What is immunity?
In simple terms, immunity is the protection against a disease and there are two types of acquired immunity, that is, active and passive immunity. The difference between active and passive immunity is that when active immunity can be achieved through natural infection with a microorganism or through a vaccine. Passive immunity is when the performed antibodies are transferred to the individual. This type of immunity occurs naturally in mothers across the placenta of the developing foetus.
A bit more on active and passive immunity. We won’t bore you with too much information, we assure you of that!
Active Immunity takes place when there is an exposure to a disease organism and this triggers the immune system to produce antibodies against it to protect the body. When this happens the body is naturally fighting it, but when the body cannot defend itself, a vaccine is given. Either way, when the body of the individual comes in contact with the same virus in the future, the immune system will recognise it and produce antibodies.
Passive immunity is an artificial way of giving antibodies to an individual through a vaccine because the individual is unable to produce them through his/ her own immune system. As it has been mentioned above that a newborn baby receives passive immunity through his/ her mother through the placenta. An individual can also get passive immunity through antibody blood products such as immunoglobulins that can give immediate protection for a specific disease. Providing immediate protection is one of the major advantages of passive immunity.
Did you know that the human body is constantly exposed to different types of viruses and bacteria, and other types of environmental diseases that can seriously affect your health? Viruses that cause common cold, cough, joint pains, throat infections and even heart diseases are related to how we can fight against their risk factors.
How can you improve your immune system?
There are many areas and ways in which you can improve your immune system, but your body is made in a way and does a remarkable job in defending your body against the harmful viruses and diseases. When you are sick, a germ has invaded your body successfully. Now you’ll think, is this possible to interfere in this process and improve your immune system? Does this include improving your diet? Making your lifestyle better? Or does it include taking certain vitamins and minerals?
The immune system that you have is altogether a system, not one unit. It requires all your body parts to function in balance and harmony. When one part does not work properly, the entire body shuts down. Did you know? Even researchers haven’t found out about all the particulars and the interconnectedness of the immune response.
There are various ways in which you can improve your immunity, a detailed account of which has been mentioned below. If you’d like to know more about it, continue reading, and don’t forget to apply these in your daily life for an improved immune system:
The first line of defence in your life must be to choose a healthy lifestyle. A few general good health guidelines and following them is one of the best steps that can be taken to live safely and have a naturally healthy immune system. Each organ and part of your body, including your immune system works just fine when it is protected from other environmental diseases and viruses and is strengthened by following the strategies such as:
- Not smoking.
- Exercising regularly.
- Including a diet full of vegetables and fruits.
- Drinking alcohol, but in limits.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Getting proper sleep.
- Taking elaborate and proper hygienic steps such as washing hands regularly and thoroughly and cooking meats properly.
- Trying to live a life, which does not have much stress in it.
- Be informed about the vaccinations and prescribed medicines at this point. The vaccines will help to improve your immune system to fight any disease in your body and make it healthy.
An interesting fact– There are many products in the market and store shelves that claim to boost the immune system, but the scientific concept of boosting immunity makes more sense. Want to know how? When one human tries to boost the cells of the immune system, it becomes a complicated task because there is not one, but many types of cells present in the immune system, which respond to the microbes present in different ways. The question here arises, which cells you should boost and to what extent? Can’t answer it right? Neither can scientists. They say that the body is continually generating immune cells and replacing the old ones to keep the body healthy. This is a natural death process of the cells called apoptosis- some die before they see any action, and some die after the virus has been killed.
How to increase immunity: Home Remedies
Improving your diet is considered as one of the most important aspects for your overall health and immunity. Looking for some immunity booster foods? Consuming low-carb diets will help in controlling the high blood sugar levels and even pressure. A low carb diet will also help in keeping your diabetes in check. Most importantly, focus on a protein-based and rich food intake to keep yourself in good shape. Regularly consume vegetables and fruits that are rich in Beta carotene, Ascorbic acids and other significant vitamins required by the body. There are certain immunity boosting foods that you can consume such as tomato, mushrooms, bell pepper, green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, etc. have shown positive results in building resilience in the body against infections.
Consuming Vitamin C helps boost immunity. You may have noticed that after catching a cold, people tend to consume Vitamin C. It’s because it acts as a great immunity booster. As your body does not generate enough Vitamin C, or does not store it, you need this vitamin on a daily basis. The recommended daily amount for men and women is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.
Try not to cook your green vegetables much. Research has shown that steaming the vegetables helps in retaining more nutrients in the food.
When you are sick, you tend to turn to Ginger in the form of Kaadha or in your tea. It tends to soothe your body. It may help in reducing inflammation that can help improve sore throat and can also help in improving nausea. Research has shown that ginger can help reduce chronic pain and even helps in reducing cholesterol levels.
Consuming curd or yogurt can help stimulate the immune system to help fight diseases. Instead of buying the flavoured ones with sugar in it, it is better to buy the plain ones. Plain curd can always be sweetened naturally with the help of certain fruits or with a drizzle of honey!
Did you know, yoga is also helpful in building immunity, as it is an art that connects your mind, soul and body? A regular practice of yoga has shown positive results. There are different asanas that help in boosting immunity, increasing energy levels, reducing stress and anxiety, bringing in more positivity and freshness to the mind, etc. Talk to any Yogi/Yogini and you’ll know that they rarely fall sick.
How to increase immunity in kids?
Your child’s immunity is always a concern, even if they grow up into adults. With COVID-19 lurking out and about every household, it has now started affecting youngsters and maintaining good health should be the utmost priority of every parent. There are a few types of things, which can help in boosting the immunity of the kids such as:
- Zinc, which can be found in protein-based foods.
- Beans and nuts also play a significant role in providing the body with the required amount of zinc.
- Prebiotics can be given to them for good gut health. Yogurt is a good example of prebiotic, including fermented foods such as kefir, pickles, etc.
- Fruits and vegetables should be an inseparable part of their diet, which are rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, C, E, B2, B6, K, folate, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
- Vitamin C is also an important aspect that should not be avoided.
While the battle against COVID-19 is being fought by our healthcare workers, we can do our bit by staying indoors, eating healthy and staying fit.
To know how Camel milk helps in boosting immunity, click here