Immunity is the ability of the body to resist the attack of pathogens, or to fight against the infection which is caused due to unwanted biological invasion. It is an indication of the tolerance level of the host to strike back against the infection, reacting by the action of specific antibodies.
For the immune system to function well, it requires balance and harmony. However there are times when this system fails – a germ invades successfully, some biological changes happen and making us sick. Many questions arise in these cases: Whether there are any ways to intervene this process and make our system stronger? Any helpful dietary changes? Any supplements required?
Well the answer to all of these questions is to adopt a healthy living to boost immunity. The most important formula for a healthy immune system is
BALANCED DIET + EXERCISE ====>HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM
Some key points to remember are
- Pick a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, low in saturated fat
- Maintaining healthy weight, this can be measured by BMI
- Exercising regularly – 30 minutes of workout at least 3 times a week
- Manage and regulate blood pressure, there are good home BP monitors available, very important to monitor your BP
- Moderate Smoking and Drinking Alcohol, if you can refrain even better
- Get adequate sleep, at least 8 hours of sleep is recommended by the WHO
- Regular medical screening tests based on age group and risk category.
In addition to these, Vitamins play an important role in boosting immunity, Here are some key Vitamins
Biggest immunity booster. Daily intake is essential as our body does not produce or store it.
Citrus, Berries, Spinach, Broccoli
Pivotal role in catalysing the biochemical reaction in the immune system.
Green vegetables, Chicken, ChickPeas
Powerful antioxidant – Helps in fighting off infection.
Nuts, Seeds, Spinach
Sometimes we do end up taking prescribed supplements specially to boost immunity during sickness. But it is best not to make them a habit and to absorb nutrients through natural sources.
So in conclusion
- Immunity is important for good health
- Immunity can be boosted by a combination of diet and exercise
- Vitamins are key for boosting immunity
- Avoid supplements, the best way to gain nutrition is from natural sources
(Image Source: Wikipedia and Pharmaceutical Microbiology)
About the author
Dr Supriya Shekhar is a dental surgeon practicing in Navi Mumbai