"Health is wealth”, the year 2020 has taught us all the importance of this proverb. Good Health, a peaceful mind and fit body is the greatest asset for a human being to live a happy life. Yet we tend to underestimate these 3 factors, but not any more!
The pandemic has made us all realise that there is nothing greater than having a strong immunity and maintaining high standards of hygiene. The pandemic has certainly introduced us to the new way of living and made every one of us more cautious about health than ever.
The COVID-19 situation is getting worse in India every passing day with the disease being at its peak. The total number of cases crossing one million is a matter of concern and responsibility.
While the doctors and scientists are trying their best to develop a vaccine against the deadly disease. We must take the necessary precautions and try to build our immunity stronger.
These uncertain times of coronavirus have made the concept of immunity too complex and created a lot of confusions with many misconceptions.
This blog post will guide on ways you can boost your immune system naturally at home and the best foods to have to increase your immunity.
How to Boost your Immunity?
Immunity is the ability of our body to fight and protect against diseases or potentially damaging foreign bodies. The immune system identifies and attacks a variety of threats, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, while distinguishing them from the body’s own healthy tissue.
The immune system is our body’s naturally built defence system. The immune system creates, stores, and distributes the white blood cells that fight bacteria and viruses that enter the body.
Strengthening your immunity is easy with a few dietary and lifestyle changes. Follow these 10 tips to enhance your immune system and protect your body from harmful viruses and disease.
10 ways to Boost Immunity Naturally
1. Follow a Balanced Diet
The food you eat plays a key aspect in determining your overall health and immunity. Follow a balanced diet which includes all the important nutrients and vitamins in equal portions. Prefer eating fresh fruits and vegetables over-processed foods. Including foods with healthy fats can help in boosting immunity.
2. Avoid eating Junk
“Your body is what you eat”, the more your treat is with right and healthy food it is immune and strong. Avoid eating packed and fried food which is poor in nutrients. Limit added sugar and refined carbohydrates for a healthy digestive system.
3. Drink enough water
Hydration will help flush out the harmful toxins from the body and maintain the balance of Body Fluids. Our body is made up of 72% of water, hence hydration is important for the smooth functioning of the body. Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.
4. Improve your Sleep Cycles
Sleep and immunity are closely tied. Good quality deep sleep is essential for a healthy mind and body. The lack of sleep will prevent the body from resting and this will impair other bodily functions that will have a direct impact on immunity.
5. Stay Active
Boosting immunity is a long process and results are the reason for a continued healthy lifestyle. It is recommended to follow an active lifestyle to promote better blood circulation in the muscles. Prefer taking stairs over an elevator, walk or cycle over car for a shorter distance, sports over video games.
6. Exercise a minimum of 30 mins every day
Exercising helps in improving both physical health and mental health. A good 30 - 60 mins workout at home can do wonders to your body. Exercising helps produce “endorphins” hormones responsible for your happiness and maintaining a good mood. Exercise is a simple way to rev up your defence system
7. Keep Stress under control
Stress is the prime factor for all diseases. It leads to unwanted anxiety and disrupts mental health. Long-term stress promotes inflammation, as well as imbalances in immune cell function. Relieving stress and anxiety is key to immune health.
8. Maintain High Hygiene Standards
It is a good practice to maintain high levels of hygiene to avoid coming into contact with any type of viruses or bacteria. Prefer washing hands often, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly, keeping the surroundings clean.
9. Take necessary supplements
Our diets lack in providing the necessary dosage of vitamins and nutrients required in a day, hence supplements play a role in bridging the gap. The recommended supplements are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Elderberry, Echinacea.
10. Practice Meditation
Studies have revealed that mindfulness can strengthen natural defence. Practice Meditation for 5-10 mins every day to improve overall performance and quality of life.
Immunity Myths Vs Facts
When it comes to immunity everyone has their own theories and opinions, but not all are true. We should be careful about what we read and make sure to verify the information before believing them.
Here are the top 5 Myths about immunity that you need to know:
High Dose of Vitamin C helps to Boost Immunity
False, all the vitamins must be taken in the required quantities.
Vitamins and supplements can help ward off disease and make you feel better faster
False, there is no substitute for high-quality nutrition from a range of all-natural foods.
Everyone is born with the same healthy immune system
False, we all have different levels of immunity and power to resist disease.
Kids need supplements to build a healthy immune system.
False, supplements are chemicals, taking in excess can be toxic for children.
Exercise Weakens Immunity
False, exercise helps in strengthening the immune system.
15 Foods to Boost immunity
1. Citrus Fruits
Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections.
Include fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lime, tangerines, clementines.
2. Red Bell Peppers
They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, helps keep your eyes and skin healthy. They have 3 times more vitamin C than an orange. They are great for building immunity.
3. Cruciferous Vegetables
These vegetables are packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fibre and many other antioxidants. Cruciferous vegetables are non-starchy vegetables that are rich in glucosinolates that boost immunity and are powerful at fighting cancer. Include vegetables like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage.
Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. It is great for fighting infections.
Turmeric is used in almost every household, it has great anti-inflammatory properties required in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is known for its medicational properties.
Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may help with nausea as well.
7. Green leafy vegetables
The green leafy vegetables are packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
Almonds are high in vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant in your body and helps immune system function. Almonds also contain iron and protein that are essential for your immune system.
Research suggests that a flourishing network of gut bacteria can help your immune cells differentiate between normal, healthy cells and harmful invader organisms. Include fermented foods like yoghurt in your diet.
10. Olive Oil
Olive oil, which is highly anti-inflammatory, is linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties may help your body fight off harmful disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
11. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins B-6 and E. Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Sunflower seeds are also incredibly high in selenium.
12. Green Tea
Green tea is packed with flavonoids and EGCG, types of antioxidants. These antioxidants have been shown to enhance immune function. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T cells.
Kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. They help in producing the white blood cells required to fight against the diseases.
14. All kinds of berries
Berries are a great source of vitamin C. Dark berries like blackberries, strawberries and blueberries not only taste great but they are also a great source of flavonoids which are highly effective antioxidants.
Salmon is rich in omega-3s which is highly anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, fats like Omega- 3s may naturally combat illnesses.
Immunity Boosting Smoothie Recipe
Vitamin C Immune Smoothie
This smoothie is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which are necessary for building immunity. It takes less than 10 mins to make and you have your immunity dosage ready for the day.
- ½ cup berries of choice
- ½ cup yoghurt
- Handful of spinach
- 1 tsp Chia Seeds
- 1 tsp Flax seeds
- Honey to taste
- Pinch of cinnamon powder
- Pinch of Ginger
- Ice cubes (Optional)
Blend all the ingredients together in a mixer and pour in a glass, you have the smoothie ready.
“When our immune system struggles, it’s like a welcome sign for infection and disease.”
Immunity plays an important role in our lives, it is our natural defence system and we should take necessary steps to strengthen it. During this time when our immunity is put to test, we must take all the precautions to protect it. Our health is the results of our actions, stay safe, eat well and exercise daily for a healthy life.
Hope you found this blog helpful.
Stay fit with Joyfit