The immune system is the human body’s defence mechanism against bacteria and microorganisms which attack it, thus providing protection from various diseases. The current outbreak of the coronavirus has brought the role of this immune mechanism sharply into focus.
The immune system is a network of special cells, tissues and organs that work together to protect the body from potentially damaging invaders. Having good immunity means suffering from fewer infections, and consequently, leading a healthy life. Dr B. T. Chidananda Murthy, Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute, says, “If you have a compromised immune system, then even a small cold can necessitate a trip to the hospital.”
“A healthy immune system reduces the chance of viral infections and flu. By effecting changes in diet and routine, one can ensure that the immune system is strong enough to protect against virus infections,” says Dr J. Anish Anand, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals.
Here’s what Dr. Anand prescribes for a strong immune system:
Get a good night’s sleep: Sleep is necessary for the body’s repair mechanism. It is during sleep that the body gets rest and time to repair itself. Many studies have shown that people who don’t sleep well fall sick often.
Have good food: Only if the body gets sufficient energy, it can maintain its strength and health. So, if the food we eat has enough calories, vitamins and micro nutrients, then the body will use these to build properly.”
Exercise regularly: Any exercise increases fitness and releases hormones which help immunity. It also promotes and improves blood circulation to all parts of the body and thus improves immunity.
Avoid stress, smoking and alcohol: All these are negative factors which damage and burn the body and its immune system. They make the body weak and susceptible to ailments.
Maintain good personal hygiene: Cleanliness stops the entry of bugs into the body, and so indirectly improves our immunity.
Talking about vitamin and micronutrient supplements, Dr Anand says, “Vitamin C and Zinc are known to help immunity. They can be taken for a short time.”
Referring to the efficacy of vaccines, he explains, “Vaccinations train the immune system to combat viruses or bacteria. He recommends yearly flu vaccines for all age-groups and the pneumonia vaccine for the elderly.”...