Your body is a wonderful machine, It is borderline self – sustaining and has inbuilt defences that protect the body from any external threats and all we have to do to ensure it works is, eating on time and eating right.
What exactly is the immune system?
We all know it exists, but what is it? Is it just a set of organs like the skeletal system? Or does it have anything more to it?
The immune system is one of the most complex systems in the human body, it is basically the defence corps of the body. Constantly fighting against the smallest threat against the body which may deter the body’s normal functioning. The immune system comprises of particular organs evolved over aeons to fight foreign contaminants within the body, chemicals, and cells that fight infection (foreign microbes/bacteria).
The key components of building the immune system are white blood cells, antibodies, the lymph nodes and the lymphatic system, spleen, thymus, and one of the most important – bone marrows. These organs are the components of your immune system that aggressively fight infection and are your body’s first line of defence.
How can you help yourself?
Your body does not need any external help in fighting against diseases, bacteria or viruses, nature has given us the tools required to fight all sorts of natural illnesses, however, all we need to do is arm our immune system with the right sort of nutrients, which provides the immune system with enough strength and the metaphorical support it requires to fight and ward off infections.
Ayurveda has a long, ancient and scientifically sound method of improving not just health through physical means, but also spiritual and mental. Visit www.nirogam.com to read ayurveda related articles and for more details on ayurvedic treatments. Ayurveda is all about natural methods of healing to that extent, here are a few completely natural ways to boost your immunity through food.
What foods to eat to boost your immunity?
1. Citrus Fruits –
- A large majority of people look towards vitamin C after they’ve been diagnosed with the flu or the common cold. This is because Vitamin C helps strengthen the immune system. Vitamin C is proven to increase the production and quality of white blood cells in the body. The white blood cells can be equated to the soldiers on the frontline if the viruses or bacteria were foreign invaders.
- Most preferred citrus fruits, orange, grapes, limes, clementine, lemons, tangerines.
- Since the human body hasn’t evolved enough to produce Vitamin C or to be able to store it in any form, One must regularly eat citrus fruits to keep Vitamin C levels high in the body, luckily for us, it is very easy for us, with such a wide array of citrus fruits to choose from, all we need is to squeeze a bit of this Vitamin to our meals on a regular basis.
2. Almonds –
- Almonds are rich in Vitamin E. Although when it comes to helping the body fight or recover from colds and flu Vitamin E is not nearly as strong as Vitamin C. But the winning point for Vitamin E over C is that it is a fat-soluble vitamin and requires fat to be absorbed into the body. Which gets accumulated in the body during the process of fever or cold. A lot of nuts, such as almonds are jam-packed with vitamins and healthy fats. This means that just half a cup of almonds, which is an odd ~ 35 – 40 whole almonds can provide the body with 100% of its daily requirement. But almonds are expensive, so it is recommended to pair a handful of almonds with citrus fruits for the best results.
3. Meat –
- This option isn’t for everyone, but meat is the best source of protein. Most people have memories of drinking chicken soup while they were sick, this is because chicken soup isn’t just an easy to drink and nutritious food, but meat such as poultry contain Vitamin B-6, just 85 grams of chicken or turkey can provide your body with 50 – 60% of your body’s daily B-6 requirements.
- Shellfish is not something that people immediately think of when they think of immunity. However, some types of shellfish are rich in the element zinc, Zinc isn’t widely spoken of, but it is as much as important as any other vitamin.
- Shellfish that are high in zinc are crabs, lobsters, mussels and clams.
4. Dark Chocolate –
- This option is loved by the masses, Dark chocolate mind you, not any sort of chocolate. Dark chocolate contains a chemical known as theobromine, which may help enhance the body’s immune system by protecting the body’s cell walls and reduces free radicals. It is important to note that, despite its advantages, any form of modern-day chocolate regardless of the type is high in calories and fats so one must consume it in moderation.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables –
- Green leafy vegetables help enhance the immune system of the body as they are rich in many nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, etc.
- Some research has also concluded that, flavonoids that are present mostly in vegetables such as spinach actually not just help the immune system but also actively contain chemicals that fight of cold bearing bacteria itself.
These are just a few of the foods that you can have on a regular basis to enhance your immune system. That being said, it is vital to remember that your immune system is a complex multi-faceted system. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is just one of the many ways to support your immune system. It is also vital to make sure that other lifestyle factors do not negatively affect your health and frequent exercise is a must.
Author Name – Dr. Greeshma Nair
Author Bio –
Dr. Greeshma Nair, (B.A.M.S) is a Staunch believer that Ayurveda is not merely a science but lifestyle too. Her holistic approach towards diagnosis and treatment is based on the root cause of disease and gives you a three-dimensional solution to a condition that includes Ahaar (diet), Vihaar (lifestyle) and Aushadhi (medicines).