In today’s hurried lifestyle, most of the time we take our immune system for granted. Almost all of us are born with it, but how well it remains is completely dependent on us. It silently works in the background, protecting us from all the bacteria, viruses, fungi all other pathogenic organisms. It is a complex network of different organs, proteins and cells in our body that work in a coordinated manner to protect us from the different pathogens that are all around us all the time. The only reason we are not spending all our life in bed is because of our immune system.
Ever wondered why someone is catching flu very frequently and the other person doesn’t seem to fall ill ever? Our immune system is the best preventive medicine that we have and we must take care to keep it healthy and energized. Here some products, ways and food items that can help you make your immune system stronger.
Improve your Gut Health
Your gastrointestinal system makes a large part of your immune system. The lining of our gut secretes antibodies and contain cells that recognise and kill the harmful bacteria. Our gut receives millions of pathogens every day through food and water but our intestines provide a Barrier Immunity that prevents these pathogens from entering our body.
Apart from these, our intestines contain more than a thousand species of bacteria that regulate our immune system and also keep a check on the foreign bacteria that comes in. It keeps a check on the growth of these foreign bacteria and clears them out.
A probiotic contains two types of bacteria- Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus is the most common probiotic which is even found in our curd. Bifidobacterium is found in cheese, sauerkraut, salami, and olives. It is suggested to help patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
Papaya is a fruit loaded with vitamin C. About 157% of your RDA (Required Daily Amount) of vitamin c in a single papaya. It originated in South America but now it can be easily grown in our gardens. It contains an enzyme Papain which helps to break down the complex protein chains in the various meats. It also contains a considerable amount of vitamin B, folate, Anti-oxidants, and vitamin A to boost our immunity.
This popular tastemaker is also known as an immunity-boosting superstar. For thousands of years, the people of the world have hailed it as the elixir of health. It is useful in battling flu, common cold, and other minor ailments. 1 clove of garlic contains 5mg of calcium, 12mg of potassium and more than 100 sulphuric compounds, powerful enough to wipe out bacteria and infections. Garlic was used to treat gangrene in both world wars. It is also said to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and also kills parasites in our bodies.
Both green tea and black tea are packed with flavonoids which are a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of Epigallocatechin levels which functions as an immunity enhancer. The fermentation process the black tea undergoes destroys much of the EGCG contents in them. On the other hand, green tea is not fermented but steamed. Green tea is also a very good source of L-Theanine which aids in the production of germ-fighting compounds in our T-cells.
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamin A, C, E, antioxidants and also fibers. This is one of the healthiest vegetables that you can put on your table. 100 grams of broccoli contains 89 mg of vitamin C which is more than most of the citrus fruits. It also contains beta carotene and lots of other antioxidants too. Out of all the cooking methods, steaming is best to preserve the nutrients in it.
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that has been in use in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3000 years. It has been termed as an ‘adaptogen’ which enables our body to manage stress in several ways. It lowers blood sugar levels and cortisol levels in the blood which helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Its botanical name is Withania somnifera which is also known as the Indian ginseng.
Amla or Gooseberry has always been a powerful home remedy to cure the flu and the common cold. This is due to the large amounts of vitamin C which boosts the production of WBC that helps the body in fighting several infections and diseases.
In this critical time of war against Coronavirus, such home remedies are of great importance to avoid recurrent symptoms of a cold. Any attack of the common cold can ignite great fear and anxiety in this time of the Covid19 lockdown period.
This fruit is also rich in iron, calcium and several other minerals which makes it an overall winner in boosting our immunity.
Ginger is another herb that helps by charging our immune system when it is less active and by suppressing it when it is Mooveractive. Ginger decreases inflammation and thus reduces the incidence of sore throat, joint pain, flu and cold. It is also said to reduce nausea. It contains the compound ‘Gingerol’ which decreases chronic pain and reduces cholesterol levels. Research also suggests that ginger can kill some drug-resistant bacteria too.
Like most other green leafy vegetables and like some other items on this list, spinach is also rich in Iron and Vitamin A. It also has magnesium, potassium, folate, calcium and numerous other antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent cell damage and are considered as an age reducing thing.
Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals in the cells which are produced in the body in response to various environmental, physiological and pathological stresses. These free radicals are also known as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).
Elderberry syrup is antiviral and stimulates a beneficial immune response. Like several other immune system supplements, elderberry is an antioxidant. Research has shown that it can shorten the duration of the flu by four days on average, if not stopping the flu and the common cold in its tracks
Zinc 15 Tablets
Zinc is an important element in the body that is required to boost the immune system, maintain growth and even heal wounds. Zinc deficiency can cause neutrophil and macrophage dysfunction in the body. Lack of zinc in the body may lead to reduced lymphocyte proliferation and decreased complement activity.
Oil of Oregano
This oil is reported to have several antiviral and antimicrobial properties which can be used to boost our immunity. It contains a number of phenols, terpenoids, and terpenes which are responsible for all its benefits.
It contains Carvacrol which is the most abundant phenol in Oregano oil and is used to kill a number of bacteria.
It also contains Thymol which is a prominent antitoxin and antifungal compound. It also has Rosmarinic Acid which is a powerful antioxidant.
I am Pramit Mitra, a doctor-to-be with a creative instinct and a tenacious spirit.
A connoisseur of taste, a part-time food blogger with tremendous curiosity and appetite for new and unknown cuisines. I love to express myself through writing. I’m always in search of new ideas to enact and new avenues to explore.