Now that the latest epidemic, the Corona Virus, has exceeded the penetration rate of previous disease epidemics, it is time for all of us to enhance the natural protection that our body’s natural immune system provides. External protection devices such as facial masks and periods of quarantine isolation can help, but we often overlook the natural protection already built into our own immune systems. These already provide protection and are capable of enhancement to become our best safeguards.
What is the Immune System?
The immune system protects us from infections with layered defences of increasing specificity in our body. To put it simply, the immune system is a network of special cells, tissues, proteins, and organs that work together to protect the body from potentially damaging external invaders or diseases. When our immune system functions properly, it detects threats such as bacteria, parasites and viruses. It will then trigger an immune response to destroy them. We can categorise our immune system into innate and adaptive systems.
The innate immune system consists mainly of barriers with which the body is endowed from birth. The components include skin, stomach acid, enzymes found in tears and skin oils, mucus and the cough reflex. There are also chemical components within it. Innate immunity is non-specific, meaning it doesn't protect against any specific threats.
The adaptive immune system, also known as acquired immunity, targets specific threats to the body. In the adaptive immune system, the threat must be processed and recognised by the body. The immune system then creates antibodies specific to the threat and can be activated against it.
How can you improve your immune system?
In normal circumstances, our immune system works well in defence against diseases but at times it can fail. Then the questions that arise are:
- How to prevent the immune system from failing?
- How to boost the immune system?
How to prevent the immune system from failing
The first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step that one can take towards naturally keeping the immune system strong and healthy.
Every part of the body, including the immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as the following:
- Do not smoke
- Eat healthily
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Get good sleep
- Take infection control measures (hand hygiene)
- Cook meat produce thoroughly
- Minimise stress levels.
How can one boost the immune system immediately?
The idea of boosting one’s immunity quickly is enticing but the ability to do so has proved to be difficult. One must understand that the immune system is not a single entity. To function well, requires balance and harmony. Here are some tips to help kick-start this journey:
Food rich in antioxidants
According to many healthcare professionals, foods rich in antioxidants are essential for building up the immune system. They include berries, garlic and onions. These foods contain Vitamins, B C and E. This in turn can reduce the risk of diseases and at the same time help to fight off infections.
Eggplant, pumpkin and carrot are all also high in antioxidants. Such foods should be eaten at least once a day.
After looking into types of food that are high in antioxidants, we shall focus on the types of foods that have anti-inflammatory values.
Consuming foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory values are essential when one wants to boost the immune system. Vegetables and fruits are essential foods that contain high anti-inflammatory value. Eating them on a daily basis will ensure that one will get optimal anti-inflammatory food intake. Eating at least five vegetables each day can help fight inflammation. Ingredients such as turmeric have additional benefits.
Turmeric is a major anti-inflammatory ingredient. Curcumin is also known as a type of super food. It is a natural compound that is found in turmeric. Curcumin is also an antioxidant that has many benefits as follows:
- Contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties
- Improves brain functions and lowers risk of brain disease
- Lowers risk of heart disease
- Can help to prevent and perhaps treat cancer and Alzheimer’s disease
- Arthritis patients respond well to it
- Benefits against depression
- Has anti-aging properties and can fight age related chronic diseases
Ten types of super foods
Super foods are types of foods that impart maximum health benefits resulting from exceptional nutrient density. The following foods are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that boost cell regeneration and help prevent a multitude of diseases:
- Dark-coloured grapes and berries
- Olive oil
- Dark green vegetables
- Sweet potatoes and orange vegetables
- Tea (especially green tea)
- Whole grains
We firmly believe in the traditional wisdom, “You are what you eat” and “Let food be thy medicine”. To help you boost your body’s defences we provide a simple but extremely healthy recipe that can be made easily at home to start out on the path to boosting the immunity system.
Immuno Supreme Recipe (as picture above)
1) Empty fresh coconut milk into a glass jar or bowl.
2) Add probiotic (2 capsules content) and stir using a wooden spoon until the probiotic is dissolved. Add blended berry puree for more flavour.
3) Cover with cheesecloth and wait 24-48hrs. Keep it in the dark at room temperature until the fermentation process proceeds.
4) Once your yogurt is ready (24-48 hours later), simply refrigerate to thicken and cool. For presentation, you can add a topping of mixed berries.
We invite you to contact us for any other immune boosting advice.
Author: Ezree Ebrahim, Business Development Consultant (Healthcare), Akesis Life by Absolute Health. For Further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Series Editor: Christopher F. Bruton, Executive Director, Dataconsult Ltd, email@example.com. Dataconsult’s Thailand Regional Forum provides seminars and extensive documentation to update business on future trends in Thailand and in the Mekong Region.