Can you boost your immune system naturally ?
This is one question we are searching for these days – and the answer seems to be yes!
So before I try to tell you about how to increase immunity of body naturally, let me tell you what and how immunity works in your body.
Immunity basically arises from the immune cells in your body. They are the ones that fight against any type of external infections that may affect your body. These immune cells decreases with
Ways to Boost the Immune System Naturally
Good Nutrition Is Key To Immunity
To naturally increase immunity of body you need to depend on nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is proven that micronutrients namely zinc; selenium; iron; copper; vitamins A, C, E, D and B-6; and folic acid have important influences on immune responses.
Also some food contain special properties that fight or prevent any external entrants, such as pathogens, from entering the cell mitochondria.
Foods That Boost Immune System naturally
To enhance your immunity naturally, a good nutrition is the key. Here is a list of — foods that will help to boost your immunity naturally,
A compound in garlic called allicin is seen to reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases, have anti-tumor and anti-microbial effects, and show benefit on high blood glucose concentration.
Ancient Chinese and Indian medicine recommended garlic to aid respiration and digestion and to treat leprosy and parasitic infestation.
Garlic has attracted particular attention of modern medicine because of widespread belief about its effects in maintaining good health. Some of its benefits include
i) reduction of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases,
ii) reduction of cancer risk,
iii) antioxidant effect,
iv) antimicrobial effect, and
v) enhancement of detoxification foreign compound and hepatoprotection
All this from those humble kernals. To get allicin completely from garlic it is important to take raw garlic. Raw garlic can be cut into small pieces and taken in as we take tablets. There are a few precautions you need to take while taking raw garlic
- cut raw garlic and let it on a plate for a few minutes.
- chewing is the best but due to its pungency you can just try to bite a little bit so that the allicin in garlic mixes with saliva and gets converted to usable form
Turmeric has always been a favorite of mine. Since my college days I have been using turmeric as an immunobooster effectively. Raw turmeric is always better because it has more curcumin content in it in an available form.
Corcumin a polyphenol present in turmeric and has been studied to aid in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are the two primary mechanisms that explain the majority of the effects of curcumin on the various conditions. (1). What makes the curcumin special is its ability to scavenge free radicals in the body thereb not letting them combine with other immenent components present in the body.
Curcumin present in turmeric, like vitamin C, is a lipophilic compound, which makes it an efficient scavenger of peroxyl radicals, therefore, like vitamin E, curcumin is also considered as a chain-breaking antioxidant. (2)
However one limiting factor of curcumin is its reduced bioavailability, which can easily be enhanced by adding it to piperine present in pepper.
Black pepper (Piper Nigrum L.) is an important healthy food and is a source of rich antioxidants. It also has antimicrobial potential and gastro-protective component. Piperine as the active ingredient of black pepper, and is recently studied to boost nutrient’s absorption and improve gastrointestinal functionality. It also helps in
Pepperine easily binds with curcumin and makes it bioactive. I would suggest that you take a few pieces of raw trumeric and around 5 to 6 black pepper first thing is the morning. If you are confortable taking coconut oil, do take 1 teaspoon full of coconut oil with this to make it more effective.
The most far-reaching attribute of piperine has been its inhibitory influence on enzymatic drug biotransforming reactions in the liver. (3)
There have been peope who have reversed diabetes, high blood pressure and excess weight.
Ginger is a spicy, pungent herb that’s used culturally for cooking and healing. Among the many medicinal use of ginger, treating cold and symptoms of cold stands out.
Ginger provides anti- inflammatory properties owing to the occurence of gingerols, shogaol, and paradols, the basic functional ingredients of ginger. This helps in pain relief, relief from cold and chest conjestion and also sore throats.
Ginger is also believed to have antimicrobial properties that may help fight infections (bacterial or viral), including those that cause sore throats.
You can make tea with ginger in it to soothe your throat (3) , you can also make rasam using ginger. I generally make a kadha using allt he above ingredients. I will give the recipe and details of how to prepare the kadha later in this post.
5. Amla or Gooseberries
I think you already know the proverb – an apple a day, Keeps The Doctor Away!!! Its mainly because of the vitamic C content of apple.
Well let me tell you – one single gooseberry has seven times the amount of vitamin C an apple has. Taking gooseberries everyday is very mportant to keep away any sort of infections.
Gooseberries contain almost 46% of your daily requirement of Vit C and taking them in itself is a way to ward off any infectious diseases. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and vital to your nervous system, immune system, and skin. Vitamin B5 is necessary for creating fatty acids, while vitamin B6, which many enzymes and cells in your body need to function, helps convert food into energy.(4)
Gooseberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, including vitamin C, small amounts of vitamin E, and phytonutrients such as flavanoids, anthocyanins, aromatic acids and organic acids.
