One of the most searched terms during Covid-19 is immunity and ways to built it. Before the pandemic, people hardly paid attention to strengthen their immune system, but now, things have changed altogether. The TV commercials have well understood this and it’s high time that we should also know facts about the immune system, it’s working, and its strengths.
What is an Immune System?
The immune system is the defence mechanism of your body. It prevents all the foreign elements including viruses, bacterias, parasites, fungi, worms etc. to not only enter the body but also destroy it, neutralizing it’s harmful effects. That’s cool, we have a bodyguard within to check on the entrance and exits.
The immune system varies from person to person depending on lifestyle, eating habits, genetics, fitness activities, surroundings etc. Also, as the body gets older the immune system loses its capabilities to fight and protect. This is the very reason why elderly people are more prone to infections and diseases.
How does Immune System Functions?
The immune system plays a very important role. Our body is fully exposed to the outside environment, full of viruses and germs, it is only because of the presence of immune system which keeps us healthy and protected every second. When the ill causing germs enter the body, immune system gets the signal and starts to work.
Basically, immune system produces antibodies which stick to the spikes or antigens (which are proteins) of the virus cells and blocks it so that it does not stick to any of the organs to cause damage. When the spikes are locked by the antibodies, the white blood cells, which are the part of the immune system, kills it and the virus is no more inside.
Only those germs and viruses can make you ill which are new to the immune system and once its antibodies are made it’s no more lethal. This is the reason why it’s said that people who have suffered chicken pox once are never gonna get again.
But, the immune system does not work on its own. Just the way a car runs with fuel, immune system has to be given proper nutrients and diet to maintain the energy and produce antibodies from time to time.
Essential Food Items to Boost the Immune System:
Food we take, alters our health, appearance, fitness and immunity as well. Infact, some of the food items directly charge up our immunities and boosts our body against illness. One thing has to be made very clear, all the junk food and processed-packed items are going to give you no benefit at any point of time in your life. Infact, these food items would damage the leftover nutrients and make your body good for nothing.
This does not mean you should never dine out, but, only when you are done with your homework by boosting your immune system. Winters are ahead, which already slows down the immune system, and the current situation of pandemic has made it even more necessary to have things which are loaded with immunity boosters. Below are some extremely healthy food items which are a boon to your body in boosting your immunity.
1. Citrus food:
Citrus food items are considered as the kings of Vitamin C. The reason why people start consuming Vitamin C during illness is that these enhance the production of white blood cells which in turn produces antibodies to fight against germs and infections. These food items mostly include lemon, orange, spinach, papaya, kiwi, red bell pepper, tomatoes etc. and are considered as fast immunity boosters.
2. Ginger and Garlic:
These two very powerful food items are popular since ages. They have a host of benefits, the most important one being immunity booster and anti inflammatory properties. Ginger and Garlic have antibacterial properties and help in keeping your gut healthy by flushing out the toxins. You can add ginger garlic paste in tea and vegetables to not only enhance the flavour but also boost the immune system.
The benefits of yoghurt is much beyond its rich creamy taste. This is the reason why varieties of yoghurt are available at stores. Being a product of milk its highly loaded with calcium, but, that’s not it, it’s equally rich in potassium, zinc and other vital minerals which controls blood pressure, prevents infections and boosts your immune. Hence, never underestimate the power of a common yoghurt.
4. Almond and Nuts:
Dry fruits are highly rich in vitamin E which is essential for the immune system to kick out the unwanted invaders from the body, thus, acting as a backbone for your immune system. Other nuts including pistachio and walnuts have proved to be great in preventing cough and cold. So, what’s a better option than simply eating a handful of nuts everyday and recharging your immunity.
The traditional and authentic turmeric has tons of health benefits and when it comes to immunity, it serves the best. Presence of Curcumin makes it a strong antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric provides heat to the body and maintain the temperature. Just the way a car engine needs heat to jumpstart, similarly, turmeric provides heat to make the immune system active and functionable.
Now, often we are told not to drink chilled water, it is for this reason as cold water reduces the body temperature and slows down the activity of immune system.
6. Honey and Black Pepper:
Both honey and black pepper have abundance of health benefits separately, but, when combined together, they work magic. Both have antiviral and antibacterial traits which acts as helping hands in generating antibodies. These are highly favoured when it comes to healing cough and cold and hence, must be in your daily diet throughout this winter.
7. Dark Chocolates:
Finally, something tempting on the list. Surprisingly, dark chocolates compliment good immune system, as, the presence of Cocoa in it acts as an amazing antioxidant enabling muscle repair and has proved to be a great suppressor of stubborn cough. Rich in essential minerals including iron, copper, magnesium etc. chocolate balances the overall health of your body. Therefore, a small proportion of it can definitely boost your brain, body and immunity.
8. Olive oil:
Olive oil has become a fashionable trend for the kitchen, and why not, when it holds such nutrients and benefits. If you choose to use olive oil in place of your regular cooking oil, 50% of the healthy work is already done. Extra-virgin olive oil can boost your immune system as it is a good source of antioxidant and holds highest anti-inflammatory properties. This healthy fat lowers the bad cholesterol and prevents strokes.
9. Whole Grain Bread:
Significant research and tests have shown that consumption of whole grain bread instead of the plain one has led to a modest rise in the level of memory and immune cells due to the presence of bioactive compound. Thus, strengthening the immune system against various infections and diseases. This is a common food item to have but the results are loaded with the goodness of immunities.
This food item holds superpower in boosting the immune system. This contains beta-glucans which activate the immune system and helps recognising and neutralizing the harmful effects of alien elements in the body. Thus, taking mushrooms for your diet is a perfect choice this pandemic.
The above-mentioned immunity boosting food items would not do any magic in a day and therefore should be consumed regularly to stay fit as these healthy food items are good friends to you.