As you see your city choked with pollution, you start to sniffle, cough, sweat and shiver. Did you know that air pollution can have disastrous effects on your heart and respiratory health? Delhi has been crowned among the most polluted cities in the world. Statistics show that breathing in Delhi’s air is equivalent to smoking 3 cigarettes a day! Not an accomplishment to be particularly proud of but think about how harsh it is for your health.
Your immune system is what stands guard against any toxins that the city’s pollution throws at you. So, your first line of defense would be to strengthen your immune system against any pathogens or pollutants.
But, air pollution has been shown to shut down your immune system completely. If you are worrying about what the ghastly air will do to your and your family’s health, read on to learn how to boost immune system naturally.
Eat like Popeye
Food is medicine so make like the sailor man and eat your greens. Load up on organic fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts that are chock-full of immune-boosting antioxidants. Onions, ginger and garlic zap toxins, balance your body temperature and rekindle the digestive fire. Make oats and barley a part of your immune-boosting brekkie as they contain antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
Reduce oxidative stress with carotenoids and leafy greens that help boost gut flora. An important point to note is that simple sugars kill healthy gut flora. Eat fermented foods like Kim Chi or drink lassi to help keep your gut flora flourishing and make it harder for the ‘bad guys’ to make your intestinal tract their home.
Medicinal mushrooms like shiitake, maitake and reishi are superfoods that will give your immune activity a helping hand and are allergy exterminators. Saute some fresh mushrooms in some olive oil for a delicious and healthful snack.
If you are looking to detox from the city’s pollution, look to the rich reserves of herbs that Mother Nature has in store. Top among the immune-powering herbs are amla (Indian gooseberry) and mulethi (Licorice root). Amla gives your body a burst of Vitamin C to strengthen and support your liver function by weeding out toxins. Mulethi‘s goodness includes it unique ability to treat digestive and respiratory conditions from the root.
Ayurveda has incorporated these herbs and more into a wholesome immunity tonic – chyawanprash. Right called the “elixir of life,” this is a tasty and nourishing natural health supplement. It is also available in pill form as Dr. Vaidya’s HERBOfit capsules. These capsules only contain 1/60th the amount of sugar as regular chyawanprash. This makes Dr. Vaidya’s HERBOfit capsules perfect for diabetics who can’t consume chyawanprash because of the high sugar content.
Hold Fast without Fast Food
Foods that are warm and heavy in quality are best for your immune system. Eating fast food means your body is going to spend precious fuel digesting something that will give it no returns. Slow-absorbing foods like cooked grains, root vegetables and stewed fruits can give your digestive system a double dose of protein and fiber. These will deliver the right nutrition and also keep your blood sugar levels from spiking so you don’t crash after a sugar rush. Watch this eye-opener video to know why fast food is driving right into the fast lane to getting sick, overweight and tired.
Drink like a Fish
Fluids are the super highway that transport nutrients and antibodies to where they are needed in the body, and flush out the toxins for disposal. Hydrate yourself throughout the day with at last 6 cups of warm water, herbal infusions, green or rooibos tea as they are au naturel immunity boosters. Make a tonic for yourself by mixing 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw ACV with 8 ounces of purified water. Raw ACV is full of enzymes and beneficial bacteria that can restore your body’s pH — which is absolutely critical for a healthy immune system.
Listen to your body and drink only what is called for. There is something like too much of a good thing. Too much fluid in your system can dilute and drain away the essential minerals and electrolytes your body needs to keep fighting fit.
Live, Love, Laugh
Life is better when you’re laughing. Studies show that letting out a deep, belly laugh can stave off stress hormones and increase white blood cells that are your armed guards against infection. Watch a comedy flick, read your favorite comic strip or hang out with a little kid to let down your guard and give your endorphins an upward push.
Get enough sleep for the same reasons. Sleep deprivation can increase the level of cortisol in your bloodstream which can suppress immune function.