A Health Revolution in the Making!

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What is the current buzzword, something that has gone even more viral than coronavirus itself!
It is the mad hunt for “how to build immunity”! Multiple theories were being floated, and people started having Amla, Kadha, Tulsi, Chyawanprash, Vitamin C, Garlic and other supplements to get that elusive immunity.
What is Immunity? To be immune means to be protected. And the body’s system made up of a network of organs, cells, tissues that helps fight off sickness is called the immune system. I will not get into White blood cells, phagocytes, lymphocytes etc – all I want you to understand right now is that our body is built to fight off germs and viruses, harmful bacteria, toxins, parasites and any alien substance.
To understand this better, think of your body as a fort, then the immune system is like the moat around the fort and the army of soldiers that protect it from any enemy attack. Now, taking the same analogy forward – these soldiers need to be fit themselves, have to be well-fed and nourished, they need to practice their skill of fighting, use of weapons, the weapons themselves have to be sharpened and polished etc etc. What will happen if they are not well trained, or don’t get enough food? Well, they will become weak and will lose to the enemy!
Similarly, the immune system also needs to be looked after, it needs the right nutrition. It needs the right fuel to operate at its optimum level so that it keeps fighting the enemy. Sadly, there is no one pill that you can eat daily and hope to build immunity. Immunity = Nutrition + Lifestyle. Nutrition includes all that you eat and drink, Lifestyle includes your physical activity, level of stress and sleep, quality of air, toxicity around you and your peace of mind.
Underlying Health conditions and hormonal imbalances also compromise our immunity.
We have now learnt that Obesity (or BMI > 30) is one of the leading co-morbidities of Covid-19. According to one international research published in Obesity Reviews, Obese people who were covid positive were 113% more likely than people of healthy weight to land in the hospital, 74% more likely to be admitted to an ICU, and 48% more likely to die.
Why do I bring up Obesity here? Because Obesity is very closely linked with immunity. Recent studies have shown that Obese subjects demonstrated an impaired immune response leading to increased chances for various infections.
Obesity is caused by internal inflammation that also then leads to other inflammatory diseases like Diabetes, Heart conditions, respiratory issues etc. Among other things, the extra layer of Fat tissues, in an obese person, block the secretion of immune cells. The good news is that both Obesity and Immunity can be tackled through the same weapons!
Like Immunity, the answer to Obesity also lies in Nutrition + Lifestyle.
Here are few actionable tips that will help you be on the right path to build immunity. Please reach out to a trained Nutritionist and your Doctor before making any drastic changes in your food habits.
1. Eat different colours: Everyone tells you to eat your fruits and veggies and the greens. I will make it simple for you. Add as many colours of natural food to your daily menu. Each colour brings you the goodness of multiple vitamins. The orange of carrot helps with vitamin A that is good for your eyes. The yellow of lemon and light green of amla adds vitamin C which is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues, Green of leafy vegetables gives you B vitamins that help make important molecules in your cells.
2. Eat Seeds: Eat the genesis of all plant life, the seeds of different plants. They are a bundle of energy and nutrition. They are also high in zinc which is an important mineral for the immune system. When you eat the melon, don’t throw away the seeds. Sunflower doesn’t just give you a beautiful flower, it also gives you nutritious seeds. Sprouts are another form of life that are extremely nutritious. Although not a common practice, almost all grains, beans, nuts, seeds can be sprouted. Soak the grains and see them sprout, it is fun and comes closest to growing your own food!
3. Be Active: Get some exercise, even if it means just going for a 30 mins walk daily. Very simply put, those who exercise regularly have been proven to have better immunity than those who don’t. Keep hopping and jumping through life. That’s the best way anyway.
4. Get some Sun: Do you know Sunlight is almost our only source of a very important Vitamin Called Vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin. This vitamin plays a critical role in promoting immune response. Our experience shows that 80-90% of Indians living in urban areas are deficient in vitamin D. We hardly go out in the sun for enough time to get enough Vitamin D.
5. Sleep: Sleep is the elixir of life. It is the best immune booster that we could ask for. It’s mind boggling how underplayed the importance of Sleep is in our world today. It’s almost a sin to be going to bed early these days! When we sleep, our body is actually working relentlessly to repair and fix any damage caused during the day! It is the repair and recover time. Sleep deprivation is linked with hormones that suppress the immune system. So Sleep loss not only plays a role in whether we come down with a cold or flu. It also influences how we fight illnesses once we come down with them.
6. Breathe Deep: Deep Breathing doesn’t only calm frayed nerves, it also helps the heart by pumping in more oxygen per breath. It helps in destressing, in releasing toxins from the body, in purifying the blood. And it’s also a natural pain reliever. For best effects, practice Diaphragmatic breathing, that means the stomach expands with every inhale.
7. Be Grateful: How will this help build immunity? Maybe it will, Maybe it won’t. But being grateful always always helps. Nutrition doesn’t mean only the food you eat. It also means the thoughts and feelings that we put in our mind. Everything together helps us build a strong body. So be grateful. I so wish people had woken up to it earlier, then perhaps some bit of the harm and fatality could have been avoided. Covid could prove to be a blessing in disguise if it leads to a Health Revolution. A Revolution that pushes us towards a healthier lifestyle!
– By Megha More, founder, Truweight, A proven weight loss program through superfoods. No pills, No machines, No shortcuts. Only honest weight loss through diet!

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