Over the course of the past eighteen months, we have all heard various things regarding immunity.
Of course the focus on boosting immunity has been high and health organizations couldn’t have emphasized it anymore. But, have we completely understood how immunity works and how we can boost it?
While some of us may know about antigens and how our immune system tries to push them out the moment they enter our body, immunity is a broader concept. In this guide, we aim at understanding immunity and how we can boost it through Ayurveda.
So, let’s get started and find out some effective ways to boost the immune system naturally.
Ayurveda’s Approach to Human Immune System
The most significant Ayurvedic topics that speak of human immunity include:
- Bala – The concept of strength.
- Vyadhi Kshamathwa – Resistance to illnesses.
- Ojas – Supreme resilience.
While Bala refers to the ability of our body to repair and nourish itself, Vyadhi Kshamatwa is the body’s capability to fight the illness causing pathogens. Apart from that, the strength of our immunity system often largely depends on the food that we eat and how easily and thoroughly it is digested.
This also brings into consideration the concept of Tridoshas (three bio-energies), namely Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. For a strong immune system, it’s crucial to maintain the Tridoshas in optimum levels.
Coming back to digestion, Ojas clears up the relation between digestion and immunity. It is the final product of physiological transformations happening inside our bodies. Apart from that, Ojas is also known to be the essence of the food that we consume and a healthy level of Ojas implies our tissues are being nourished properly.
Moving further, Ojas is not just the element that resists diseases from attacking our body, it also refers to the resilience in any form of unfavorable physical, mental or environmental changes that may negatively affect your overall health.
Factors That May Weaken Your Immune System
Moving further, it’s crucial to take note of the following factors that can weaken your immune system.
- Improper diet: The food that we eat largely determines our overall health. For example, if we consume green vegetables, our gut will be healthy and our body will be nourished.
However, consuming fried food items may cause deposition of unhealthy oils and fats inside our body, eventually disturbing its optimum function and weakening our immunity.
- Overconsumption of Alcohol: Too much alcohol can adversely impact the human immune system and diminish its capabilities to fight common pathogens.
- Poor sleeping habits: Improper sleeping cycle is another factor that can attack your immune system. While we sleep, our body repairs itself in several ways. From replacing dead skin cells to recovering from fatigue, good sleeping habits are essential for keeping health issues at bay.
- Stress: The impact of stress goes way beyond mind. Too much stress can lead to the excessive secretion of cortisol hormone, which may have adverse effects on digestion, eventually hampering the immune system’s natural function.
- Dehydration: Not consuming enough liquids throughout the day can leave you dehydrated, eventually weakening your system at battling health issues.
- Being overweight: While it’s crucial to maintain a healthy body weight, too much body weight can result from a slow metabolism and vice versa. For a healthy immune system, it’s advisable to maintain a healthy body weight and keep weight related health issues like obesity away from your body.
How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally: X Natural and Ayurvedic Tips
In the previous section, we discussed some of the most common factors that may negatively affect your immune system. Moving further, a new question may arise: how to strengthen the immune system?
Drop the worries, the following section will share some of the most effective natural remedies that can help you significantly boost your immunity.
Practice Yoga Everyday
While yoga is popularly known for its great stretching exercises and relieving asanas, it can also help boost your immune system naturally.
To begin with, yoga helps make our body more flexible and thus resilient to sudden sprains and similar painful conditions. This helps us maintain good joint health and can keep joint-related health issues at bay.
In addition to this, daily practice of yoga can also help reduce stress levels, eventually helping the body function normally and hence boosting your immune system.
Speaking of the postures, the most basic yoga practice that you can perform each day is a few rounds of Sun salutation a.k.a Surya Namaskara.
2. Breathing Exercises
When the world got hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, our respiratory health became one of the major concerns on a global scale.
While people have been struggling to develop respiratory strength, breathing exercises can help build immunity against respiratory diseases like COVID-19 and several others.
But here comes the question, what type of breathing exercises should one do to boost their immune system?
Here are a few of them:
- Anulom-Vilom Pranayama: Also known as the alternate nostril breathing technique, Anulom-Vilom can help you push your breathing limits, eventually improving your respiratory stamina and immunity.
- Ujjayi shwas: Ujjayi shwas or victorious breath is the one in which you breathe in and out from your nose, having your lips sealed.
It is a soft breath that you can feel going down and coming up your throat. Ujjayi shwas can help build heat inside the body, eventually optimizing the body’s normal function and boosting immunity and respiratory stamina.
