The immune system has two components: innate and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is present in all metazoans while adaptive immunity only occurs in vertebrates. During the pandemic times, the need to keep your immunity up has been increased to fight the virus and unwanted health issues.
Now everyone is working to improve their immunity and even Ministry of AYUSH has released suggestions on how to improve immunity some of things mentioned include golden milk and kadha.
What are the signs that there is something wrong with the immunity system? How one can gauge himself on his immunity? Well, there are certain signs of low immunity. Let’s see what those are.
- Fatigue: it is one of the major symptoms. You feel tired easily means without doing much hard work. It is an indication that the Cortisol level is low or high.
- Frequent Infections: You become more prone to infections. Infections that are frequent, longer-lasting, or hard to heal shows that the immunity has gone weak.
- Cold and Sore Throat: The immunity system does not allow us to fight against day to day infections like cough, cold, and sore throat.
- Allergies: When your body reacts abnormally to common, harmless substances like dust, mold, or pollen and you get rashes, itching, or running nose indicating your immune system is low.
- Slow Healing Injuries: Skin prevents the bacteria to affect our body but if your injuries take a longer time to heal means you are prone to disease and low on immunity.
- Digestive Problems: Food like undigested protein is just like bacteria and affects the digestion if the gut bacteria are out of balance. You might suffer recurring digestive problems like diarrhea, stomach infections, and nausea.
- Anemia: Anemia is a condition where red blood cells or hemoglobin decreases. The ability of blood cells to carry oxygen also decreases. Symptoms like feeling tired, weakness, or short of breath.
- Hair Loss: This usually affects the scalp. Alopecia areata is the condition that causes hair loss in patches, one or more. The condition is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks hair follicles due to overdrive.
- Joint Pain: Conditions like arthritis (rheumatoid, reactive, and psoriatic) are caused due to a faulty immune system. This is also an autoimmune disorder resulting in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis for unknown reasons.
- Mouth Ulcers: Mouth ulcers in adults occur due to stress. Stress is the most common amongst adults these days. This occurs due to the breakdown of skin on the cheek, lip, or tongue.
Also, Read: How to Stay Healthy and Fit?
What did we need to do when we have low immunity?
One needs to understand that to keep ourselves healthy we need to have a proper diet with some good immunity boosters. You can include the following immunity boosters in your food life.
- Watermelon: It is refreshing when ripe and full of an antioxidant called glutathione. Red pulpy flesh near the rind has more glutathione. It strengthens your immune system.
- Wheat Germ: it is a part of wheat seed that feeds a baby wheat plant and rich in nutrients. It contains zinc, antioxidants, and Vitamin ‘B’. It is a good mix of fiber, protein, and some fats.
- Low-fat Yogurt: low-fat yogurt prevents unwanted inflammation in the gut. Good against severe cold. Probiotics in it acts as a barrier to microbial infections.
- Spinach: As an immunity booster spinach is very superior. It promotes the production of white blood cells which is a major component of immunity. It also has fibers, and antioxidants like vitamin ‘C’, beta-carotene, and more. It give maximum result when ate raw or lightly cooked.
- Tea: White, green, or black tea, each gives disease-fighting Polyphenols and flavonoids. These antioxidants remove cell-damaging free radicals. Among all green tea is considered to be the most effective one.
- Sweet Potato: Like a carrot, sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene that converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is a major component in healthy skin, which is the first line of defense against infections.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is a very good source of the antioxidant glutathione and vitamin A and C. Glutathione in Broccoli helps to destroy free radicals which may cause infections and hence provides a boost to the immune system.
- Garlic: It has the ability to fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Garlic supplement lowers cholesterol. Garlic increases the number of virus-fighting T-cells in the blood stream. Garlic has more than 100 biologically useful chemicals.
- Pomegranate Juice: ancient Egyptians used pomegranate juice to treat infections. The antioxidant level in pomegranate juice is said to have 3 times more than that of green tea. This makes pomegranate juice highly sought after.
- Ginger: One of the best ancient roots used for healing. Antioxidant in it works best when you get them directly from fruit or veggies. Ginger can be mixed with tea or its juice can be mixed with honey to get the best food to improve the immunity system.
Many dieticians mention honey as an immunity booster because raw honey boosts your immunity system. As honey contains Polyphenols and flavonoids antioxidants, it helps to fight against infections. These antioxidants remove and destroy the cell-damaging free radicals thus protecting the structural integrity of cells and tissues.
Nettle tea is another immunity booster. Nettle tea is made by seeping nettle leaves in hot water. It is great for relieving the joint-pains and menstrual cramps. Nettle tea is excellent for boosting metabolism and immunity. It is one of the best detox drinks and flushes out the toxins.
Chyawanprash is also suggested by Ministry of AYUSH to keep up the immune response.
Chyawanprash is an ancient mixture prepared to cure many diseases. “Ayurvedic Shastra” mentions the preparation of Chyawanprash. As per different Indian ancient texts like ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘Puranas’, Ashwini Kumar brothers, the twins, and Raj Vaidya (Royal Physicians) to Devas, first prepared Chyawanprash. It was prepared during Vedic times for the Chyawan Rishi at his Ashram near Dhosi Hills near Narnaul, Haryana, India. That is the reason the name Chyawanprash came up.
The first appearance in the documented form of Chyawanprash can be seen in Charak Samhita in Ayurveda, as back as early first millennium BCE. The Chyawanprash is a mixture of sugar, honey, ghee, amla jam (Indian gooseberry), sesame oil, berries, and various herbs and spices. Chyawanprash is famous and sold all over India as a dietary supplement.
The idea behind making Chyawanprash was to provide the human body, the nourishment rich in Vitamin ‘C’ along with other herbs, and enhance the immunity power. Chyawanprash has a major ingredient Amla (440 mg/100g Vitamin ‘C’). The preparation of Chyawanprash is written in many Ayurvedic treatment methods like Ashtangahridayam, Charaksamhita, and Sangandharasamhita.
For any person to remain healthy, his immune system must be strong. Immunity resists diseases. It is the capability of multicellular organisms to resist harmful microorganisms. Whatever is their antigenic make-up, these components act as a barrier or eliminators to many pathogens. Immunity is defined as a complex biological system endowed with the capacity to recognize and tolerate whatever belongs to the self and to recognize and reject what is foreign (non-self).
The Bottom Line
There are many ways that can help us to maintain or boost our immune system. During day to day activities, it is unavoidable to remain free of physical activities or to keep our mind balanced. The tiresome routine and the stress at work make us almost impossible to keep calm. We must therefore take the help of experts in the matter of our health and mental balance as our knowledge in that field is very limited. We can only help ourselves by treating with known medicines but beyond that there are many things which we are not aware of.
What we eat is very important because food gives us the energy to carry on work. If we know what is better to eat, we can very well keep ourselves healthy and fit. Some small changes in our eating and drinking habits will lead us to a stronger and happy life.