We are experiencing unprecedented times with the virus contagion. While the lockdown imposed is trying to prevented its spread, we personally need to pay careful attention to maintaining our own health and that of our loved ones by boosting our immunity. Given below are 11 of the most natural and simple methods, For boosting immunity:
- Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits are full of immune-boosting vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, which can protect against cell damage, boost collagen production, and combat the common cold & flu. As our bodies don’t produce or store vitamin C, we need to consume it daily. Commonly available citrus fruits include Oranges, Lemons, Amla, Mosambi, Guava, Papaya etc.
- Natural Probiotics: A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, healthy sleep, and effective digestion. The gut microbiome which controls how our bodies responds to infection, can be supported by probiotics. Curd, a good source of probiotics, is packed with protein, and minerals such as potassium, vitamin B-2, B-12, vitamin D, selenium, and zinc. It can be consumed either directly, or as chaas or lassi.
- Raw Garlic. Raw Garlic may not be good for your breath, but it’s great for health! Allicin the antibacterial component, is released when fresh raw garlic cloves are cut or crushed. Additionally, the Sulphur compound in Garlic exerts its potent antimicrobial effects, as it travels throughout our bodies.
- Ginger: Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/alternative medicine. The main bioactive compound in ginger is called gingerol, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It is often used to help digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight the flu and common cold.
- Raw Turmeric:: Research shows that high concentrations of curcumin, the source of turmeric’s distinctive colour, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that decrease muscle damage. Given that by itself, it is poorly absorbed into bloodstream, it’s best consumed with black pepper, as it contains piperine which enhances its absorption. Being fat soluble, it can also be consumed with a fatty meal or milk.
- Raw Honey: Honey is a natural immune booster, antioxidant and antimicrobial agent, which fights some bacteria and viruses. Containing hydrogen peroxide, it has a low pH level which dehydrates the bacteria, causing them to die off.Honey is recommended as a cough medication by the WHO. While it can be simply consumed along hot water, adding lemon provides vitamin C and added natural flavour.
- Herbal/ Green teas: Green tea is a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in our T-cells. Herbal teas can we consumed using single or multiple ingredients such ginger lemon, honey lemon and turmeric. For honey lemon tea, squeeze half a lemon into a mug of boiled water, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey. Ginger and Tulsi tea can be prepared by, just boiling the ingredients together.
- Regular Sleep: Sleep is most necessary for our body to repair itself. Lack of proper sleep weakens immunity. In the current scenario, it’s tempting to binge-watch our favourite show until late night.. Do your body a favour, ditch the late night screen time, and get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep at night.
- Regular Exercise: Regular exercise is not only anti-inflammatory but also enhances immune function. Exercise flushes bacteria from our lungs, reducing the chance of picking up an airborne illness. It also causes white blood cells to circulate more vigorously, facilitating the quick detection of infections. Choose from either yoga asanas simple push-ups/ sit-ups or even regular house cleaning. Additionally, exercises such as Pranayam, Anulom-Vilom help strengthen our lungs.
- Regular Meditation: Prolonged stress increases cortisol level, which can result in lowering of white cell count. This adversely affects immunity. To combat stress, allocate at least 10-15 minutes a day for meditation and self-reflection. Try chanting “Om” for starters!
- Soak up Sunshine: When exposed to sunlight, our body naturally produces vitamin D. One of the most vital function of Vitamin D, is regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating normal immune system function by producing antibodies. Low levels of vitamin D, on the other hand, have been correlated with a higher risk of respiratory infection. We only need between 15 to 20 of exposure to sunlight which is available at balconies, or while even sitting next to a window.
The above methods have been handpicked not only because they are natural, cheap and simple but more importantly, cause they are also highly effective with no side effects.
Together, let’s care for not only ourselves, but also our loved ones, by boosting immunity, naturally!