It’s the defence mechanism in our body that protects us against external factors. There are 4 pillars that have to work In tandem to have a robust immune system.
By Nidhi Agarwal Khemka | Nutritionist
- Mental health
Four simple rules of nutrition
- Chew your food well: It helps mix the food with the digestive juices without which all the goodness of even the superfoods would be lost.
- Eat mindfully and tastefully: No Getting distracted while eating food, our body gives us subtle signals when it’s full and if we are not paying attention that’s completely missed.
- Food has to be wholesome and varied: The food has to be a mix of all the food groups : carbs , proteins, healthy fats , vitamins and minerals. Each food group serves its purpose and cannot be eliminated without inviting diseases.
- Food has to be local and fresh: Every community has their own way of eating based on the climate of the place. Plus locally grown food is fresh and full of nutrients. U can never go wrong with having bajra in Rajasthan or rice in Assam, fish in Bengal or fermented food and coconut in the south.
Food that harms the immune system
- Sugar: Our gut has two types of bacteria, the good bacteria ( probiotics) and the bad bacteria, (which feeds on sugar). So when we consume sugar, our immunity cuts down by half.
- Processed food
- Packed food
- Fried food
Let me share a simple plan which could be moulded as per your local preferences to boost your immunity
Early morning : oil pulling , warm water, Aloevera Amla wheatgrass giloy mornings juice Plus nuts (a combination of iron and vitamin c and healthy fats which helps in the absorbtion of vitamin A, D, E, K ).
Breakfast: ragi/ alternative flour cooked the way u like with ghee / coconut / mustard oil along with Garam masala ( immunity boosting spices like haldi, black pepper etc )
Mid morning: fruits and seeds with green tea with lemon ( antioxidants which boosts immunity by removing free radicles)
Lunch: desi lunch like explained before. Include curd which is a natural probiotic and achaar which is rich in b12 ( most vegetarians lack in this )
M evening: Kadha / green tea with chaats/ sprouts and seeds
Dinner: desi dinner
Post dinner: haldi adrak milk ( medicinal properties and also induces sound sleep )
Only 45 to 60 min of exercise is needed by the body. Indulge in a form of exercise suitable to your body type , which u enjoy , be consistent with it .
Sleep rejuvenates and repairs the body and helps in balancing hormones. 6 to 8 hours of sleep is a must, if you wake up feeling fresh means your daily target achieved. some of us have trouble falling asleep, let us look at some tips for improving the sleep quality.
- Try having some warm haldi milk half an hour before going to bed.
- Try switching of gadgets one hour before sleep
- Try having some chamomile tea
- Lavender oil has also been proven to promote good sleep you can burn it in an oil burner or sprinkle a few drops on your pillow and go off to sleep
- Try to sleep around the same time every day sets your body clock and promotes deep sleep.
Emotional Health: stress leads to the release of cortisol in the body which harms our immune system directly.
- Practice meditation
- Make a list of things that stresses you out, work on finding solutions and let go of things beyond control.
- Practise gratitude every day
- Keep reaffirming, I am strong!