--> Home remedies to boost your immune system
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Home remedies to boost your immune system

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What is the immune system of the body?

The body's immune system saves you from all the infections you could have. Immune system is an immense network of cells, tissues and organs. They get together and fight away all the foreign pathogens that enter your body and cause infections.

When a bacteria , virus or protozoa enters in the body. The immune system activates . It immediately gets down to work. Which means that it produces some chemicals or some times the immune cells to kill the foreign body. The body gets disturbed when there is any kind of infection. If severe the infection might lead to death too. However, the immune system works as an army and fights away these bacteria and viruses and keeps your body healthy.

What constitutes an immune system?

Immune system works at a variety of different levels . It has the following parts:

Skin:

Skin acts like the primary barrier to the germs . It protects the organs below it .

Mucus membranes:

Mucus membranes are present in the mouth, nose and in the internal body. They produce mucus and trap these germs and then the body expels out the mucus.

White blood cells:

White blood cells are components of blood. They are known as the 'Scavengers' of the body because they fight away infections.

Lymph system :

Lymph nodes are present in various regions of  the body. Organs and tissues of lymph nodes include Thymus, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, lymph vessels and bone marrow.

Working of immune system:

The immune system defends your body against the external substances that enter the body. These external or foreign substances are known as antigens. The immune system has a job of destroying these antigens. There are a number of cells which do the same by producing antibodies. The antibodies are proteins that attack these foreign cells and destroy them.

Antigens can be Bacteria, viruses, chemicals or toxins.

If the same antigen attacks again the immune system instantly recognizes them and sends out the antibodies. In this case you don't fall sick. The protection against any disease by the body's defense system is known as immune system.

 

TYPES:

The immune system is broadly classified into three different types of immunity:

Innate immunity :

It is inbuilt immune system i.e. you are born with this immunity . Immune system is the first line of defence system of the body. It includes physical barriers like the skin and mucus membranes. It also includes cells and chemicals which can attack foreign substances.

Active immunity:

It is also known as adaptive immunity . This means that it develops when you are infected or vaccinated. It is long lasting immunity and it is very important against dangerous pathogens. They also have a memory , so that if the same organism attacks the body the again it will immediately recognize it.

Passive immunity:

It is when a person is injected with preformed antibodies instead of making it by own immune system.

For example, a newborn baby gets antibodies from the mother .even adults could get antibodies by blood transfusion. This type of immunity protects you right away . However, it is for a very short duration for few weeks or months.

Can immune system go wrong?

Immune system can sometimes be over careful. This means that even if there is no requirement of immune response it shows one. This leads to conditions such as allergies, asthma and auto immune diseases such as arthritis. In auto immune diseases the immune system mistakes its own body cells as pathogens and attacks them.

However sometimes there is very weak immunity in certain individuals. This is known as immunodeficiency. If you have immune deficiency , you get sick all the time. This also means you take longer time to heal. This occurs due to genetic disorder.

How to boost your immune system:

There are certain foods that boost your immune system Some of these immune boosting foods are:

Citrus fruits:

Vitamin C is  best immune boosting food. Most people eat oranges and lime when they are having cold, this the reason.

Citrus fruits like oranges, lime , lemon etc. have a high amount of vitamin C . It improves the immunity by acting on increasing the white blood cells , which improve the system. Citrus fruits are easily available anywhere . You can include them in your diet as easily as squeezing out juice.

It is very important to note that there is no storage for vitamin C in your body. This means that you have to have vitamin C in your daily diet.

For women: 75mg per day

For men: 90mg per day.

Red bell peppers:

You might think that only citrus fruits have the highest amount of vitamin C. However, a red bell pepper has about 3 times as much vitamin C as a Florida orange. Moreover, as they are red in color they are also rich in beta carotene.

Vitamin C will help you boost  immunity . Moreover , it also keeps your skin healthy. The beta carotene in red bell peppers gets converted to Vitamin A in the body.

Garlic:

Garlic is very flavorful and is used in almost all the cuisines around the world. Moreover, it is a must have for your health. In ancient times garlic was regarded as the best for its immune boosting power. Its immune boosting power comes from the amount of sulfur that is present in it in the form of allicin.

Broccoli:

Broccoli is a very healthy vegetable. This is because it ahs a number of vitamins packed inside it. These vitamins are namely A,C and E. It is also a good source of fiber and antioxidants. However, if this veggie is overcooked it can lead to loss of all the vitamins. Hence, it is better to have it raw or steamed. But make sure not to overcook it.

