As I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is stretch in the cool air that pierces through the window sills. The air nourishes my mind and soul and becomes a cause to strengthen my immune system.
When people from across the world are fighting coronavirus, it becomes our duty to strengthen our immunity level, and give a tough fight to these harmful alien elements like viruses, bacteria, and other germs.
The immune system constitutes cells, tissues, proteins, and organs, and together they function to kill pathogens. But it is also true that a weak system is more prone to infections.
Way back in 1918, when Spain was inflicted with the Spanish Influenza, it was found to be similar to the la grippe, which had entangled the whole world. We can find a mention of the epidemic of 412 BC by Hippocrates. The world has been facing a pandemic of grave nature at least once in a century. In fact in the year 1918 too when millions got infected with Spanish influenza, the media had said: “not to panic”.
As the previous pandemics passed, COVID-19 would also pass. Even though people are expected to remain confined in their homes, both the medical as well as non-medical fraternity suggests building your immunity.
The 1918 flu pandemic was the gravest in the history of mankind as it impacted more than 500 million people and killed millions more. But amidst the crises, medical as well as non-medical fraternities were bringing out ointments like snake oils, Vicks VapoRub, Bell’s Pine Tar Honey, Hill’s Cascara Quinine Bromide and others, which were quite common, especially in the Indian houses.
A similar situation has prevailed in 2020, leaving the medical industry in a lurch, but leaving us only to adopt the immune-boosting strategies.
As there are ways to make it strong, and so are the suggestions. Some suggest cayenne pepper and green tea as immune system boosters.
You will be saddened to know that there is no shortcut to increase your immunity system like the marketer’s project pills, superfoods, supplements, etc. And, there is also no concept of “building immunity” building immunity is a continuous process. Just as you offer prayers in the same way your adoption of the daily lifestyles and habits can help you increase your inner strength and make you healthy.
Be Natural and Live Healthily
Life is not about getting glued to your mobile phones, looking at messages, or answering emails but it is a balance. Setting your priorities is your initial stance against unwanted intrusions. So follow the guidelines and healthy lifestyle strategies to pick up your life and make yourself strong. These are the followings:
- Say no to smoking
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet
- Exercise regularly
- Retain normal weight
- Reduce alcohol
- Sleep well
- Wash your hands frequently
- Cook your meals thoroughly
- Meditate to reduce stress
Making efforts to boost your cells is complicated as they are of different types that respond to varied types of microbes. Scientists are still looking forward to having the answer to their question about the type of cells to boost, and in which number. The only thing that scientists are aware of is that the body is regularly generating immune cells producing lymphocytes. The extra cells are removed through a natural process of cell death known as apoptosis.
Diet for your immunity system
For a healthy immune system, it is natural that you need good and regular nourishment. Scientists have long found that people who live before the poverty line are either malnourished or are vulnerable to infectious diseases. Whether the rate of disease is caused by the effect of malnutrition, it is not yet certain, as there are not many studies that impact nutrition on the overall immune system of humans.
However, scientists have proved beyond doubt that low-fat and plant-based diets help boost the immune system. Those who eat a vegetarian diet have more impactful white blood cells in contrast to non-vegetarians, as they get more vitamins and low fat. Studies show that oil may impair white blood cell function and that a high-fat diet might alter the gut microbiota that helps in immunity.
It is also imperative for you to retain your weight; obese people are at high risk of influenza and other infections like pneumonia. Plant-based diets are best to reduce your weight as they are rich in fibre. Fibres also reduce BMI which is linked with improved immunity and plant-based diets tend to lessen inflammatory biomarkers.
Antioxidants, Vitamins, and Minerals
There is no second thought about it that fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients like vitamin C, and vitamin E, and other minerals like beta-carotene, etc. These minerals are immunity boosters. Like many vegetables, fruits, and plant-based products are also enriched in antioxidants to help reduce oxidative stress. There are other minerals and antioxidants like Beta-Carotene, Vitamin C and E, Vitamin D, and Zinc.
The food you should eat for your immune system’
Food is your medicine and this was said by Hippocrates and our yogis way back before Christ.
Eat proper food and you won’t require any other medicine or vaccine. There is no medical evidence to claim that the foods about which I am going to talk to you about could give you relief from COVID-19, but yes it does build your immune system.
Find out the types of food that you should eat to retain your immunity:
Who is not aware of Green Tea? It is a household drink but quite a few of us know that it contains compounds known as catechin and epicatechin, which have many health benefits. Studies suggest that these flavonoids quell inflammation and reduce plaque buildup inside arteries. And believe you would love to drink it while sipping it with your family on the balcony.
It is a fermented drink that contains bacteria that are beneficial for health. Initial studies suggest that it boost the immune system and as per the 2017 review, regular consumption of it helps you fight bacteria, decrease inflammation, and increase antioxidant.
Ginger is commonly used in Indian households in different types of dishes and desserts, as well as in teas. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties, along with giving health benefits.
It is a very popular home remedy for colds and other illnesses. It is also used as an ingredient in vegetables and many other products. You will be surprised to know that you can have garlic tea also that makes one of the best herbal tonics. It is created of lemon, honey, and garlic. Scientific studies have supported its use for its ample health benefits.
These almonds are of excellent sources of vitamin E, containing manganese, magnesium, and fibre. A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds can boost your immune system and make you healthy.
Oranges or Kiwi
Orange is also one of the best sources of vitamin C which many people take whenever they feel cold. Scientists are still pondering on how orange improves the human immune system, but it does improve.
Red bell pepper
People who are diabetic or merely avoiding sugar-based fruits they should have red bell peppers in their diet. It is one of the best sources of vitamin C. It is better to stir-fry and roast this red bell pepper instead of steaming it or boiling it.
Sunflower seed makes a tasty addition to salads or breakfast bowls. They are one of the richest sources of vitamin E and an antioxidant. It builds the immune system by fighting off these pathogens.
Munch this elderberry and see it is loaded with multiple nutrients called antioxidants. It helps battle inflammation, and in one of the lab studies, an extract from the berry block flu viruses. But scientists caution that more studies are required to ensure its validity.
Who does not know about watermelon, it’s a favourite fruit in summer as it is quenching and fulfilling. But when it is ripe, it also has ample of antioxidants known as glutathione. It builds the immune system so that it can battle out infection. It is advised that you eat the red pulpy flesh that you can find near the rind.
It contains ample of nutrients, and one of them is folate, which helps your body create new cells and repair DNA. It also contains fibre, antioxidants like vitamin C, and other minerals. You can eat spinach either raw or cooked and gain maximum benefit from it.
Sweet Potato contains beta-carotene that can turn into vitamin A, which clears all the damaging radicals from your body and helps build your immune system while improving the aging process.
Live life as you want but it should not be a deterrent to your health. Virginia Woolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.” If your immunity is not strong you cannot gain any of the above benefits, and your vulnerability to the diseases increases.
Besides, you need to change your lifestyle:
- Sleep early and wake up early, it is an age-old mantra but valid for us today. Use it to create magic.
- Now parks are open so go for a walk
- Do yoga and meditation as the way and whenever you want
- Take a deep breath when you wake up
- Love this nature and environment and you will get back the love and healthy body, and wise mind, body, and soul.