Our immune system is the most complex system of the body. This includes a vast net work of glands and cells like thymus gland, bone marrow, spleen and a large number of lymph glands. This also includes our white blood cells, natural killer cells that continuous work and destroy all the microbes and cancer cells that try to invade our body. Our immune system work 24×7 and protect our body against all foreign substances. They keep searching for minutest particles like virus, bacteria and cancerous cells that try to harm our body.
The moment there is any chance of infection or cancerous changes in our body these net works of cells attack them and destroy following a very complex mechanism so that our body is safe and protected. Therefore it is our responsibility to protect our immune system or so called our border security forces so that we remain healthy and safe. To do that we need to improve our life style by following the below mentioned process:
Choose immune-boosting foods:
Fresh leafy vegetables and fruits, are some of the most important immune enhancing foods because they contain many nutrients and essential antioxidants. High quality proteins and monounsaturated fats are also essential for a healthy immune system. Extra virgin olive oil is one such example of monounsaturated fat that helps to create new and healthy immune cells. Concentrated sugars significantly lower the immune defense mechanism so they should be either reduced or if possible completely avoided.
While regular exercise is good for health but excessive exercise is also not good for health. If you exercise for thirty minutes a day for at least 5 days a week, this will increase functioning of your immune system. This makes your white blood cells other immune cells very active and effective.
- Reduce stress: The activity of main immune cells like white blood cells and thymus gets drastically reduced in case of depression and anxiety. So the main aim should be to find out ways and means to reduce emotional stress and anxiety. However, there are several ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Regular exercise, immune booting foods, meditation and yoga are some of the easiest way to recover.
- Sleep more for better health: The activity of our immune cells like Macrophages and natural killer cells get severely impaired due lack of sleep. Lack of sleep slows down the formation of these disease fighting immune cells in our body.We need at least 6-8 hours of restful sleep. During this process our body reduces the secretion of adrenal hormones and increases the release of immune stimulating chemicals called natural killer cells and interferon. Sleeping peacefully enhances the activity of these body protecting cells.
- Treat infections promptly: Any infection in the body enhances activity of these immune cells. However, uncontrolled and untreated infections put enormous pressure on these cells and they slowly get tired. This results in impaired immunity and spread of infections in other parts of the body. Try to take care of small injuries or infections like dental caries with utmost care and treat your infections with immune enhancing herbs like Shatvari, Giloe, Licorice, Garlic etc.
- Antibiotics depress immune cells so try to avoid antibiotics as far as possible unless the infection is serious enough to be treated by herbs.
- Avoid toxins.Toxic chemicals in food, chemical preservatives severely interfere with the activity of immune cells. They also trigger the release of damaging free radicals.
- Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata).This herbs also called the “king of bitters” is a good immune booster and helps alleviate the symptoms of frequent cough and cold and upper respiratory infections.
- Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia): The ultimate immune booster. It helps building and modulating body’s own defense mechanism by increasing the killer activity of white blood cells, and macrophages. The harmful bacteria get eliminated from the body and infections are prevented. Giloe can be used as an adjuvant in patients who are undergoing cancer treatment. This herb is very useful in various skin, soft tissue and respiratory infection.
- Ashwagandha(Withania somnifera): This herbs is also called “Indian Ginseng”. It has a potent antistress activity and by reducing stress it helps improving immune cell function. It has also been found to modulate immune system thereby increasing the efficiency of natural killer cells and white blood cells, IL-2 and IFN gamma and the amount and variety of antibodies.
- Mulethi (Glycyrhiza glabra): This is one of the most effective immunomodulators. It can enhance the activity of interferon that fight against viruses. It also fights against growth of many bacteria.