- Bhastrika Pranayama: Bhastrika pranayama involves forceful breaths in and out of the system. In Bhastrika, the upwards (when forcefully breathing in) and downwards (when forcefully breathing out) movement of hands is optional.
As it’s a strong breathing exercise, also known as the “Breath of Fire,” Bhastrika can help maintain body heat and eventually boost your immune system as well.
3. Proper Sleep
If you have ever been awake the entire night and had a busy next day, you might probably know the value of a good sound sleep.
Of course, many times we compromise on our sleep, prioritizing one thing or another. But, is it really worth it?
From high stress to premature aging, lack of sleep can result in a number of health issues. In fact, one can even notice the digestive disturbances they face after a night of being entirely awake.
Just imagine the same happening each day, and for the worst, it might also get topped with insomnia.
All these factors can team-up against your immune system and hence diminish its natural strength. If you want to know what boosts your immune system, good sleep is one answer.
4. Herbs and Home Remedies
There’s a wide range of ayurvedic herbs and home remedies that can help cleanse your system and work at boosting your immunity. For a clear idea, have a look at the list below.
- Ginger tea: Ginger is a fruit with great antioxidant properties. It can help kill germs and keep your mouth fresh and healthy. Apart from that, ginger is helpful in curing a sore throat and can also aid in the improvement of other respiratory concerns.
Consuming ginger tea with Tulsi leaves can keep your immune system strong and your body clean.
This tea can also cleanse your upper respiratory tract.
- Cook food with turmeric: Turmeric powder or Haldi is a natural spice that adds great flavor to food, plus, helps strengthen the immune system.
Turmeric has several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that enable it to help boost the immune system. It can also help maintain the body heat for proper overall function.
- Avoid the consumption of red meat or processed meat: Meat is anyway hard to digest and may take up to 72 hours before being digested completely. In addition to this, when you consume processed meat, it may take even longer to digest and the digestion process might also become more complex.
To ease the pressure off your digestive system, avoid using red meat or processed meat.
- Amla or Indian Gooseberry: Also known as the Indian gooseberry, Amla is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, with Vitamin C contents supposed to be higher than Kiwi and Pineapple.
As a result, Amla can help replace dead cells and boost immunity.
- Stay hydrated: It’s advisable to consume enough warm water each day so the mucus membrane and the throat stay hydrated and can effectively block microbes.
- Guduchi: Guduchi is a herb of Ayurvedic significance. It is said to be a rejuvenating tonic with a variety of vitalization effects on the human body.
Regular consumption of Guduchi can help maintain a healthy digestive system and healthy hormone functions. To make the consumption easier, you can consider Kerala Ayurveda’s Guduchi capsules.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha helps in maintaining normal emotional and mental stability, especially in stress. Due to its various helpful characteristics, it helps calm down the mind and promote restful sleep.
5. Maintain a Clean and Healthy Diet
The food that you eat every day can largely determine the strength of your immunity.
To boost your immune system, you must maintain a clean and healthy diet that is rich in proteins, healthy fats, fibers, and other essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
One simple thing that you can do to keep your diet clean and healthy add more plant-based food items to your diet and remove those that are fried, roasted, or processed in other ways.
Here are a few examples of healthy plant-based food items that are highly nutritious, have excellent antioxidant properties, and can help boost your immunity:
Goji berries, raspberries, walnuts, blueberries, strawberries, beans, red cabbage, kale, beetroot, cucumber, broccoli.
Furthermore, it’s also crucial to add fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C to your diet. They help replace dead cells, keep our system clean, and may help in quickly curing a common cold.
Regular moderate exercise can help maintain body weight and keep several health issues at bay. Working out reduces inflammation and can help our immune cells regenerate regularly.
One of the most common and effective examples of a moderate workouts to boost the immune system is brisk walking.
30-40 minutes of brisk walking every day can help regulate blood pressure, keep your body weight under check and boost your immune system.
Apart from brisk walking, you can also consider mild jogging, cycling, and moderate weight training.
7. Limit Sugar Consumption
Several researchers have reported that added refined sugars can lead to obesity and abnormal weight gain.
Going back to what we discussed in the first section, obesity can have a negative impact on your immune system, thus, it’s best to steer clear from it.
Also, lowering your sugar intake can help in weight loss and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and various heart conditions. Your daily sugar consumption should not exceed 5% of the total calories that you consume throughout the day.
Finding out how to boost your immune system and working on ways to boost your immune system can help your body be more resilient against a wide range of health conditions. In this guide, we discussed tips to boost your immune system.
Hopefully, this was helpful.