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    Volume 10 |Issue 27 | July 15, 2011 |


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Boosting Our Immunity

Whether at work, travelling by public transport or visiting any public place, it is common for one to find other people sneezing or coughing. A host of germs, bacteria and viruses are happily thriving, thanks to changing seasons, environmental pollution, consumption of adulterated food and fruits. People, every now and then, are directly exposed to things carrying germs but that does not mean that they get sick every single time. If so, then what is the factor that helps their body to fight diseases to take over their bodies? Why is it that some people get ill while others don't after being exposed to the same germs. It is of course because some people's immune systems are stronger than others. It is a network of organs and cells in the human body that works mutually to combat diseases.

Certain cells in the body kill other affected cells which are likely to bring any illness. It all depends on the strength of the immune system. But when one is surrounded with the possibilities of getting sick any minute, boosting one's immune system and fighting back is the best way to remain healthy. A few trouble-free habits, other than taking medicines preventing or curing diseases, can boost one's immune system and keep the person away from illness.

The entire system to resist diseases in the human body starts working from the very time of conception. A baby gets the nutrition from the mother's body and develops the immunity in its own body to resist diseases. At the second phase, a newborn can develop a strong immune system if given nutritious food at the right time. An adult can achieve sound immunity by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Immune system is a biological process that needs to be nourished throughout life, observes Faria Shabnam, Senior Nutritionist, Health, Brac.

“Firstly, one must develop a healthy immune system and secondly, he or she must have a certain type of lifestyle that supports the body immune system to work accordingly”, says Faria. The immune system which fights to protect body from diseases is developed by a whole management of lifestyle which includes diet, stress management, exercise, proper sleep, hygiene along with appropriate supplement and nutrient intake.

A number of good habits can help boost the immune system.

A healthy lifestyle includes a number of things and the very first factor to boost one's immune system is having a proper diet. A balanced and nutritious diet automatically helps one to develop a good immune system. Consuming fresh fruits, whole grain rice or flour, avoiding 'anti-food' (junk food) are the simple things one can do to live well, says Faria. “Say, in the case of whole grain rice and flour, it has a number of elements that cannot be digested easily, and the undigested component of this kind of rice/flour absorbs the redundant toxic substance from the body and then gets defecated. Thus the body remains toxic free. And a toxic free body has a better immune system”, says Faria.

Antioxidant, available in many fruits, is an element that helps to strengthen the immune system. Regular intake of vitamins and minerals are vital to gain a sound immunity. Again, it has become a general concern that adulterated food, fruits and vegetables can come with a complete reverse effect that can bring diseases and can make one's body vulnerable to severe ailments. Therefore, in developing and boosting the body immune system diet should not be the only concern. One should monitor one's blood pressure and body weight by daily exercise. Exercising does not necessarily mean heavy work outs, rather a regular walk, meditation or yoga can help here a lot, observes Faria adding that “Working out regularly helps your body to relax and get relief from psychological stress. Reducing stress is also essential to boost immunity as stress can make one's body susceptible to chronic diseases.” Again, adding eight-hours-sleep to one's daily routine helps the person to rest properly, reduce stress and digest properly. Hygiene is another factor that will help one's body from getting infected by virus and bacteria. A simple habit of washing hands can keep away germs from one's body.

Only a balanced diet and proper exercise is not sufficient to enhance disease resistance in body, there are things that a person should not do that makes the immune system impaired. Immunity is a process that involves different types of body cell with different functions. Thus a single bad habit can affect the whole system. “If any one smokes, he or she is harming his/her immunity severly. Again, different kinds of toxins in the environment are damaging our immune system”, observes Faria. Unnecessary consumption of drugs should be minimised. Regular intake of painkillers, antibiotics and sleeping pills makes one's body lose its immunity in the long run, thinks Faria.

The older one gets, the more his/her immune system gets weaker. The cells start to die with age, thus they cannot fight against diseases any more. It is unreservedly important for children and adults to let their immunity to develop and stick to a healthy lifestyle. As the body has its own mechanism to fight for its safety, that mechanism should be supported with proper diet, exercising and keeping the body free from toxic substances. With these simple steps we have the power to keep our immune system strong and ready to fight disease.

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