Enhancing a weak immune system June 9th, 2020
Immunity has been always been our body’s defence mechanism to fight diseases and illnesses, but most people have realized its importance only now in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak in the world.
Let me explain a few basics of the immune system for your clarity.
Understanding the Immune System
The immune system is made up of complex structures and processes in your body. It uses your cells, tissues, organs and proteins to act as a shield against bacteria, virus, infection, toxins and other foreign substances. Simply put, it attacks germs and stops them from entering your body.
Moreover, a strong immune system also helps heal wounds and aids in faster recovery after a sickness, disease or surgery.
There are three main types of immunity:
- Innate:You are born with it. For example, skin.
- Adaptive: You need to acquire it. For example, vaccination.
- Passive: You borrow it temporarily from another source. For example, a mother’s breast milk.
Even fever is an immune system response of your body!
Signs of a WeakImmune System
Your body gives you some signals when your immune system might be shutting down:
- You develop lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart ailments, etc.
- You feel constant fatigue throughout the day, even after a good night’s sleep.
- You are frequently prone to allergies like cough and cold.
- You fall sick easily and need extended periods for recovery.
- Your digestion system often faces issues such as constipation, cramps, diarrhoea or loss of appetite.
Ways to Make Your Immune System Stronger
The good news is that it is absolutely in your hands to take control of your immune system.Here is how.
- Follow ‘Eat, Exercise and Sleep Well’ Mantra
When you nourish your body with a healthy, balanced diet; make it sweat at least 30 minutes a day five times a week; and sleep for about 6-8 hours every night, your immune system is pretty muchtaken care of on its own.
Avoid smoking, alcohol, processed foods, late-night food binges and other poor lifestyle habits.
- Consume Immunity-Boosting Foods
Ginger, garlic, onion, turmeric powder, nuts, probiotics (yoghurt, apple, homemade pickles, fermented vegetables) and vitamin C-rich foods (oranges, lemons, capsicum, papaya, sprouts, cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, etc) make great immunity boosters.
- Stay Hydrated
Drink about 8-10 glasses of water and healthy fluids such as buttermilk, good ol’ nimbu paani, coconut water and herbal teas to flush out toxins. Just make sure to avoid excessive amounts of salt, sugar and artificial sweeteners in your liquid diet!
Stress and anxiety can reverse your efforts to build the immune system. Meditation stimulates your brain cells and thereby, takes care of your emotional health.
- Get Your Vaccines
Do not skip any vaccines for your child and yourself. If you are travelling abroad, it is advisable to take the recommended vaccines.
- Maintain Good Hygiene
Good hygiene is not only the need of the hour, but it should be a lifelong habit. The Indian traditional wisdom has always emphasized on the cleanliness of body and home.
Remember that the immune system can’t be acquired overnight. It takes months of efforts and discipline for you to build and maintain.