Lemon has vitamin C and has long been essential for staving off cold symptoms and boosting immunity. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and helps boost your immunity. Having lemons zest/peel along with the pulp in hot water everyday makes you less prone to diseases, especially common cold.
Vitamin C also helps in the formation of collagen which helps to reduce the effect of asthma and other respiratory diseases. Using an infuser is the best and easy way too.
Citrus flavanoids possess several biological activities and have emerged as efficient therapeutics for the treatment of Cardio vascular diseases. Properties of Citrus flavonoids that make it special are
- They scavenge free radicals,
- improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity,
- modulate lipid metabolism and adipocyte differentiation,
- suppress inflammation and apoptosis, and
- improve endothelial dysfunction.
The intake of citrus flavonoids has thus been associated with improved cardiovascular outcomes.
In case of cold, drink the juice of lemon mixed with warm water. For sore throat, mix lemon juice to warm water and sea salt and gargle it every two hours. You can get rid of sore throat within no time.
Flax seeds,pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds are rich source of zinc. As I have said earlier zinc is a very important mineral to boost your immunity naturally.
For example, 3 tablespoons (30 grams) of hemp seeds contain 31% and 43% of the recommended daily intake of zinc for men and women, respectively. One handful of these seeds in any form is all that you require to make yourself immune from respiratory diseases.
In addition to boosting your zinc intake, these seeds also contain fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent addition to your diet.
You can roast these seeds and take them as snack. Here are some tips on including seeds om your diet
- Use as salad toppings. Coarsely grind the seeds and add them as topping to any salad.
- When you make laddoos, add some seeds after frying them in ghee.
- Add seeds to your daily breakfast either in kichdi/pongal or in chutney.
- Sprinkle a handful of seeds on smoothies, salads, cereals.
- Make granola energy bars
- Add to baked foods.
- Add to vegetable stir fries
- Eat as roasted snack either spicy or sweet.
- Use seed oil to sprinkle over salads and vegetables.
It’s no wonder that these super seeds regained popularity in the recent years due to their dietary and medicinal properties. It’s better to use organic pumpkin seeds to reap the full benefits from this super food.
This is on the top of my list because staying hydrated solves 50% of the problem. When we get up in the morning after an eight hour fast, our immune system is drained.
By making our body hydrated, the necessary nutrients travel throughout the body and refresh us. At the same time, it also flushes out toxins from our body.
But take care not to overdo it. Drink the right amount of water.
2. Less Stress and more Harmony
When we are stressed out due to work or any other psychological stress, the adrenal gland pumps in epinephrine and cortisol.
When these hormones are secreted, they initiate a variety of processes including our metabolism and immune response. But too much of these hormones lead to break down of our immune system.
Hence, take care to keep your stress under control and practice anything that you enjoy to keep yourself calm.
4. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is when both the body and mind relaxes. When there is sleep deprivation, it disturbs the immune system.
People with less sleep are tend to get more common cold. Their inflammatory chemicals are also elevated.
Sleep for 8 hours a day to remain fresh, both inside and outside.
5. Have an Exercise Regimen
Physical activity has its own set of benefits. In addition to decreasing your stress level, it flushes all types of toxins in the form of urine and sweat. Also, white blood cells and antibodies reach the entire body during exercise. Having an exercise Regime fights obesity too.
6. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Nicotine in Tobacco causes anxiety, depression and nervousness which in turn weakens the immune system. It also leads to heart disease. It is recommended to stop smoking to improve immunity.
Alcohol harms the body by ripping off the nutrients from the body. Avoid alcohol for a healthy immune system.
7. Maintain Hygiene
Good personal hygiene keeps germs at bay. Though hygiene doesn’t directly affect the immune system, it certainly helps in keeping you healthier.
Our immune system is the best line of defense. Let us take care of it and make it the best one.
Immunity keeps you charged and healthy throughout your life and it is important to know How to Boost Immune System Naturally.
Well, the immune system in our body is responsible for fighting off any sickness. It is made of a network of cells, tissues and organs, and they work together to protect the body.
However, if there is a whole network that is kept ready to fight sickness, then why are people getting sick?
Everyone gets sick at one point or the other but the immune system helps to get us back to normal.
With the help of vaccines, the immune system is kept well prepared to fight the diseases.
Problem arises when someone gets sick more often which means there are chances that he/she might have a weak immune system.
Why does an otherwise Strong Immune System Weaken?
The immune system protects our body from all kind of infections and also restricts the cancerous growth and tumours inside the body. But immune responses are weakened by many external factors. The important factors are
– An unbalanced and poor diet
– Consumption of Alcohol
– Lack of Sleep
– Lack of Exercise
– Lack of Hygiene
– Unnecessary Medications
– Exposure of body to Chemicals, UV and Radiation
Do you know? All these factors can be controlled by you. By making lifestyle changes, we can naturally strengthen the immune system.