, intake of adequate quantity of water, regular bowel movements, exercise, healthy diet, sleep are important ways of boosting immunity. Herbal medicines are to be used only under supervision.
Diet and Nutrition for Boosting Immunity
Good and adequate nutrition helps to promote a strong immune system. Make it a point to consume whole plant foods as they contain macro and micronutrients.
- Macronutrients – These are energy-rich foods that are converted to usable form by micronutrients.
- Proteins: Play a major role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery. A variety of protein foods include eggs, pulses, beans and peas, soy products, curd, milk, sprouts, almonds and unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Fats: Omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation and have a healthy immune system. Coconut milk, full-fat dairy, avocado, coconut oil, mustard oil, olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, ghee are some healthy fats. Ghee contains Vitamin K which helps absorption in the small intestine and helps in balancing mind and body and increases immunity.
- Vitamin A: Regulates the immune system and protects against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Foods containing Vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs or foods labeled “vitamin A fortified,” such as milk or some cereals.
- Vitamin C: Supports the immune system by stimulating the formation of antibodies. Citrus fruits such as amla, oranges, grapefruit and mosambi, lemon, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice or foods fortified with vitamin C, such as some cereals come in this category.
- Vitamin E: Works as an antioxidant and may support immune function. Include vitamin E in your diet with fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils (such as sunflower or safflower oil), hazelnuts and peanut.
- Zinc: Helps the immune system work properly and may help in wound healing. Zinc can be found in poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts.
- Other nutrients: Including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, copper, folate, selenium and iron also may support immune response and play a role in a healthful eating.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants help the body neutralize and remove oxidants from the bloodstream and protect the body from the damage caused by oxidants such as heart diseases and cancer. Examples of antioxidant rich foods are walnuts, tomatoes, barley, raisins, kidney beans, broccoli, etc.