The importance of healthy immune function is something we tend to neglect, until it’s flu season or we are faced with a pandemic. With the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, we are probably reaching for vitamin C capsules, but there’s a lot more you can do to strengthen immunity. Vitamin C supplementation is not the most effective immune boosting strategy, as dietary intake of nutrients is more effective than supplementation. Moreover, there are other nutrients and natural therapeutic ingredients, diet, and lifestyle practices that are important for healthy immune function. As Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of such practices at all times because of its focus on disease prevention, it makes sense for us to revisit some of the best Ayurvedic remedies for immunity at this time.
The immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. Together, these carry out bodily processes that fight off pathogens, which are the viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies that cause infection or disease.When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them.
Boost your immunity system:
1. Open your mouth and say “om.”
While the physical effects of stress are still being studied by scientists, studies have so far proven that chronic stress can lead to a variety of negative effects on physical and emotional well-being, including a reduced immune response. Stress-reducing practices like meditation, massage, and even music can help us relax and improve our immune function.
2. Try turmeric.
The bright orange-yellow spice that gives curries a distinct flavor and mustard its color also has anti-inflammatory properties, and there is increasing evidence that it helps prevent illness, too. Particularly relevant for seniors, extracts of turmeric seem to play a role in preventing cancer, slowing Alzheimer’s, and alleviating arthritis pain.
3. Run a relaxing bath.
A nice hot bath, with Epsom salt or relaxing aromatherapy scents, can go a long way toward reducing our stress — and making us sleepy. Sleep is one of the key ways our bodies repair themselves, and sleep deprivation, reports Mother Earth News, “activates the stress response, depresses immune function and elevates inflammatory chemicals.”
4.Eat more vegetables
Vegetables, as well as fruits, nuts, and seeds, are loaded with nutrients that we need to keep our immune systems in top health. In particular, calciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, and broccoli help support liver function, a key part of our bodies’ natural detoxification process.
5. Micromanage your minerals
In addition to a range of vitamins, it is important to get enough — but not too much — of key minerals that are important to daily health. Selenium, according to Harvard Medical School, may help prevent cancer, and zinc is a critical ingredient for the proper function of our immune cells. However, experts caution that too much zinc can actually impair immune function, so it’s important to stick to the recommended daily allowance.
6. Exercise to support your immune system
Whilst exercise is known to improve your overall fitness levels and feelings of wellbeing, there is some scientific thinking that regular, moderate exertion could also give your immune system a hand5. One theory is that exercise could help remove bacteria from your lungs, whilst another considers whether a rise in body temperature (during and after physical activity) could prevent bacteria from growing.
Some recommended exercises include:
- Walking 20-30 minutes every day
- Going to the gym 3-4 times a week
- Enjoying a outdoor games regularly
Note : Exercise should always be included as part of a healthy lifestyle, but consult your healthcare professional before changing your current activity levels.
There are a few things you can do to stop germs spreading, if you do get ill:
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue and away from other people.
- Don’t reuse tissues.
- Don’t go into work (and avoid public places, if you can).
- Regularly clean surfaces and door handles around your home.
- Wash your hands regularly to minimize the spread of germs.
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