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Build Your Immunity
WHAT IS IMMUNITY
If we look at the simplest and easiest way to define immunity it would be that immunity is the ability of the body to fight disease causing pathogens. Pathogens can be referred to as any foreign bodies which can also be referred to as bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses whereby on entering the body can cause an onset of diseases. Infections are likely to occur when the pathogens enter the body through the eyes, nose, mouth, open wounds, urogenital opening and from insect bites.
WHY IS IT IMMUNITY VITAL
It is crucial for one to keep their immunity strong to keep diseases at bay. The immune system plays a major role in preventing a disease by fighting disease causing germs and it helps to neutralize harmful substances. This helps to maintain the overall health, preventing one from becoming ill.
HOW TO BOOST IMMUNITY
One should always keep in mind that daily habits incorporated into their lifestyle can help improve, influence, and maintain our immunity giving an overall healthy well-being.
Let's look at what changes can one make to boost the immune system.
Over a period, studies conducted by researchers it has been concluded that sleep is essential not only to help one feel rejuvenated but also it has been proven to bring about healthier immunity.
It has been said that lack of sleep or having an irregular pattern of sleep is likely to bring about weight gain, diabetes, anxiety, depression, memory problems, heart disease and a delayed immune response.
Are you having trouble getting enough sleep? Give these few methods a try to help you improve the quality of your sleep.
Keep all electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, and TV out of reach. Avoid caffeinated beverages in the evening. Try to sleep 15 minutes early till you achieve the desired time you want to sleep. Eat a light supper and lastly keep your bedroom cool in temperature and dark.
EATING FOOD RICH IN VITAMINS
Elevating the immune function can be made by choosing to eat a healthy number of vegetables and fruits which are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Below are examples of the sources from where one can get a rich number of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to improve the quality of one's health.
Antioxidant - An antioxidant "hunts" free radicals from the body cells to prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. Free radicals are notorious for causing heart disease and types of cancer. One can get an adequate amount of beta - carotene from green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard green. Orange coloured vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, squash, and apricots are also said to have high amounts of beta carotene.
Vitamins - Vitamins are nutrients needed by the body for it to function properly. Vitamins can be found in food and at times one can take it as a supplement. Below are the list of vitamins and the foods which support it.
B-1 - Watermelon, Soymilk, Ham
B-2 - Whole Grains, Cereals, Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt
B-3 - Whole Grains, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Poultry, Fish, Meat
B-5 - Mushrooms, Avocado, Broccoli, Whole Grains, Chicken
B-6 - Legumes, Tofu, Bananas, Poultry, Meat, Fish
B-7 - Soybean, Eggs, Fish, Whole Grains
B-9 - Oranges, Asparagus, Broccoli, Spinach, Fortified Cereals, Legumes
B-12 - Cereals, Milk, Fortified Soymilk, Cheese, Poultry, Meat, Fish
Vitamin A - Pumpkin, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Mangoes, Fortified Milk, Liver, Beef, Eggs, Fish, Shrimps
Vitamin C - Citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, Broccoli, Bell peppers, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Strawberries
Vitamin D - Fortified Milk and Cereals, Fatty Fish
Vitamin E - Whole Grains, Nuts, Green Leafy Vegetables, Vegetable Oil
Vitamin K - Kale, Spinach, Cabbage, Broccoli, Milk, Eggs
Minerals - The body uses minerals to keep the muscles, heart, bones and brain to function efficiently and effectively therefore it is important to sustain a balance for the body to be healthy.
Let's look at the minerals which are essential for the body.
Sodium - Soya sauce, Salt
Chloride - Salt
Potassium - Legumes, Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Meat, Milk
Magnesium - Whole-Wheat Bread, Legumes, Broccoli, Spinach, Seeds
Calcium - Cheese, Milk, Yoghurt, Green Leafy Vegetables, Salmon
DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
Water helps to keep the body hydrated and helps to flush away harmful toxins.
It has been said that generally two litres of water is an adequate amount to keep the body hydrated but having said so remember that you are your own judge and as per your age and the work that you do it is important not to over hydrate or under hydrate.
In case you have a busy schedule, you may install an application that could remind you to drink a glass of water after a certain time interval.
Perhaps you might not be a fan of drinking water, you could try to enhance the taste by using a slice of fruit, lime, or a cucumber.
Exercising on a regular basis helps to get better immunity as it's a source of maintaining and regulating circulation.
Studies have revealed that exercises can help the respiratory tract to become healthier. Also, studies have indicated that one can keep depression away as exercises help to produce endorphins which help lift one's spirit. One could take a walk at least for half an hour or jog. Swimming or yoga too can benefit you to increase flexibility.
Managing stress is very important to maintain mental and physical health. If one is highly stressed it can cause detrimental effects on one's well-being. One should learn and practice to always become mindful. Too often people either live in the past which causes depression or in the future which may cause anxiety.
Try spending quality time in nature whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Journaling how you feel and learning about triggers that cause anxiety will help You determine methods to help reduce stress and help focusing on your blessings. Reading, listening, or watching podcasts are sources which have been used to encourage positive thoughts that can bring about tremendous calmness.
Having healthy discussions with friends can help manage stress and increase the possibility of setting positive goals.
LAUGH YOUR HEART OUT
It is said that laughter is the best medicine and therefore it is a great way to improve your immunity.
Laughter is the conduit of endorphins which are also known as the "feel good" hormones.
Therefore, one should spend fun time with family and friends, or watch a comedy flick or one could also opt to attend a live comedy show.
Laughing not only improves the immune system but also enhances mental health.
Always keep in mind that a healthy immune function is a necessity, and it should never be neglected nor compromised at all times.
"Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe deeply, move harmoniously." Jean-Pierre Barral
By Disha Sharma