Human body is powerful and so are its mechanisms. Far above than what we could ever imagine. With the advances that we have made in science and technology, we humans may have developed a false of credence that we could actually control complex processes like detox, repair and healing of our systems. But in reality, our body is phenomenal that works tirelessly to produce 25 million new cells every second, that is incessantly on the lookout to throw every harmful toxin out of the system, works tirelessly to keep our heart, liver and kidneys optimally functioning. But what we can do successfully is to become good assistants to our body. Like Harry J Johnson once said "The human body has been designed to resist an infinite number of changes and attacks brought about by its environment. The secret of good health lies in successful adjustment to changing stresses on the body."
Our body's immune system is strongly linked to our body's ability to detox, repair and rejuvenate. And while our body continues to perform these functions day in and day out, our primary responsibility would be to provide the body with the right strata and environment to work upon. But how do we break this down to apply certain principles to accentuate our health and wellness?
In order of importance, I would attribute the crown to lifestyle habits that include our breathing patterns, daily routine of eating and fasting and steadying the circadian cycle. Then, comes our food habits that need to be in sync with our digestive processes, absorbing nutrients and excreting waste with minimal or no residue in the body. And finally exercise which needs to be an imperative chapter in our lives, created to suit an individual's innate ability to recover and build muscle.
Here Are Some Tips To Build Immunity Naturally:
1) As we sleep our body, our body goes through 5 stages of sleep through which it repairs tissue and muscle, cleans the system through detox cycles, builds neuronic pathways - in short rejuvenates the body preparing it for another day of work.
Our job is to sleep at a fixed time daily before 11pm, ensure we get 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep and wake up at a fixed time. This habit heightens immunity and research shows that humans are more prone to infections and disease when sleep is poor.
2) Deep breathing exercises (deep, slow diaphragmatic breathing) when done regularly and consistently can repair and heal the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the human body that connects the brain and digestive system and it's signalling pathways if improved will ensure optimum digestion, absorption and availability of nutrients which again will improve immunity & our ability to fight disease.
3) Food that's right for us cannot and must not follow cookie cutter methods that aren't novel to "new age" diet formulas. Gluten free, dairy free, grain free and more. They may or may not be right for you. Hence do not follow any formula blindly. Be aware and validate which foods work for your digestive system, reduced inflammation levels (headaches, fatigue, energy levels, etc) and possibly your weight.
Include foods that keep your gut moving and clean, keep your cravings to a minimum, allow your body to function at optimal energy levels - all of these will help boost your immunity.
4) Certain foods have the ability to heal, allow for higher chances of an alkaline state and quench free radicals that could cause havoc in an otherwise healthy body. Such foods should find a special and regular place in your routine.
a) Haldi/Turmeric - Turmeric could be had both in supplement and raw form in food. But remember, it must be had with pepper or else haldi remains largely unabsorbed.
b) Cinnamon - be careful to use Ceylon cinnamon that is free of the adulterant coumarin.
c) Ginger - contains gingerol which could help fight infections
d) Lemon - is a rich source of the antioxidant Vit C
e) Tulsi leaves - can be soaked in drinking water, adds a refreshing taste to water and is known to be an immunity booster
f) Giloy - is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that will deliver immunity benefits without any side effects.
The right balance of nutrients (micronutrients like Zinc, Vit D, Vit E, Vit A, selenium, folate and iron) that have a pertinent role to play in stabilizing and potentiating our immunity.
All of the above could also be had in supplement form but in consultation with your medical practitioner for an understanding of optimum dosage, dosage cycling and interaction with other medicines.
Finally, our immunity is dependent on a host of factors that we expose our body to like stress, alcohol, smoke and adulterants coming from processed food. It is our continuous effort to minimise this exposure that will build our immunity on the spine of the other good habits that we create as a lifestyle. It's not a day's job. It's a journey that knows it's destination as our continued state of well-being.
About Author: Anupama Menon is a nutritionist and holistic wellness and food coach. She runs her practice out of Bangalore and Mumbai, while her team of 15 nutritionists and supervisors executes well-defined programs across India to various corporates, Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust, Snap Fitness, Ernst & Young to name a few.
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