Ginger:

In India ginger tea is the go to medicine if you have cold or cough. It is known for its anti inflammation activity. Inflammation is the first response of action of the immune system. It decreases inflammation and hence is widely used for treating sore throat and cold.

Moreover, ginger also aids in digestion and helps in conquering nausea. It is  packed with heat in the form of gingerol. It relieves pain and has cholesterol decreasing properties.

Yogurt:

We know that yogurts are live cultures of bacteria such as lactobacilli. They are hence known as probiotics. Yogurt will improve your gut  flora. Your gut has a number of good bacteria . Apart from digestion they are also responsible for increasing the immunity.

Moreover, yogurt is also a great source of vitamin D. When choosing the brand of yogurt, be sure that you choose the one which says " contains live culture" on the label.

Almonds:

Almonds are packed with vitamin E. Vitamin E is the second in fighting away infections after vitamin C.

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin and requires fats to be present to get absorbed. It is important food that boosts immunity.  Hence, you should include almonds to get vitamin E .

Turmeric:

Turmeric has been used in immune boosting concoctions since ancient times especially in India. This is because it has many properties such as; anti-inflammatory activity and anti microbial activity . It is very useful in treating inflammation in autoimmune disorders.  The most important component of turmeric is curcumin.

It has a yellow color and is immune boosting food and antiviral in action.

Spinach:

Spinach is packed with vitamin C , minerals and beta carotene. Therefore, it has immune boosting activity.

You should note that that spinach should be cooked as little as possible to conserve these vitamins.

Sunflower seeds:

Sunflower seeds contain nutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium and vitamins B6 and E.

Vitamin E improves and maintains the immune function . Hence it is  immune boosting food. Other foods that have high vitamin E  content are avocados and leafy vegetables.

Sunflower seeds are packed with selenium. Researchers  found selenium to be effective to combat viral infections like the Swine flu(H1N1).

Green tea:

Green tea and black tea are packed with antioxidants and flavonoids . However green tea has the highest amount of antioxidant among both of them . It is called epigallocatechin gallate(EGCG).

This ECGC has shown to possess immune boosting activity. Moreover green tea also has theanine. It helps in production of immune cells called as T cells.

Papaya:

Papaya is also a rich source of vitamin C along with citrus fruits . A medium fruit of papaya contains double the amount of vitamin C required by the body daily.  Moreover, it is filled with papain , which is a digestive enzyme . This vitamin C and papain enzyme boost your immune system.

Chicken and turkey:

Poultry such as chicken and turkey have high quantities of vitamin B6. 3 ounces of chicken or turkey contain one third of your daily requirement of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is also important for formation of blood cells.

You can have chicken and turkey in the form of stock or broth .

Shellfish:

There are some types of shellfish that boost your immunity. They do so because they contain high amount of zinc. Zinc is needed by the immune cells to function normally.

Some shellfish that are high in zinc are:

  • oysters
  • lobsters
  • crabs
  • mussels.

Daily requirement of zinc is :

men: 11 mg

Women: 8 mg.

Yoga to boost immunity:

Yoga poses are designed in such a way that they also are prone to increase health and boost immunity. Some of the yoga poses which help in the same are given below.

Yoga to boost immunity  are:

Locust pose:

Lie on the floor on your stomach.

Keep your hands , palms facing up , sideways of your body.

As you inhale raise your legs and chest up as high as possible. Hold this pose for 10 secs . Exhale as you come back to the initial position.

Low lunge pose:

Take one leg back and drop your knee and extend your toes out . Your legs should be wide to align knee with your ankle of the right leg. Push down your pelvis and stretch your arms upwards . Bend your back as you do so. This is the low lunge pose.

Crow pose:

It is one of the difficult yoga poses. It relies on focusing the entire weight of your body on your arms. If you have any ailments in your shoulders or wrists ,then avoid this pose.

Mountain pose:

In mountain pose , you follow these steps:

Stand straight on the floor. Then inhale as you lift your arms upwards interlocking the palms . Stretch your body upwards by coming on your toes. Then gently put down your hands and relax. repeat this 3-4 times.

Conclusion:

You should have these foods and yoga in your diet if you are suffering from immunodeficiency. However, you should not rely on these home remedies to cure you completely. These are great home remedies to boost immunity along with conventional treatments and to maintain healthy immune systems.

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DHAVAL RATHOD

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