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6 ways to boost your immune system

Our immune system is responsible for keeping us healthy and free from diseases or infections. It fights bacteria, viruses and cancer.

You must have heard of vaccines: these are compounds that have been developed to strengthen our immune system to fight against specific infectious organisms. In addition to vaccines, we can strengthen our immune system by various other things:

1. Eating well

Eating well simply means eating a diet that is rich in proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables. These all together provide our bodies with much needed vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc, all that our immune system needs to become strong. In addition, it is important to restrict consumption of some things like: saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars and excess salt.

2. Maintain a healthy weight

Overweight and obesity can affect our immune system and make it slow. This is linked to the inflammation that usually accompanies excessive weight. The fat calls also produce certain inflammatory hormones, so the more weight you carry, the weaker is your immunity. Maintaining a healthy weight involoves not juts eating right, but also being physically active, getting enough sleep and being free from stress.

 3. Be physically active

Regulr physical activity helps our bodies remain fit. It improves our sleep and helps us maitina a healthy weight. Studies show that exercise improves the blood and lymh flow throughout the body. Its also seen that the effectiveness of the immune cells lasts upto 3 hours after completion of the exercise. A study that came out in 2022 of covid patients concluded that people who exercised regularly, had lower hospitalisations and it accounted for fewer deaths from covid.

4. Quit smoking

Cigarette smoking has thousands of different chemicals many of which can affect our immune systems. Recent research also shows that smoking can lead to autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease. It is well documented that smoking causes certain types of cancer, thus should be avoided completely.

5. Avoid too much alcohol

Research shows that excessive alcohol consumption, directly suppresses the immune system. Too much alcohol delays the immune response of the body in fighting pathogens. In the lungs, alcohol consumption can lead to destruction of the immune cells, thereby increasing the risk of respiratory diseases. Alcohol also destroys our good gut bacteria and causes inflammation of the gut. Both these further affect our immune system.

6. Get enough sleep

Studies show that not getting enough sleep can affect our immune system. People who do not get enough sleep fall sick more often, and also take longer to recover from an illness. Our bodies release certain proteins known as cytokines and also certain antibodies during sleep. If we do not sleep enough, the production of these drops, thereby leading to increased risk of infections. Long term lack of good quality and quantity of sleep is also related to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. It is important to remember that quality of sleep is as important as quantity.

To know more about how to improve your immunity, get in touch with me, Kanupriya Khanna, one of the best Dietitians and Nutritionists in Delhi.

Categories Dietician, Nutrition and Covid, Nutrition Blogs

What is Herd Immunity?

Amidst this coronavirus outbreak, you might have heard about the term “Herd Immunity”. Health experts and various national leaders suggest it might be a good way to stop or control the spread of this new disease. So what exactly is this “Herd Immunity”? Let’s find out:

Herd immunity as the name suggests is also called community immunity or group protection. When most people of a population are immune to an infectious disease, it provides indirect protection or herd immunity to those who are not immune to the disease. The more people are immune, the lesser is the virus spread. For example, if 70% of a population is immune to a virus, 3 out of every 4 people who stumble upon with the infection won’t fall sick or won’t spread the disease any further. In this manner, the spread of viral infection is kept under control.

Herd immunity can stop the spread of most illnesses, such as swine flu, and other pandemics within a country. Hence, health officials suggest that the current COVID 19 chain can be broken with this kind of group immunity model.

People Who Depend on Herd Immunity

For certain people, herd immunity is a vital way of protecting themselves against life-threatening diseases. These groups are:

  • Senior citizens
  • New-born babies
  • Individuals with a history of chronic diseases
  • People who have compromised immune systems, eg. People on chemotherapy treatment, those suffering from autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, lupus, etc.
  • Those who are very ill in hospital

Strengthening Immunity

Vaccines create herd immunity too. Various efforts are underway towards the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus, but there could be a wait as long as up to a year before a safe vaccine is made available.

However, we as individuals can try to strengthen our immunity by following some healthy-living strategies.  Here are some tips:

  • Eat a variety of foods that help in strengthening your immune system
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Include herbs in your healthy diet plan
  • Maintain personal hygiene
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Meditate
  • Get adequate sleep
Categories Nutrition and Covid, Nutrition Blogs, Recipe

Healthy Concoctions to Boost Your Immune System 

Thinking how to boost your immune system? Have a look below:

Concoction 1

Include this herbal tea in your healthy diet plan. Simple and quick to make – it’s one of the best home remedy to boost immunity and fight against infections.

Ingredients

  • ginger- 1/2 tsp
  • turmeric- 1/2 tsp
  • black pepper- a small pinch
  • cinnamon – 2 pinches
  • honey- 1 tsp

Method: Take one of water and boil everything together except honey. Next add honey and sip.

Concoction 2
Ashwagandha is considered a sort of magic herb that helps kick up the immune system by several notches. It further stabilizes blood sugar and reduces anxiety and stress.

Ingredients

  • 5-inch piece dried ashwagandha root, approximately
  • 1 tsp honey 

Method: Wash and boil the root in 1/2 a liter of water. Allow to boil for about 5 to 7 minutes. Strain into a cup and then stir in the honey.

Concoction 3
Basil (Including tulsi) are strong immunity food ingredients. It can help cure regular fever that is caused due to bacterial and viral infections.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup basil 
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice 

Method: Put the basil leaves into a saucepan with a half-liter of water. Bring to a boil. Then bring down the flame to low for 3 – 4 minutes. Strain into a cup, and add the honey and lemon juice into it. Stir and sip.

If you are looking for more such ideas and suggestions get in touch with Kanupriya Khanna.a

Kanupriya is one of the best child dietician and pregnancy nutritionist in Delhi. A certified practitioner, she will give you concise advice on how and what to eat.

You can also check her website at https://kanupriyakhanna.in for some healthy diet plans and food recipes for kids.

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