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How Can I Strengthen My Immune System Naturally?

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Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Curejoy Expert Dr.Janardhana Hebbar Explains:

The immune is a complex system that requires balance to function harmoniously. Scientifically, there are no proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot boost your immunity through a healthy diet and a moderate level of exercise. Here are some things that you can do boost immunity.

  1. Choose Protein-Rich Foods: A healthy diet rich in proteins, ensures that your bone marrow (where white blood cells are produced) gets adequate nutrients. Lean meats, fish, poultry, cheese, eggs and milk are a good source of protein.
  2. Eat Garlic: Garlic is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent and immune booster. Because heat deactivates the key active ingredient-allicin, add it to foods just before serving.
  3. Eat Good Fats: Avoid saturated fats as they increase the risk of heart disease. Eat unsaturated fats that aid absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in the body. Butter, avocado and nuts are a good source.
  4. Eat Mushrooms: Studies have shown that mushrooms increase production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive. Shiitake, Maitake, and Reishi mushrooms are a good source.
  5. Don’t consume excessive carbohydrates: Appropriate amounts of grain will give energy to the body to produce white blood cells. However, consuming excessive amounts of these foods will result in lower levels of T-lymphocytes (and thus lead to lower immune response)
  6. Eat Selenium-Rich Foods: Selenium is found plentiful in shellfish such as oysters, lobsters, crabs, and clams and helps white blood cells produce cytokines (proteins that help clear flu viruses).
  7. Choose Anti-Oxidant Dense Foods: Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients help repair damaged cells in the body. Examples of antioxidants are Beta Carotene, Vitamins C and E, Zinc, and Selenium. These nutrients can be found in certain fruits or vegetables, or can be taken with a supplement.
  8. Eat Zinc Rich Foods: Zinc is one of the most important components of enzymes present in white blood cells, and a deficiency of this mineral can result in a weaker immune system. Oysters, Red meat, Beans, Nuts, Seafood are a good source of zinc.
  9. Include Probiotics: Probiotics or live active cultures found in yogurt, are healthy bacteria that keep the gut and intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs. Although they’re available in supplement form, a study from the University of Vienna in Austria found that a daily 7-ounce dose of yogurt was just as effective in boosting immunity as popping pills.
  10. Adequate Amount of Copper: You only need a very small amount of copper to be healthy. It plays a very important role in metabolic and immune function by neutralizing free radicals and possibly even reducing some of their harmful effects. You can get copper from organ meats, leafy green vegetables, and cereals.
  11. Eat Vitamin C Rich Foods: Vitamin C increases white blood cell count and enhances the cells’ effectiveness. It is also an antioxidant, preventing destruction of existing white blood cells. In addition to supplements, you can get vitamin C from oranges, berries, broccoli, nectarines, oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cauliflower.
  12. Exercise regularly: Short 10 min walks, few times a day will improve your cardiovascular health, and greatly reduce the likelihood of certain chronic diseases. Exercise helps get antibodies and white blood cells moving through the body faster, so they may detect illnesses sooner; plus, an increase in circulation may also trigger the release of hormones that warn immune cells of intruding pathogens.
  13. Stop smoking: Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and damages the immune system. Nicotine binds to haemoglobin in blood in preference to oxygen, reducing its capacity to deliver oxygen to each cell of the body. It also exposes the body to carcinogenic chemicals and tar, which results in an increase in infections by putting your immune system into overdrive.
  14. Limit alcohol: When alcohol is metabolized in the body, it results in the formation of harmful chemicals, which can destroy white blood cells. Alcohol also decreases the absorption of many vitamins and minerals, adversely affecting white blood cell count.
  15. Keep stress at bay: Stress has physical repercussions, and chronic stress can negatively affect your immune system by decreasing the function of your immune system.

 

Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at CureJoy, Dr. Hebbar has authored 4 books on Ayurveda. Special interests are Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) and Shalya chikitsa (Surgery).

Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at CureJoy, Dr. Hebbar has authored 4 books on Ayurveda. Special interests are Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) and Shalya chikitsa (Surgery).

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Marcia Jacobs
Marcia Jacobs 5pts

Good tips, but thought coconut oil would be mentioned as a good fat...

Sujesh K Rajendran
Sujesh K Rajendran 5pts

Also ... drinking of fresh turmeric juice twice in a month not only improve your immune. ...It's control cholesterol & diabetes, prevent cancers, heals wounds, reduce arthritis. ......etc

Frank Murphy
Frank Murphy 5pts

Anything that says avoid saturated fat and eat unsaturated fat makes me know they have no clue of what they speak

Jayme Cordova
Jayme Cordova 5pts

Well, there are nutritional prerequisites to the production of t-lymphocytes....

Lyndsy Reidl
Lyndsy Reidl 5pts

Jeff Jennings ! Just a few tips ! Hope all is well !

Jagdesh Khatri
Jagdesh Khatri 5pts

Metals r not excreted through urine so its use must be limited, excess intac will deposit somewhere which will effect other system. U highlights garlic as holy vag/herab which is not true.

Patty Roberts
Patty Roberts 5pts

Glen Roberts Carolyn Hensley Muncy and Tammy Muncy very interesting article.

Susan Day
Susan Day 5pts

I need to weaken mine. It's over active.

Donna Ross
Donna Ross 5pts

John Haynes some info for you :)

Adem Tell
Adem Tell 5pts

Clean your internal health! Weight loss doesn't have to be torture. I mean, I lost a good 25 pounds just through a natural method (http://www.fullhealthguru.com/clean) and still enjoyed all my favorite meals. The key is to detox because so much of our food these days is filled with chemicals we don't need, and super processed. The key is going natural because the weight will return otherwise!

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Rama Chandran - Thank You

Melanie D
Melanie D 5pts

I do enjoy this article and it provides a lot of information for the lay person. However, my only concern is if someone does read this that they are likely to consume too much or too little of something. For example, you say to consume a protein - rich diet. But lay persons do not know that consuming too much protein can have other side affects. How can this same information be presented with mindfulness regarding keeping our bodies in balance?

KeerthiVaraprasaad
KeerthiVaraprasaad 5pts

DEAR DR.

           IAM LITTLE FAT MY AGE IS 47 YEAR. PLZ, SUGGEST WHAT TO DO.

Amarpal Sekhon
Amarpal Sekhon 5pts

healthy immune system s depending on our thymus gland ( an endocrine gland ) hv more sleep , hv sunlight through ur eyes while closing ( but not open eyes . ) coz sun light hit our retina n then optic chiasma n then reach up to hypothalamus ( master gland of body to control all body functions ) n then it cures ur thymus gland to strengthen ur immune system . thnx

Susan Mccarthy
Susan Mccarthy 5pts

I had heard Shitake Mushrooms.. i take the pill and it has surely helped with wht. counts..