How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally?

Low Immunity

What is Low Immunity?

The immune system of your body commendably defends you against various diseases by killing the disease-causing agent. After coming in contact with an infectious agent one gets ill while other does not. This is due to the strong and weak immunity of the person respectively. Nowadays life is so fast that one cannot afford to slow down due to recurrent infections like cold, cough and flu. Recurrent infections are the signs of low immunity. To avoid illness your immune system should be healthy and strong. Strong immunity can be attained by different natural ways.

What are the Causes of Low Immunity?

  • Genetic factors
  • Poor mental health
  • Stress
  • Negative emotions like jealousy, envy, anger, and guilt
  • Pollution
  • Overuse of antibiotics
  • Viruses
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Obesity
  • Malnutrition
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Unhealthy eating habits

What are basic Things to do in Order to Increase Immunity?

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain proper weight
  • Do not smoke
  • Take a balanced diet
  • Sound Sleep
  • Maintain hygiene
  • Minimize stress

What Foods can be Taken to Strengthen Immunity?

  1. Citrus fruits - Vitamin C help to build up immunity and increase the production of white blood cells. The body itself does not produce or store vitamin C, need to take it daily. Some of vitamin C rich citrus fruits are oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and clementines.
  2. Garlic - It is a very common ingredient in most of the dishes. Along with adding a flavor, it has many health benefits too. Garlic helps the body to fight against infections as it consists of allicin, sulfur-containing compound. It also helps to prevent hardening of the blood vessels and lowers the blood pressure.
  3. Ginger - Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which help to relieve inflammatory conditions like a sore throat. It lowers the blood cholesterol level and relieves nausea.
  4. Turmeric - Turmeric helps to treat rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis due to anti-inflammatory action. It consists of Curcumin which treats exercise induces muscle damage.
  5. Spinach - It is rich in vitamin C & A and also consists of antioxidant which increases the immune system strength to fight against infections.
  6. Papaya - This fruit is rich in vitamin C. Digestive enzyme of papaya has anti-inflammatory properties which help to treat symptoms of inflammation. Papaya is loaded with potassium, folate and vitamin B that helps to increase overall health.
  7. Tulsi - It removes mucus from the respiratory airways and lungs. Tulsi promotes strong digestion and healthy circulation in the body.
  8. Pomegranate - This fruit helps to fight body against bacteria and treat infections. Its juice is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. Antioxidant capacity of pomegranate is three times higher than green tea. It is refreshing also.

What is the Ayurvedic Concept of Immunity?

According to Ayurveda, good digestion, strong Agni (metabolic fire), proper liver functioning and balanced hormones makes a strong immunity. Strong immunity is known as Ojas and ability of the immune system to differentiate between healthy cells and foreign bodies are called Tejas. When Tejas is blocked, communication between cells via chemical channels is hindered. Ojas is delicate and difficult to achieve.

What are the Ayurvedic Tips to Increase Immunity?

  • According to Ayurveda most important way to promote healthy immune system is strong Agni. Strong Agni can be achieved and maintained by avoiding foods like refined sugar, stimulants, and processed foods. Eating with mindfulness and maintaining regular eating habits promotes strong Agni.
  • Eat your meals at proper times. Lunch should be eaten when the Sun is highest and digestion is strong, in the middle of the day. Breakfast and dinner should be light as at that time digestion are weaker. This enhances immunity.
  • Eat according to your capacity, i.e. three fourth of capacity. This will leave some space for the digestive process. Eating up to full creates Ama and discomfort.
  • Eat according to the season. Do not eat cold foods in the winter season because it will increase the Vata qualities, i.e. coldness and dryness in the body. In winters one need to take grounding, warming, and nourishing diet.
  • Sleep is very important to keep a healthy immune system and sleep deprivation can result in low immunity.
  • Stress can prove to be deteriorating factor for immunity. So stress management is very necessary in order to get strong immunity.
  • Having a daily routine is just as it gives a reassurance to our mind and makes it stress-free. It calms the nervous system and relieves stress and preserves immune system.
  • Exercising regularly improves circulation, move stagnant emotional and mental energy and release collected tension in the body. It improves digestion, supports sound sleep, and keeps intact body's detoxification mechanisms. But one should be cautious while doing daily exercises as improper exercise can damage the body and deteriorate immunity.

Which Therapies can be done in Order to Attain a Healthy Immune System?

Some of the therapies followed in Ayurvedic tradition helps to clean channels of the body, relieve stress, digest toxins (Ama), and support the immune system as a whole.

  1. Pranayama - The word prana denotes essence of the life that animates the body.  This asana restores vitality and energy in the body's channels, releases accumulated tensions and supports the nervous system. Ama (toxin) is digested and eliminated from the body through Pranayama.
  2. Meditation - It helps to create a passive awareness and one can engage with life in a detached and clearer manner.
  3. Yoga - It helps to maintain a mental and physical stability. Yoga helps to relieve tension and increases fluidity through the tissues.

What not to do in Order to Increase Immunity?

  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Do not take simple sugars.
  • Avoid microwaved food, foods containing preservatives, fried foods, and canned foods.
  • Do not drink ice water.
  • Do not overeat.
  • Do not have heavy dinner.
  • Avoid potatoes, tomatoes, gluten and dairy products.
  • Do not overcook food. Cooking food makes it digestible but overcooking it decreases its immune-boosting effects. Food should not be mushy.
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Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan (MD-Alt. Medicine)

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan (BAMS-Gold Medalist and MD-Alternative Medicine) is an expert Ayurveda consultant in Planet Ayurveda. She is the daughter of Dr. Madan Gulati and Wife of Dr. Vikram Chauhan. She is also one of the best ayurvedic doctors from Chandigarh and practising in Mohali, Punjab, India. Read More...

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