Build a strong immune system this winter
Inside our body there is an amazing protection mechanism called the immune system and the main job of this system is to guard you against millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites that would love to attack your body. Our immune system is directly affected by what we eat, drink and breathe. The poorer the diet, the greater will be the amount of toxins that will accumulate in our body, making us more susceptible to infections, viruses and cancer. Our body is designed to process, metabolize and clear toxins naturally. However, we live in a world where the amount of toxins we take in daily far exceeds permissible levels.
These toxins have overwhelmed the body’s natural cleansing pathways.
Messing up with the body’s internal clock may ramp up inflammation. The best way to protect ourselves from the cold chill is to be and feel stronger this season. So it’s time to think about how to protect yourself from high risk of catching a cold, cough and stuffy nose during the winter season.
Here are some “stay-well” strategies and tips to boost your immune system:
Healthy and Balanced diet: Include Vitamins A, C, D and E nutrients and minerals like zinc and omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. E.g Broccoli, Spinach, Carrots, Apples, Berries, Meat, Poultry, Dairy products, etc. (Your body needs vitamin C to build and maintain healthy skin—your body’s first line of defense in preventing disease and infection. The vitamin is also critical for producing white blood cells and antibodies that fight off infections, and it is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from free-radical damage.
Vitamin C: Oranges, Grapes, Broccoli, Strawberries, Sprouts, Papaya and pineapple, Red and Green Capsicum
Get adequate sleep: As we all know, sleep is the time your body uses to rest, repair and recover.
Sweat it out: By adding exercise to your daily routine it discharges tension and stress and enhances immune function.Exercise not only helps your immune system fight off simple bacterial and viral infections, it decreases your chances of developing heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Say hello to friendly bacteria: 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive system, so make sure to keep that healthy by adding yogurt or raw sauerkraut to your diet.
Water, Water, Water: Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. For an extra boost, add a slice of lemon, which will provide extra vitamin C.
(Drinking plenty of water ensures that your blood will carry plenty of oxygen to all the cells of your body. This means that all of your body’s systems will function adequately, because they’ll be getting plenty of oxygen. Your immune system functions best when your muscles and organs are functioning best. ) Calcium is present in nearly every whole food that you eat, or water that you drink.
Soak in the Sun (if you can manage some): The best source for Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in protecting your bones and your body requires it to absorb calcium. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may lose bone, have lower bone density, and you’re more likely to break bones as you age.
Immunize Yourself: Timely vaccinations have had a huge impact on reducing, and in many cases nearly eradicating, a number of infectious diseases.
Dr. Akshay Kumar Challani
Consultant Physician, Wockhardt hospital, Mumbai
DNB(Internal Medicine) ,FCPS, MNAMS, FNB(Critical Care Medicine)