October 9, 2015

by Tehzeeb Lalani

In: Healthy eating

 

Achuu!!! Why do I always get this cold? Is my immunity weak? We have heard this and pondered over this more times than we would like to admit now. So what exactly it is to be immune and what is immunity all about?

Let's not get into the technicals. Long story short-our immune system does a wonderful job of defending us against disease causing micro-organisms. But sometimes, it fails and the germs invade our body and make us sick. So what must we do to build a strong immunity? Read on:

1.     Don't smoke. It's LITERALLY damaging the cells of your body

2.     Moderate alcohol consumption. Sorry to be a buzz kill but don't stop reading yet because you'll love the next one

3.     Get adequate sleep. If someone asks why, tell them it's for your immunity!

4.     Take active steps to avoid catching an infection-wash your hands frequently and cook meats thoroughly

5.     Hello fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which boost immunity

6.     Go glug glug on water. It helps remove toxins from the body

7.     When it comes to expedited immunity, there is nothing like the good ol' exercise! Exercise has been shown to increase the production of macrophages, which are cells that attack the kinds of bacteria that can trigger diseases. More recent studies show that there are actually physiological changes in the immune system that happen when a person exercises. Cells that promote immunity circulate through the system more rapidly, and they're capable of killing both viruses and bacteria. Now before you think of killing us, we will end the technical jargon. This will be the last of it, we promise :)

Now as an elaboration or an extra bonus if you will, some vitamins and minerals to be included in your daily diet to fight against infections and to build immunity:

Vitamin C

What does it do? 

It protects our cells from free-radical damage and has antiviral, anti-bacterial and anti-allergic activity. We recommend this vitamin especially to smokers and to those exercising consistently

Food sources:

Oranges, lemons, amla, spinach, bell peppers, papaya, strawberries, leafy green vegetables, guavas.

Probiotics

What does it do?

Beneficial bacteria have a lifelong, powerful effect on your gut's immune system and your overall immune system as well. They aid in the production of antibodies which help fight off infections

Food sources: 

Fermented foods like yoghurt (homemade is the best), dosas, idlis, dhoklas, paneer are all good options

Zinc

What does it do?
Zinc is the underdog when it comes to minerals. It is required for the production of white blood cells which protect us against colds and infection

Food sources:

Dairy, rotis, nuts, beans

 

Vitamin E

What does it do? 
When it comes to antioxidant, Vitamin E is the first that comes to mind owing to its excellent ability to fight off infections. It also accelerates the healing process while stimulating the production of new cells

Food sources:

Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, spinach, broccoli

 

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

What does it do?

Also known as 'The immune booster,' it supports the production of red blood cells in the body (this stuff is extremely important for immunity). Along with this pyridoxine is also important for producing hormones and the cells of the immune system

Food sources:

Daal, banana, cabbage, chicken, egg yolk (yes darling, leave it on!), milk, baked potatoes, chickpeas (bring on the hummus!)

Stop the sneezing and start the healing!

To your health,

Tehzeeb

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