After the recent outbreak of the novel Coronavirus -19, many people fear whether their immune system is strong enough to fight the virus? This fear is quite justified as we have seen a huge number of deaths worldwide because of a weak immune system.
The million-dollar question is how to improve your immune system quickly to fight these viruses? Is it possible?
Your immune system actually does a remarkable job of protecting you against disease-causing germs. But sometimes it fails and the germ successfully enters your system and makes you sick. Now you may wonder is it possible for you to interfere in this process and boost your immune system? Can it be achieved by making changes in diet, lifestyle, or by having vitamin supplements?
What can you do to boost your immune system?
Boosting your immunity is the first step in preventing diseases and also while you are sick or recovering from a disease/infection. The strategies outlined below may help in boosting your immunity but they don’t protect specifically from COVID 19.
Our immunity depends on four factors
- Kind of food we eat – whether we are eating organic fruits & vegetables, nuts, seeds and spices
- Quality of sleep at night
- Emotional health
What to eat to improve your immune system?
Following are some foods that can help boost your immunity
Eat more plant-based foods and follow a Vegan diet
Several Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds contain antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C which may lower your susceptibility to illnesses. Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s. These antioxidants also help in decreasing the inflammation caused by the free radicals that build up in our body due to an unhealthy lifestyle.
The fiber in these plant-based foods feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. This improves your immunity and keeps the harmful pathogens away from entering your body via the digestive system.
Eat more healthy fats
When it comes to a vegan diet, healthy fats are found in nuts and seeds like cashews, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, coconut and olives which are highly anti-inflammatory. Since chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, these fats may help naturally combat many illnesses.
Eat more fermented foods
Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria called probiotics which occupy your digestive tract. These foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, etc. Did you know that your Gut health and immunity are interlinked? Fermented foods may boost your immune system by identifying and fighting against harmful pathogens.
Limit added sugars
Added sugars significantly increase the risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease all of which suppress your immune system. Lowering your sugar intake may decrease inflammation and your risk of these conditions. It is best to use natural sweeteners like dates, raisins, apricots to sweeten your recipes.
The golden spice is being used for 100 years due to its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Curcumin has a therapeutic value as boosting immunity is one of the most important properties. You can include turmeric in your diet in various ways. Sprinkle some over your salad, curries, soups, and juices
Moringa is a powerful immunity booster as it has both preventive and curative properties. Moringa leaves contain all essential amino acids, vitamin C, zinc, and other antioxidants that can help in boosting your immunity. You can include some fresh leaves in your salad or make a chutney out of it or simply add the powdered form in a glass of water and sip it slowly.
Star anise is rich in Vitamins A, B, and C. It helps to your immunity and in prevention and healing from illnesses. The antioxidants and Vitamin C help in the repair and recovery of your body.
You can also make your own immunity boosting powder recipe by following the recipe given below. It is a special mix of several top immunity-boosting spices.
Ginger contains specific compounds like gingerols and zingerone. These have been found to boost immunity and prevent viruses from entering the host cells. You can add ginger in your recipe or brew freshly cut ginger and add spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and turmeric and make a concoction out of it. It can also be used while preparing tea, soups, curries, and juices.
Recipe of Immunity Boosting powder
7tbsp – Organic Turmeric powder (Haldi)
4 tbsp – Cumin seeds (Jeera)
4 tbsp – Coriander seeds (Dhaniya)
7 tbsp – Fennel seeds (Saunf)
2 tbsp – Dry Ginger powder (Saunth)
2 tbsp – Whole black pepper (kali Mirch)
½ tbsp – Srilankan rolled cinnamon powder (Dalchini)
3 tbsp – Cardamom powder or pods (whole Elaichi)
Grind the above to a powder form and store it in an airtight container.
One can make this at home or buy it readymade using the following link
You can either use 1 teaspoon of the spice mix in your vegetable gravies or mix 1 teaspoon of this powder in warm water, add lemon juice and date paste, can be taken empty stomach.
It is also important to note that foods that weaken the immune system include sugar, processed foods, junk food, aerated drinks, fast food, alcohol. Regular intake of these would definitely weaken your immune system and also make you susceptible to various illnesses. Hence it is advisable to go Vegan. By turning Vegan you can become fit and healthy and reverse all illnesses if any.
Apart from following a good diet, it is also important to make certain changes to your lifestyle for better immunity.
Lifestyle modifications for better immunity
- Gut Health – You must ensure to improve your gut health as 80% of your immunity depends on it. Include foods rich in probiotics (rice kanji, fermented vegetables, homemade pickles, sauerkraut) along with prebiotics (apple, banana, garlic, onions, apple cider vinegar) in your diet on a regular basis
- Sleep – People with poor sleep routine often experience poor immunity as most of the growth, repair, and detoxification of cells happens at night. A minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep is necessary to ensure good immunity.
- Exercise – It is very important to engage in moderate exercise regularly to boost your immunity. Moderate exercise reduces the inflammation in your body and helps your immune cells regenerate regularly. Regular exercise also ensures that our circulatory system and our waste disposal system functions properly. Examples of moderate exercise include brisk walking, bicycling, jogging, swimming, dancing, and many others. Most people should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Also doing pranayama or breathing exercises for a couple of minutes will ensure improved lung capacity and more oxygen in the body.
- Hygiene – It is very important to follow some personal hygiene practices of washing hands before eating and avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth often. Additionally, it is best to ensure that groceries, fruits, and vegetables are all washed well before use.
- Emotional health – also impacts the immunity a lot. Fear and Worry can be an obstacle while building your immunity. Stress raises the cortisol levels and this hampers the immunity. You can handle these better with self-visualizations and affirmations which need to be practiced on a daily basis.
- Hydration – Ensure that you drink enough water and stay hydrated. Water helps in transporting nutrients to all the cells in the body.
- Supplement wisely – It is easy to have supplements to strengthen your immunity and fight viruses. Consult your medical practitioner and have Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and zinc supplements. This may protect you from falling sick quickly.
These are some of the simple ways to boost your immunity quickly. These tips are also useful when you are trying to lose weight. You may choose a couple of these methods and make the necessary changes in your lifestyle to build your immunity.
What are your views on this article? Please share your comments on what methods did you adopt to boost your immunity?
Livelifevegan is a health and wellness blog where we want to create awareness and educate people about the benefits of being a vegan. We aim to help people turn vegan through our regular posts, recipes, and videos. We also aim to help people buy organic products through our blog. By becoming a vegan, it becomes easier to reverse your illnesses if any, and lead a healthy lifestyle.