It is necessary to realize the need to improve our health in these trying times. As I write this, I remember one monotonous morning in June of 2020, when I decided to go for a jog in the morning, of course when it was permissible to do so. “Body is a temple,” they said and yet, not a soul around worshipping this temple. I did not see anybody exercise, hike, or take something as simple as a walk.
The immune system is the prime system of the human body that is commonly described as a system of defense. If you think of yourself as a kingdom, the brain is the Ruler, the heart is the Queen. The digestive system is the General and the immune system takes the position of the Warden, leading the kingdom’s fight response. Training different cells of the body in combat to fight intruders or in our case, pathogens.
The ability of our body to ward off infections and diseases is called immunity.
This system has components like the white blood cells, which prepare the antibodies to various harmful entities like bacteria and viruses. Various types of white blood cells play a wide range of roles.
In order to fight for us, these cells need to be at the top of their game. To do so, it is in our hands to maintain a good lifestyle that is not just happy but also, healthy.
A healthy lifestyle compiles certain activities which repeated over and over, must be turned into habits. The essential ones are:
- Avoid smoking/ Avoid drinking alcohol/ drinking in moderation
- Maintaining a healthy weight and following a healthy diet
- Get adequate sleep (7-8 hours every night with a fixed timing to go to bed and wake up)
- Washing your hands with soap as frequently as you can to avoid infection
- Avoiding auto-infection by not touching eyes/nose/mouth
The immune system requires a wide range of whole foods that are bought right from the motherly arms of nature. The immune system army marches on its stomach. The regular nourishment of this army proves to make it easy to ward off infection or vulnerability to disease.
Let’s look at some foods that can help us improve immunity and fight the virus.
Certain vitamins help increase immunity, like Folic acid, Vitamin A, B6, C, and E. Other micronutrients like zinc, copper, and iron are top-tier nutritional value as well. Many health and wellness brands sell supplements that aid in providing the body with such substances. A more reliable source, as discussed earlier, naturally becomes whole foods.
Some of the fore-runners for boosting immunity, as they say, are foods rich in Vitamin C or Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, lime, tangerines, grapefruits, and red bell peppers because your body does not produce this vitamin, we need to keep supplying about 75 mg in women and 90 mg in men, daily. Vitamin A enriched foods like carrots, peppers, broccoli are supercharged with immunity-boosting minerals.
Boosters found in daily food
Indian food is very commonly known to include aromatics that add that extra zeal to our cuisine. Example: Ginger and Garlic. These two routine ingredients found in most households are rich in bad cholesterol-lowering substances that reduce inflammation and transfer their zeal to our soldiers as well. Another spice, recorded as therapeutic, in ancient scriptures of medicine is turmeric. It is made of a substance called Curcumin which is profoundly celebrated for its immunity-boosting properties.
For the meat lovers
For meat lovers, poultry products like chicken and eggs, when eaten only cooked but not processed can prove to be highly beneficial sources of protein that are required to maintain the integrity of the muscles, nails, hair, and skin which are all made of proteins like collagen, elastin, and keratin, etc.
The pandemic could be just one of the million reasons why we need to focus on ourselves for a while and take care of our eating habits and our body because the purest form of self-love is healthcare.