Healthy Immune System
The immune system protects the body against disease or other potentially damaging foreign bodies. When functioning properly, the immune system identifies and attacks a variety of threats, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, while distinguishing them from the body's own healthy tissue.Biological immunity refers to mechanisms of protection against microbial infection. These mechanisms include constitutive and inducible innate mechanisms, similar to other forms of physiological homeostasis, and acquired immunity, involving the somatic evolution of new antigen receptors during the lifetime of the organism. Both inducible innate and acquired immunity can be adaptive or maladaptive. Innate immunity involves constitutive and inducible mechanisms.
The immune system protects the body against disease or other potentially damaging foreign bodies. When functioning properly, the immune system identifies and attacks a variety of threats, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, while distinguishing them from the body's own healthy tissue.
THE IMPORTANCE OF IMMUNITY IN TODAY'S COVID-19 PENDEMIC WORLD
While the global population is growing rapidly, and people are living longer, our living environment has changed substantially. There is therefore a greater need to support our health and wellbeing, primarily our immune system, at different stages throughout our life. These concerns regarding immunity have become more important, given the periodic outbreaks of infectious diseases such as SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), and now the coronavirus(COVID-19) pandemic, that within a few months, has led to more than three million cases across the world.
Nutrition And Immunity : The Indian Scenario
The typical Indian is undergoing a nutritional shift, resulting in a diet that is high-fat, high-salt and high-sugar, with low fiber intake and a sedentary lifestyle. A large number of Indians have a lower intake of vitamins and other micronutrients that what is needed. For example, our intake of Zinc, and Vitamins C and D is generally lower than what is required for optimal immune function.
Focusing on nutrient-rich foods and a well-balanced diet is the best way to obtain these desired nutrients. However, given that this is not always possible, nutritional supplements offer a reliable and safe option to help support the immune system.
Boosting Your Immune System Against Coronavirus
Covid – 19 or Coronavirus was declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. And while the countries are grappling with imminent dangers that this virus poses to humanity, there are few key measures that individuals can take to fight this pandemic. While it is crucial to mention hygiene standards like washing your hands frequently, especially if you have travelled by public transport. Individuals in certain pre-existing illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, cardio vascular disease, and respiratory issues are at a higher risk of having Covid 19 complications, it also aggravates with age as the general immunity reduces as you get older. In the younger generation with no underlying illnesses, Covid 19 can result in a minor infection, provided you have a robust immunity and do not engage in activities like smoking or vaping to combat the onslaught of the virus.
Improving Immunity With Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Globalized and modernized practices derived from Ayurveda traditions are a type of alternative medicine.
The main classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the Gods to sages, and then to human physicians.
In Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta's Compendium), Sushruta wrote that Dhanvantari, Hindu god of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as a king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a group of physicians, including Sushruta. Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia. Therapies are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances (perhaps under the influence of early Indian alchemy or rasa shastra).
Ayurveda is a traditional Indian system of medicine. It aims to preserve health and wellness by keeping the mind, body, and spirit in balance and preventing disease rather than treating it. To do so, it employs a holistic approach that combines diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes . Ayurvedic herbs and spices are also an important component of this approach. They’re thought to protect your body from disease and offer a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion and mental health.
Looking at the current scenario where the world is under a pandemic a boost to the immunity is what you need. Ayurveda is one of the oldest practices in INDIA. Ayurveda can help you to boost your immunity with no side effects.
"Ayurvedic Herbs To Boost Your Immune"
Here are some of the products offered by the field of Ayurveda :-
Sea buckthorn is a plant. The leaves, flowers, seeds, and fruits are used to make medicine.Sea buckthorn leaves and flowers are used for treating arthritis, gastrointestinal ulcers, gout, and skin rashes caused by infectious diseases such as measles. A tea containing sea buckthorn leaves is used as a source of vitamins, antioxidants, protein building blocks (amino acids), fatty acids and minerals; for improving blood pressure and lowering cholesterol; preventing and controlling blood vessel diseases; and boosting immunity. Sea buckthorn contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and other active ingredients. It might have some activity against stomach and intestinal ulcers, and heartburn symptoms.
Sea buckthorn products to boost immunity:-
SUPPLIMENTS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY
In addition, research has shown that supplementing with certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other substances can improve immune response and potentially protect against illness.
