Do you often fall sick?
What about your neighbour?
And your best friend?
Have you ever wondered why some people get sick more often?
This is because everyone has a different immunity. Elders and infants have a low immunity and hence are more susceptible to diseases.
Immunity is a condition of being able to resist a particular disease especially through preventing development of a pathogenic microorganism. Everyone has a different immunity and thus reacts to viruses in a different way.
Sudden climate changes like unseasonal rain showers or heat waves weakens your immunity and makes you more prone to infectious diseases. In a few days winter will start. The cold climate will increase incidents of flu, cold and other respiratory illnesses. Also, viruses tend to be more stable in colder and drier conditions and stay for longer periods.
How the immune system fights viruses
Your skin and saliva are key barriers to infection and form part of your immune system, along with cells in every tissue of your body, including your blood and your brain. Some of these cells migrate around to fight infection at specific sites, such as a wound graze. Other cells reside in one tissue and regulate your body’s natural state of health by monitoring and helping with the healing process.
Your immune system requires a lot of energy to defend your body. Feeling tired and achy, overheating, and glands swelling are all signs that your immune system is busy fighting something.
Boost your immune system
Do you spend more days on sick leave than at work?
Here are a few simple lifestyle and diet changes to give your immune system an immediate boost and to protect your health:
1. Eat Breakfast
A lack of healthy breakfast makes your blood sugar levels fall and raises your stress levels. This puts your body in a state of fight or flight that lowers your immunity.
2. Add zinc to your diet
This wonder-mineral is found in all your cells and it’s critical for healthy cell development and function. Zinc interacts with thousands of proteins in your body and is involved in around 300 different enzyme processes. It improves wound-healing and improved thyroid function, gut health, blood clotting, vision, and smell.
3. Heal your gut
Research shows that when your levels of bad bacteria outweigh the good bacteria, your immune system is weakened. Digestive issues like dyspepsia, acid reflux and leaky gut affects your immunity.
4. Savour a Cup of Tea
Green tea or oolong tea increases the health-giving antioxidants, called flavonoids in your body. The polyphenols in tea help protect your body against free radical damage.
5. Sleep well.
Your body repairs and renews cells during sleep. Poor sleep patterns affects this process and reduces your immunity levels.
6. Get sunlight
Vitamin D, which is mostly synthesized from sunlight in your skin, is pivotal to important bodily processes such as shutting down cancer cells and assisting proper heart function.
Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly during exercise, this helps detect illnesses earlier.
8. Quit smoking
Quitting smoking improves blood circulation, increases oxygen levels, and lowers inflammation – all of which give your immune system a boost.
Winter is almost here. Cold weather is sign for common cold and viruses to enter your body and therefore, it’s essential for you to take care of yourself by consuming healthy food. A healthy diet is essential for preventing yourself from contracting flu. This is because your immunity takes a hit during the winters. Apart from covering yourself up in warm clothes, there are certain foods you can add to your diet, to enhance your immunity and protect you from the diseases that are common during the cold winter months.
Here are six immunity boosting foods you should stock up on during winters:
- Ginger: One of the foremost winter spices that you must add to your foods is ginger, which can be added to teas, gravies and warm soups. Ginger is a quick fix for a sore throat and it also fights inflammation in the body, as well as boosts immunity.
- Garlic: This flavour-enhancer has sulphur-containing compounds like allicin, which acts as an immunity booster. It has potent antibiotic actions and supports your liver to effectively carry out detoxification.
- Citrus Fruits: Most citrus fruits like lemon, lime, orange, etc., contain Vitamin C, which is known as nature’s immunity booster.
- Dark Leafy Veggies: Spinach, kale, methi, mustard greens and other dark leafy vegetables aren’t just extremely nutritious and low in calories, but are also packed with antioxidants, beta carotene and immunity-boosting vitamin C.
- Mushrooms: The deliciously flavourful mushrooms are like an immunity boosting shot for your body as they are rich in selenium, niacin, riboflavin and Vitamin D.
- Turmeric: This essential kitchen spice is also an important immunity booster. This warming, bitter spice triggers an increase in an important protein that helps your immune system fight off fungus, viruses and bacteria.
Do you want to change your existing diet? Do you want a personalised diet plan to enhance your immunity? Consult experts at our Department of Nutrition Therapy for further assistance.