Building immunity is of utmost importance to fight back illness and remain healthy. Too much of stress weakens the immune system. Also, personal hygiene and sanitation becomes a top priority. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is your first line of defense.
Boosting your immune system will keep viruses and diseases at bay this season. Here are four ways that can add powers to your immune system.
- Include Greens in Your Diet: Green vegetables act as chemical signals to maintain body’s first line of defense in fighting against viruses. According to a study published in the journal Cell, green veggies speciﬁcally cruciferous vegetables kale, broccoli, and cabbage play a major role in improving immunity. Green vegetables ensure proper functioning of intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs – White Blood Cells). IELs are immune cells in the gut and skin. These White Blood Cells are specially equipped to fight off germs and viruses while strengthening the immune system. People suffering from hypothyroidism can consume cruciferous vegetables in completely cooked form.
“Researchers at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, fed mice with different diets of vegetables and found, mice that ate a diet low in green vegetables had more unhealthy bacteria pile up.”
- Regular Exercise to build Immunity: Regular exercise helps in many ways. It keeps blood pressure levels at check, helps in regularizing blood sugar levels, keeps cardiovascular health good and most importantly builds a stronger immune system, amongst other benefits. Regular exercise aids in the promotion of good blood circulation. Proper blood circulation allows cells, essential nutrients and oxygen to fortify the immune system in fighting against germs and viruses.
“A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, shows that out of 1,002 people those who exercised at least ﬁve days a week had almost half the risk of coming down with common daily life illness.”
- Adequate Sleep: Getting enough sleep is one of most important aspects of being healthy. Getting minimum 8 hours of sleep helps a body to recover, reboot and develop higher levels of T cells. If you suffer from insomnia or face sleep deprivation issues, your body will release stress hormones viz. cortisol, Fiber rich diet and low saturated fat foods induce deeper sleep. Deeper slumbers help in restoration of the entire body.
‘As per a study published in the Journal of Sleep, people who get at least seven hours of sleep are less likely to be affected with cold and flu, in comparison to the people who sleep for six hours or less.’
- Stress Levels: Immune system and mental health are intertwined. Higher anxiety levels release stress hormones which weaken the immune system. Stress hormones also induce several physical pains, which include joint pains and muscle pains.
‘According to a study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 276 healthy adults were exposed to the cold. They were quarantined for ﬁve days. People who were stressed produced cytokine hormones, and molecules that trigger inﬂammation.’
Foods with vitamin C, zinc, probiotics and other antioxidants aid in reducing inﬂammation and ﬁght infection. Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk for catching viral infections. It forms a protective shield against respiratory tract infections.FOODS THAT HELP BOOST IMMUNITY
To fortify immune system, one needs to include more greens in one’s diet. Consuming greens improve heath and induces weight loss. Green leafy vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Here are some delish ways to include greens in your diet.
- Make a sandwich filled with lettuce, spinach, cucumbers and peppers. Season it as per your taste buds and its ready to grab.
- Add a bowl of salad to each meal. Toss some colorful veggies with lettuce. Squeeze some lemon juice over it. And your salad is ready to serve.
- Prepare a bowl of whole wheat pasta with broccolis, capsicum and zucchini. Pour over some pasta sauce and your one pot green meal is ready.
- Prepare a green omelet for your breakfast. Add a handful of spinach and kale to your egg.
- Green soup can be an awesome choice when you want to keep it light. Blend spinach, lettuce, kale, mint and coriander together. Cook it over fire. Add a dash of lemon juice and salt in it before plating it.
- Prepare easy green kebabs by adding green veggies and grated cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. Grill the kebabs and serve hot.
- Add spinach to your cottage cheese, eggs and even lentils. Thus, adding greens in your daily meals.
- You can add lettuce and spinach in your burgers along with slices of tomatoes and onions.
- Make a green snacking platter loaded with sautéed peas, beans, broccoli, brussels and capsicums.
- Next time, when you prepare idli, add spinach puree in the idli batter and enjoy green idlis.
Sukhasana allows optimal breathing and movement of “prana” (life force energy) throughout the body. It allows the body to relax and breathe deeply. It reduces stress hormones and fortifies immune system.ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA:
Ardha Matsyendasana or Half Lord of the Fishes helps the immunity to fight against improper digestion. This yoga pose gently compresses, twists, or stimulate the stomach. Thus, helping with digestive issues.SUPPORTED FISH POSE (MATSYASANA VARIATION):
Supported yoga pose boosts energy levels and targets the lungs. It opens up and relieve congestion.FORWARD FOLD (UTTANASANA):
Uttanasana brings prana and blood ﬂow to the sinuses. It keeps our sinuses and mucus membranes healthy, and thus boosting our immune system.SHISHUASANA:
Shishuasana or child pose builds pressure on the digestive system and chest. Thus, keeping the chest congestion free and strengthening immune system.SETU BANDHASANA:
Setu Bandhasana or bridge pose opens the heart and improves blood circulation. It builds a better resistance against pathogens.HALASANA (PLOW POSE):
Halasana is a backward bend pose. It releases white cells in the body and strengthens the immune system.BHUJANGASANA (COBRA POSE):
Bhujangasana is a chest opening pose. It helps release white cells. White Blood Cells are specially equipped to fight off germs and viruses while strengthening the immune system.DHANURASANA:
Dhanurasana or Bow Pose improves the flow of white cells by putting pressure on the digestive system.MATSYASANA:
Matsyasana or Fish Pose expands the chest and stimulates the thymus. This helps improve the body’s immunity level.
So, increase your immunity by following the above-mentioned tips, and fight against germs and viruses this season. If you’d like to seek clarity on any point, please reach out to us via phone or email.