However, note that some supplements can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking. Some may not be appropriate for people with certain health conditions.
Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before starting any supplements.
Here are the best supplements that are known for their immune-boosting potential for you and yor family against the covid-19 :-
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient essential to the health and functioning of your immune system. Vitamin D enhances the pathogen-fighting effects of monocytes and macrophages — white blood cells that are important parts of your immune defense — and decreases inflammation, which helps promote immune response. Many people are deficient in this important vitamin, which may negatively affect immune function. In fact, low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections, including influenza and allergic asthma.
Most people are deficient in Vitamin-D, so it’s best to consult with a doctor about taking a Vitamin D supplement to boost immune response. Some studies show that supplementing with vitamin D improve immune response. In fact, recent research suggests that taking this vitamin may protect against respiratory tract infections.
List of Vitamin D tablets are listed below:-
Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular supplement taken to protect against infection due to its important role in immune health. This vitamin supports the function of various immune cells and enhances their ability to protect against infection. It’s also necessary for cellular death, which helps keep your immune system healthy by clearing out old cells and replacing them with new ones . Vitamin C also functions as a powerful antioxidant, protecting against damage induced by oxidative stress, which occurs with the accumulation of reactive molecules known as free radicals.
Oxidative stress can negatively affect immune health and is linked to numerous diseases. Supplementing with vitamin C has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold.
List of Vitamin C tablets are listed below:-
Zinc is a mineral that’s commonly added to supplements and other healthcare products like lozenges that are meant to boost your immune system. This is because zinc is essential for immune system function. Zinc is needed for immune cell development and communication and plays an important role in inflammatory response. 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. It is advisable to take a zinc supplement, especially for older people.
In a 2019 study in 64 hospitalized children with acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRIs), taking 30 mg of zinc per day decreased the total duration of infection and the duration of the hospital stay by an average of 2 days, compared with a placebo group,Taking zinc long term is typically safe for healthy adults, as long as the daily dose is under the set upper limit of 40 mg of elemental zinc.
List of Zinc tablets are listed below:-
Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra), which has long been used to treat infections, is being researched for its effects on immune health. In test-tube studies, elderberry extract demonstrates potent antibacterial and antiviral potential against bacterial pathogens responsible for upper respiratory tract infections and strains of the influenza virus.
Elderberries are full of nutrients including minerals like phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper and vitamins, such as vitamin A, B, and C, proteins and dietary fibre. Elderberries have antibacterial and antiviral qualities which help fight cold and influenza.
List of Elderberry tablets are listed below:-
Build immunity naturally
Diet and your immune system
The food you eat plays a key aspect in determining your overall health and immunity. Eat low carb diets, as this will help control high blood sugar and pressure. A low carb diet will help slow down diabetes and focus on a protein-rich diet to keep you in good shape. And regularly consume vegetables and fruits rich in Beta carotene, Ascorbic acid & other Essential vitamins. Certain foods like mushrooms, tomato, bell pepper and green vegetables like broccoli, spinach are also good options to build resilience in the body against infections. You can also eat supplements rich in omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for your daily dose, if stepping out to buy groceries is not an option during social distancing. Some natural immunity supplements include ginger, gooseberries (amla) and turmeric.
Some of these superfoods are common ingredients in Indian dishes and snacks. There are several herbs that help in boosting immunity like garlic, Basel leaves and Black cumin. Certain seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds, Flax seed, pumpkin seeds and melon seeds are excellent sources of protein and vitamin E.
Don’t Compromise on Sleep
Good snooze time for 7-8 hours is the best way to help your body build immunity; lesser sleep will leave you tired and impair your brain activity.
The lack of sleep will prevent the body from resting and this will impair other bodily functions that will have a direct impact on your immunity. Lack of sleep adversely affects the action of the flu vaccine.
Don’t Skip on Exercise
A good diet should be followed by an exercise routine. 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.
There are several Youtube channels and apps to help you exercise at home. Regular exercise improves metabolism, which has a direct correlation with body immunity.
Too much stress releases the hormone known as cortisol, which impairs your response to immediate surroundings and makes your body susceptible to infections; you are left feeling constantly anxious. The best way to relieve stress is through meditation, it is a tried and tested activity to calm the nerves. If you need help meditating, then there are several channels on youtube that have instructional resources to help you meditate.