In this comprehensive article we shall see what steps you need to stay healthy and how to boost immunity. Here are some simple tips to avoid the seasonal flu and much more.
Using common sense in hygiene and sanitation
Rather than looking for instructions it is better to take precautions. Avoid unhygienic and crowded places. Washing hands before eating. Taking a shower and keeping yourself clean are all those things which you have to follow as part of your routine.
Reduce sugar intake & toxins
Among the first bad thing that you need to stop putting in your body is sugar. Here are the reasons.
- Sugar downgrades your immunity.
- It selectively feeds the pathogenic bacteria in your body.
- Virus, bacteria, fungus, yeast, cancer cells, they all love sugar.
In our context we can define toxin as something which is a pollutant in the food. Insecticides, pesticides, contaminants, additives, preservatives and artificial flavouring and sweeteners.
All these toxins have to be processed by the liver. Hence the body has to spend resources to detoxify. Worse the liver will have to prioritise detoxification over other important functions that it has to do daily. The cost factor will be the production of immune cells.
Put in the good stuff
- Fresh whole food
- All types of cells in the body need vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and all this will come only from nutritious food.
- Any deficiency of nutrients will hinder the ability of the body to produce immune cells.
- Fermented foods gives a boost to the gut bacteria for better immune system response.
What actually switches ON the immune system
The Autonomic Nervous System is the part of your brain and nervous system that decides when to switch on or switch off the immune system. It also manages a lot of behind the scenes activity that goes on within your body.
Autonomic Nervous System also has to decide which are the most important tasks that it has to do and then it allocates resources to that task. Stress is the number one task that the autonomic nervous system has to deal with. It also has to decide what will be response to that stress situation or event. Now the nervous system has to allocate resources as per the interpretation of the kind of stress and response.
Autonomic Nervous System is divided into two branches, the Sympathetic and Para Sympathetic. While sympathetic nervous system deals with outside dangers, it is the parasympathetic which deals with inside activities like digestion, immune system, reproductive system, detoxification and so on.
Chronic stress activates the sympathetic response and the autonomic nervous system allocates resources to deal with stress. This results in little or no resources allotted to the parasympathetic branch which affects all inside functions including immune system. This is also the reason why stress starts affection your health too in every possible way.
Another way to explain is that when exams are round the corner, students routines get fever or catch a cold. That is because resources are diverted towards stress and away from the immune system. That also reduces the resistance to pathogens in the environment constantly attacking your body.
Best way to deal with chronic stress
Positive stress is always good as it pushes you to do better in daily life. Say for example some criticism by a loved one or a friend goes a long way to push you.
Sleep early and do not watch an action movie or news before sleeping.
Exercise is the best way to challenge the body to make it better. Increase heart rate or muscle stress.
Read a book, listen to music or breaking into a dance is another way to reduce stress.
Love from a pet or friends or family time is another stress buster.
Taking a nature hike or going for a walk in the evening is another way to deal with stress.
A hot and cold contrast is a good way to reduce stress. Swedish people sit in a hot bath tub for 15 mins and then go out in the snow for a few seconds by rubbing ice on body or taking a dip in the freezing water. Kalpavasis also do the same thing at the sangam area in Prayagraj where they camp on the river banks and take a dip in the river early morning in freezing waters. This practise is continued for a month to 45 days. Read more about it in the article below.