We have become so familiar with the word ‘immunity’ during this pandemic year. Everyone is so concerned about what to do to improve our immune system. So first of all let’s understand:
WHAT IS IMMUNITY?
Immunity is our body’s defense system which accepts what is self and rejects what is foreign to our body. It is a physiological response of our cells to the invading micro-organisms.The immune response is not a single entity , it is a complete whole system. In fact , a lot of researches are still needs to be done in order to understand the inter-connections of our immune system and the immune responses.
WHY IMMUNITY DECREASES?
The warriors of immunity in our body are white blood cells (WBCs) , they circulate in our body and protect us from the ill effects of the invading microbes. Our immune system weakens by high stress levels, smoking, alcohol and poor nutritional habits, which in turn creates a deficiency of various important Micro-nutrients. In fact the immune system is also compromised in many infections like AIDS etc. or also in case of many autoimmune disorders. These are disorders in which our immune system works against the body.These immunity warriors need good and regular nutritional nourishment. It has been observed that the infectious diseases are more likely to affect the people who have nutritionally compromised diet.Many researches states that various micr-onutrients deficiency leads to a weak immune response. Some micro-nutrients are vit E, vit A, vit. B, folic acid, zinc, copper and iron.So in order to make the body’s fighting mechanism strong , we should add these nutrients n our diet.
SIGNS OF WEAK IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Now how can one know that whether the immune system in one’s body is weak or sluggish.
- Frequently catching the cold and flu .
- Disturbed digestion, frequent stomach infections or gastric issues. Almost 70% of our immune system lies in our digestive tract.
- Tiredness or fatigue.
- Healing of wounds is slow. etc.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO IMPROVE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Our body’s defense mechanism is based on the combined well being of our nutritional requirement, psychological health , physical activity and adequate sleep.
To fill the nutritional gap because of lack of the nutrients , we can involve these in our diet and focus on adding more colours in our plate:
- citrus fruits:- Mostly people switch to start taking Vit. C whenever they catch cold , flu or any other infections, in order to increase their immunity because Vit. C helps in formation of whithe blood cells (WBCs). And citrus fruits are rich in Vit. C. Such as grapefruit, lime,oranges , lemons etc.
- Bell Peppers:- They have many times more Vit C in them as compared to citrus fruits. Apart from Vit C it is also a rich source of Beta Carotene.
- broccoli :- It is a very healthy vegetable consisting of many nutrients and antioxidants.
- garlic and ginger .
- Spinach:- It is also a very rich source of Vit A , Beta carotene and Vit C.
- Turmeric:- because of its anti inflammatory properties it also helps in improving the function of our immune system.
- Kiwi:- It is a complete package of many essential nutrients and anti -oxidants.
- poultry and fishes:- As they are rich source of proteins which help in cell formations in our body. Many fishes like shellfish are rich in zinc which also helps in boosting the immune response. But TOO MUCH intake of ZINC can lower the immunity.
- Eat more of healthy fat foods such as salmon ( omega 3) and olive oil. They also helps in decreasing the inflammation in body which in turn helps in improving the immune response.
- Engage in some form of exercises :- Moderate exercises helps to boost immunity by reducing inflammation and help in regenerating immune cells. Exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling etc. Exercises helps to secrete happy hormone in our body which helps in reducing the stress levels.
- Drink plenty of water:- Keeping our body well hydrated is very important to avoid dehydration. Dehydration affects the physical performance , disturbs mood, alter focus disturb digestion, heart and kidney functions also.