Healthy Living

Enhancing immunity and prevention of ailments!

Enhancing immunity and prevention of ailments!

 

 it’s your immune system’s job to defend your body against illness and disease. The complex system is made up of cells in your skin, blood, bone marrow, tissues, and organs that — when working the way they should — protect your body against potentially harmful pathogens (like bacteria and viruses), and limit damage from noninfectious agents (like sunburn or cancer.

Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system

  1. Don't smoke.
  2. Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
  3. Exercise regularly.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight.
  5. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  6. Get adequate sleep.
  7. Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing yourhands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.

Vitamins that boost immunity

Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because your body doesn’t produce or store it. The good news is that vitamin C is in so many foods that most people don’t need to take a vitamin C 

Vitamin B 6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. Vitamin B6-rich foods include chicken and cold water fish such as salmon and tuna. Vitamin B6 also is found in green vegetables and in chickpeas.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds and spinach.

 

Some basic requirements for good immunity include Good hygiene, healthy foods, stress free life, immunization and active life. If you feel a cold coming on, supplement a healthy diet with 25 mg of zinc per day on a short-term basis, Exercise is an immune-booster and it can be helpful if you feel well enough to do it. Adequate sleep is equally important. old-fashioned rule of washing your hands frequently with soap and water is more effective. “One of the easiest ways to contract the flu virus is touching contaminated objects and then putting your fingers near your mouth and eyes. Some contamination hot spots are phones, computers, and desks. ndoor air can be up to five times as polluted as outdoor air, so it’s wise to air out your home daily by opening your windows.

The microbes that live in your gut not only help your body digest food — they also help regulate your metabolism, hunger, weight, and immune system. “A strong immune system relies heavily on having a healthy, well-functioning gut – as 70 percent of your immune system is in the gut — and probiotics help keep your gut engine humming.

Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as vegetables and fruits, will boost your overall health and help protect you from the flu and other viruses and infections all year. The anti-inflammatory properties in nutrient-dense foods, like dark leafy greens, berries, salmon, and sweet potatoes, help build up your immune system’s defenses. But you should “avoid sugar, gluten, and processed foods

Zinc is given a special place

Research has found that zinc may enhance immunity and help to prevent common colds and flues and several other situations: The recommended dietary allowance is 8 milligrams (mg) for adult women and 11 mg for adult men. While zinc is commonly found in animal products, vegans and vegetarians aren’t out of luck. Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and beans are also very good sources of zinc. Add foods like black beans to your meals for extra zinc and other health benefits. Meanwhile,  canned  chickpeas pack 19 percent (2.07 mg) per cup, and lentils have 11 percent (2.27 mg) per cup, and black beans have 18 percent (1.93 mg). Also for relatively few calories, legumes are a great low-fat, high-protein food packed with vitamins, minerals, and lots of dietary fiber. Nuts and seeds are yet another great source of zinc that will also add some zing to your day. Toss an ounce of pumpkin seeds or pine nuts into a salad for a delightful crunch, plus roughly 20 percent (2.17 mg) or 16 percent (1.8 mg) of your daily value, respectively. Or try a handful of cashews, pecans, or peanuts on top of low-fat or fat-free yogurt or oatmeal. For example, 1 oz of dry-roasted cashews offers 15 percent of zinc (1.6 mg),

1 cup of raw oats boasts about 27 percent (2.95 mg) of the daily value of zinc, while the same amount of cooked brown rice has 13 percent (1.38 mg), and a slice of whole-wheat bread contains 5 percent (0.6 mg). Another whole grain packed with zinc is quinoa. In addition to being rich sources of calcium, milk and yogurt are also delicious and nutritious sources of zinc. 1 cup of nonfat or low-fat milk contains 9 percent (1.02 mg) of the daily value of zinc, while 1 cup of nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt provides 22 percent (2.38 mg) or 20 percent (2.2 mg), respectively.

Add fat-free or low-fat milk to cereal, oatmeal, and smoothies, and try yogurt topped with granola and fresh fruit. Try this tropical smoothie — a good source of zinc to start your day off right. While dark chocolate may be your favorite source of zinc, remember the sugar it contains. What are the benefits Zinc may offer i) When taken as an over-the-counter supplement, zinc reduced the severity and duration of the common cold in a  meta-analysis. Ii) researchers found that zinc may play an important role in regulating the heartbeat — a potential advancement in the fight against arrhythmia-related heart failure iii) Researchers have observed that zinc positively affected thyroid function among a small group of overweight women with hypothyroidism iv) supplemental zinc may help slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration v) zinc may aid the healing of wounds by reducing inflammation and activating immune cells at the area of injury.

Vitamin D

It is known to be promoting the growth of strong muscles and bones, lowering blood pressure, easing fibromyalgia pain, and slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis. But just as vitamin D can promote good health, a lack of it may lead to low immunity.  Low level of Vitamin D is associated with several serious conditions viz Dementia and depression, Schizophrenia, prostate cancer, poor erectile function, heart disease and many others.

Most people need 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily, according to the NIH, but just a few minutes outdoors in the sunshine with some skin exposed can help you meet some of those needs. Just be sure to wear sunscreen if you spend an extended amount of time outdoors. 

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