Our Immunity is our body’s defence system which protects us from external invaders that can harm us. We are all born with such an immune system that helps us fight infections. This immunity continues to develop and get stronger throughout our lives as we are exposed to more viruses and bacteria.
As long as the body and mind are healthy, your immune system will be healthy too. As the current environment becomes tense with threats from a virus, it is good to revisit and remind ourselves about the basic fundamentals of what really keeps our immunity strong.
1. Get enough sleep for a strong immune system
Many functions of our immune system happen when we are asleep. Without enough sleep, their work remains incomplete and we don’t build a strong defence system. In fact, a study showed that people who slept less than 7 hours a night were almost 3 times more likely to catch a common cold (Rhinovirus) than those who slept more than 8 hours.
2. Stress can reduce your immunity
Stress weakens the immune system. That is why during exam time students often have lower immunity. Stress has been known to make us more susceptible to flu or common cold and other viral infections. It also increases the amount of time it takes to recover from an illness. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic Herb that has been found very useful in stress management as it reduces cortisol levels.
3. Happy and Healthy Gut bacteria will keep you protected
Millions of good bacteria live in our gut and it is now known that they have a big influence on our immune system. This is still a new and fascinating subject in the world of nutrition and science. Triphala is a great cleansing herb which helps remove constipation and is tridoshic by nature so has a balancing effect overall. Don’t take it too often though.
4. Diet will make or break your immunity
This is what provides the building blocks of all tissues in our body including the raw material for making WBCs and other immune system warriors. It’s our construction material, choose wisely.
5. Gut some sunlight to get stronger
The sunshine Vitamin is indispensable for a good immune system. Make time to get some sun and to step outdoors.
However, remember that it is the otherwise harsh UV light which interacts with our skin and produces Vitamin D. That’s why when you use sunscreen you don’t make as much vitamin D as it blocks the UV light. So judicious exposure to UV is needed. You need to strike a balance, too much sun and you are at risk of skin cancer, too little and you’re at risk of low Vitamin D. It’ll depend on which part of the country you live, how much skin you are able to expose, the weather and skin tone etc. When in doubt, check with your doctor.
6. Moderate exercise improves immunity
Exercise is great for the immune system as it improves circulation. Equally, excessive exercise can weaken the immune system. Practice moderation for good health.
7. Ayurvedic boosters for stronger immunity
Ayurveda works on the principle of removing toxins (Ama) from the system and uses herbs to help the process. Herbal therapy is most effective when used in conjunction with lifestyle changes.
Note of caution
While a healthy immune system can protect us from many diseases by fighting and defeating the invading viruses; it is also extremely important to maintain good personal and respiratory hygiene to keep ourselves as well as our communities safe. Remember that most viruses and bacteria spread through contact. We can make ourselves sick if we don’t wash our hands. We can make others sick if we don’t cover our face when we sneeze or cough. Therefore, never underestimate the importance of developing good habits and manners.
source: World Health Organization
In summary, there are 7 things that will help you develop a good immune system: enough sleep, less stress, a happy gut, healthy diet, lots of sun exposure, exercise and some ayurvedic boosters. Additionally, maintaining good personal hygiene will keep you and everyone else also protected from unwanted illnesses.
Stay safe. Stay Healthy.