Dt. Shreya Rustagi

Nutritionist/ Dietician, , India


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    Immunity and its health aspects

    By: Shreya Rustagi

    What is IMMUNITY? Immunity is the resistance power of your body that helps body fight against numerous infections. Immunity provides defence against various pathogens like bacteria, virus, fungi and parasites. Immunity also identifies and eliminates tumours and helps remove foreign compounds.     Do you ever wonder why you easily get affected by the food binge at the local chaat stall or the slightest change in weather where most of your friends doing fine? Good health defines good immunity. Our immunity is not only a result of good genetics, but a lot depends upon stress, nutrition, sleep and activity. Five major health aspects on which immunity depends:  1) NUTRITION Foods that build immunity are - Fruits, dry fruits, nuts, deep coloured vegetables like carrots, cooked tomatoes, cooked beetroots, bell peppers, green leafy vegetables, etc. Sweet potato, Probiotics (like buttermilk, yoghurt/curd), Green tea, Lemon, Amla juice/Aloe vera juice, etc. All spices like turmeric, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, clove, etc.  Having atleast 2.5 litres of water. Important- Reduce the sugar and processed food consumption. Sugar and hidden sugar (in processed food) make the body pH acidic. Acidic environment is conducive for the growth of bad bacteria which in turn impacts immunity.  It's essential for us to maintain the 'Gut health' by consuming probiotics which help establish good bacteria in the gut. Our immunity lies in the gut, hence gut health is extremely important.   2) SLEEP  7-8 hours of sound sleep contributes a lot to build a strong immunity since our body undergoes a detoxification and repair process during sleep.  3) STRESS In physical or Emotional stress, body tends to increase the stress hormone called 'Cortisol' and reduce DHEA level which in turn reduces immunity. 4) ACTIVITY It reduces stress hormones and increases DHEA level (a hormone that boosts immunity). At the same time it also increases Endorphins (which is a happy hormone).  5) OTHER FACTORS  Smoking and regular alcohol consumption can also impact immunity as it increases the toxic load in the body (free radicals, etc) which compromises the immune system.  Along with the points mentioned above, it is important to cleanse all excretory organs to remove toxins once in 15 days. Once can recommend 'Detox juice' to be consumed everyday in the morning. This detox juice can include a mix of various vegetables, mostly the fibrous ones, like- celery, parsley, spinach, cucumber, corriander, mint leaves, etc. topped with lemon/apple cider vinegar/black pepper/ginger etc. Fruits can also be included, but only fruit juices are not recommended. They need to be combined with the vegetables.  

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