In the midst of all this corona virus, all we need to know is how to strengthen our immunity. There is a lot of unnecessary information and fear spreading around the masses. However, what we all really need to understand is that no virus or bacteria can harm you unless your have very weak immunity which can be caused by Stress, Chronic illness, lifestyle, diet , too many chemicals around us and even age plays an important role here. So do not let this fear becomes your stress, because eventually this stress is going to affect your army ( your immune system) which is going to save you from this.
What is Immune system?
First Lets have a quick brief on what immune system really is, for a better understanding.
1. Immune system is that part of our body which is made up of cells that defend the body from invader. It is like an army of cells. It’s a surveillance system that is in charge of figuring out what’s you and what’s not you. What is you, it should not attack and what’s not you, it should attack.
2. The most common invaders are microber, viruses, bacteria, yeast, parasites and toxins.
3. Immune system has an army. When army need to attack an invader, they do it by releasing chemicals and protein from immune cells and other cells, which are irritating and this is how they kill the invader but it also irritates you.
4. It’s a good system that inflammation mechanism happens to kill invaders but it should turn off after they finish. The problem comes when it continues to stays on because then you have chronic inflammation.
5. Now If your army is strong then we should not fear any invader but if it’s weak then the invader will enter your body so here are few points through which you can boost up your immune system to protect yourself from any kind of Virus.
a) Genes – We cant do much about it if we have very low microbiomes( good bacteria) in our gut and weak immune system that we got from our genes but we can change the way they express and that’s what epigenetics is, that we can only do it by having a healthy lifestyle.
b) Stress—It weakens the immune system’s ability to respond to invaders, leaving us more vulnerable to infection. Recovery is also liable to be slower since the immune system is suppressed in favour of dealing with stress.
c) Environmental Toxins – It changes the behavior of your cells We are surrounded by toxins everywhere. From our floor cleaner to perfumes, everything we use has strong chemicals in it which our body isn’t familiar with. We should try to use minimally processed and natural ingredients as much as we can.
d) Inflammatory food – Sugar/ Saturated fat /trans fat. They all weaken our immune system. SUGAR reduces your immune system by 50% within 30 minutes after you have it as it is a fuel for bad bacteria in your body. Sugar in the blood stimulates your immune cells to actively release inflammatory molecules that travel throughout your body causing damage and irritation They multiply fast and survive on sugary and inflammatory foods. Avoid High GI food ( sodas, candy , processed) . It doesn’t look like sugar but behaves like one. Trans fat and saturated fats turn into inflammatory molecules as well.
e) Nutritional deficiencies. It can really harm your immune system especially vitA , D (the only natural place to find it is Cod liver oil and Sun), Zinc (Too much zinc can impair immune functions too so make sure you know how much you have it already) . Zinc is found in all kinds of meat but better to take it from Plant source ( nuts, whole grain, legumes, beans) , selenium and essential fatty acids deficiencies. Make sure you go through a complete blood test ( checking specifically the above mentioned nutrients) annually. We cant really control genes and environment but food and nutrients.
f) Fats are important because they make up every cell membrane of you body and influence function. They make sure your cells communicate well. Fats directly affect the T cells of immune system.
g) Polyunsaturated fats( omega 3 and 6) are ideal for cell memberane. Omega 3 and Omega 6 are turned into anti inflammatory molecules so make sure you eat food that are rich in these two eg Fish, Chia seeds, hemp seeds, kidney beans, and walnuts , Peanut butter ( homemade) , Sunflower seeds, Avocado oil etc.
h) Anti oxidants- Your immune cells are constantly exposed to toxins, chemicals and microbes. They need a constant supply of anti oxidants to quench the free radicals fire. The best ones are Vitamin C and E. They clean up free radicals. Glutatiathicine is the most important as it is sulphur rich and can be found in all green vegetables like broccoli and spinach etc
i) Have lots and lots of Vitamin C . Extra Vit C wont harm you as it will go out of your body. Take Lemon with warm water . Drink Turmeric Latte ( Coconut milk with turmeric, ginger , cinnamon, pepper) , Meditate to avoid Stress, Take good sleep and best of all try to live in the moment, as that is the true happiness that resides within all of us.