Posts Tagged ‘ Immune System ’

Get Healthy with a Strong Immunity

Monday, October 12th, 2020

A strong immune system is your body’s defence system and helps individuals fight infections and reduce the risk of contracting highly contagious diseases. The complex system is made up of cells in your skin, blood, bone marrow, tissues, and organs that protect your body against potentially harmful pathogens (like bacteria and viruses), and limit damage from non-infectious agents. With COVID-19 persisting all over the world, having a strong immune system is more important than ever. That’s because your immune system defends you against harmful pathogens such as bacteria and viruses that cause colds and the flu.

Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system
Every individual must make their health a priority and work towards building a strong immunity. Follow these health tips to help strengthen your immunity naturally:

  • Have a nutrition-rich diet
    Eat a balanced diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Have a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green varieties. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with immunity-boosting capabilities, including key nutrients such as vitamins A and C.
  • Be physically active
    Remember to exercise regularly; even light exercise will go a long way in releasing the toxins from your body. It is recommended to exercise for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your stamina. If you have not started exercising yet, then it is a good time to start. Regular exercise improves metabolism, which has a direct correlation with body immunity.
  • Don’t compromise on sleep
    Sleep is a time when your body produces and distributes key immune cells like cytokines, T cells, and interleukin 12. When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system may not do these things as well and weakens your immune system. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and sleep for 7 to 8 hours. Avoid screens and late-night eating before bedtime.
  • Stay hydrated
    Drink up to 8-10 glasses of water every day, to stay hydrated. Hydration will help flush out the toxins from the body and lower the chances of any infections. Coconut water and fresh fruit juices are also other alternatives.
  • De-stress yourself
    Long-term stress leads to chronically elevated levels of the steroid hormone cortisol. When cortisol levels are constantly high, it essentially blocks the immune system from doing its job to protect the body against potential threats from germs like viruses and bacteria. Here are a few steps to help relieve your stress:
  • Practice meditation
  • Pursue a hobby
  • Connect with family and friends
  • Take breaks
  • Listen to music
  • Avoid Smoking, alcohol, and other addictive substances
    Certain habits like smoking, alcohol consumption, and substance abuse have a direct correlation on your weakened immunity. High levels of alcohol consumption can weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and slow down your recovery time. The toxic chemicals released by cigarette smoke interfere with the growth and function of your immune cells.
  • Manage your chronic conditions better
    Chronic conditions like asthma, heart disease, and diabetes can affect the immune system and increase the risk of infections. It is essential to take care of your pre-existing conditions and manage them with medicine and precautions.

How good nutrition helps boost your immunity
Good nutrition is fundamental to improving immunity. The immune system is the body’s defence against disease and infection and it has long been established as a factor that influences the function of your immune system. Are you concerned whether you are getting the right amount of nutrients from your diet? Here are a few superfoods that can help boost your immunity: 

  • Vitamin C: This particular vitamin is a crucial participant in the army of immunity. It helps prevent the common cold. It acts as a powerful antioxidant and protects against damage induced by oxidative stress. It is found in citrus fruits like oranges, berries, and vegetables like broccoli, lemon and spinach.
  • Vitamin D: Sunlight is the most natural source of this vitamin however not everyone gets enough sunlight every day. Most people are deficient in Vitamin-D, consult your doctor about taking a Vitamin D supplement.
  • Zinc: Zinc is a vital component to WBC (white blood corpuscles) which fights infections. Zinc deficiency often makes one more susceptible to flu, cold, and other viral infections. Seafood, lentils and oatmeal are some good sources of this mineral.
  • Turmeric and Garlic: The bright yellow spice, turmeric, contains a compound called curcumin, which boosts the immune function. Garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties which enhances body immunity.

It is time to help each other to increase the awareness about the right ways to boost their immunity naturally with small lifestyle changes. Your family and your health is largely dependent on your immune system and a strong immunity helps ward off many diseases. Start living better for a healthier and stronger life ahead.

Right nutrition = Strong immunity

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

Make healthy food choices and eat right to help strengthen your body’s immune system. The main tasks of the body’s immune system are: to fight disease-causing germs (pathogens) like bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi, and to remove them from the body, and to fight disease-causing changes in the body, such as cancer cells. The way your body fights an infection depends on your overall health. Regular exercise, sufficient sleep, low stress levels and a nutrient rich food helps increase your body’s capability of fighting a disease.

Choose to eat right
Some compounds have properties that help make your immune system strong and help your fight diseases. Here is a list of must-haves in your daily diet:

  • Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants: Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables provide nutrients—like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E—that can boost immune function. Many of the vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based foods are also rich in antioxidants, they help reduce oxidative stress.
  • Beta-Carotene: Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and boost immune function by increasing disease-fighting cells in the body. Excellent sources include sweet potatoes, carrots, and green leafy vegetables.
  • Vitamin C and E: Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that help to destroy free radicals and support the body’s natural immune response. Sources of vitamin C include red peppers, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, mangoes, lemons, and other fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E sources include nuts, seeds, spinach.
  • Vitamin D: Research shows vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk for viral infections, including respiratory tract infections, by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory compounds in the body. Food sources of vitamin D include fortified cereals and milk and dairy products.
  • Zinc: Zinc is a mineral that can help boost white blood cells, which defend against invaders. Sources include nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils.

Healthy eating tips
You may be eating the most nutritious diet but some dietary mistakes can weaken your immune system and have adverse effects on your health. Here are a few guidelines to follow to help preserve your immunity:

  • Avoid eating processed foods
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Choose plant-based, whole foods
  • Say “No” to alcohol

Immunity boosting Superfoods
Superfoods contain a variety of nutrients that help ward off many diseases. Here is a list of such superfoods that are known for its immunity building properties:

Citrus fruits – The high vitamin C content in citrus fruits helps increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Popular citrus fruits include oranges, grapes, kiwi, tangerines.

Broccoli – Broccoli is packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fibre and many other antioxidants. It is one of the healthiest vegetables and must be lightly cooked.

Garlic – Its immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.

Ginger – Since ages, ginger has been used for medicinal purposes, due to its rich nutritional properties. The presence of gingerol, an active component makes ginger a perfect immunity booster.

Spinach -Spinach is packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which helps increase the infection-fighting ability of your immune systems.

Almonds – Almonds have high concentrations of vitamin E that plays a crucial role in keeping the immune system healthy. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that aids the production of red blood cells and boosts blood circulation.

Yogurt – Yogurt is considered a probiotic that is essential to your immune system’s health. The good bacteria directly affects your gut, and helps improve your immunity.

Green Tea – Green tea contains excellent antioxidant properties that help the body detox toxins and other harmful elements. Green tea contains a powerful antioxidant called EGCG or epigallocatechin that works as an immunity booster.

Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seeds are packed with nutrients and minerals, including vitamin E, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and phosphorus that benefit your immune system.

Turmeric – Curcumin present in suppresses various inflammatory molecules that are responsible for the causes of the damage by viruses.

A healthy lifestyle and balanced nutrition go a long way in improving your wellness and boosting your immunity. For personalised nutrition plans do consult specialists at our Department of Nutrition Therapy at: