“Stillness is the altar of spirit.” ― Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi. The word…
This healthcare crisis all over the world has reinforced the importance of staying physically fit and having a strong immunity. News about the pandemic states that we have to live, certainly with the virus, taking utmost precautions until the vaccines are invented. It enlightened the same old childhood habits of sanitation and fitness we always taught about, but sadly do not incorporate in our personal lives.
Yogi’s way of referring to cleanliness includes Niyama Saucha – which includes the cleanliness of one’s surroundings, physical being, and in fact emphasizes mental cleanliness. Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand when it comes to being the oldest forms of exercise and medicine written about in literature. Do you want to delve little more to understand how it can benefit us to this age?
Ayurveda is the system of medicine that literally translates to ‘knowledge of life and longevity’.
It regards physical existence, mental existence, and personality as potential individual units, with them influencing all the units. It propagates a holistic approach to preventative treatment.
Studies reveal that Ayurveda was the pioneering medicinal science with traceable records showing how it was followed by the oldest living civilization, Indus Valley civilization.
Ayurveda names bodily humor the doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These state the intricate balance of these doshas resulting in good health, while imbalance results in certain illnesses.
When it comes to the immunity of our body we need to acknowledge that it depends on innumerable factors.
For example, you travel with your friend to some cold new place, your friend ends up with flu-like symptoms within hours, whilst you do not feel any difference. The way our body reacts to any infection is different depending on our individual immune responses. Many factors modify these responses within our body and there are ways to modify these too.
Our body enables different levels of complex immune systems roughly understood as innate and acquired immunity.
These different levels of immunity are affected by factors ranging from a balanced nutritional diet to sleep which work like the balance of doshas in our complex body.
Biologically each level of our body’s immune response relies on contributions of these micronutrients for synthesis like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron, protein.
They help our body in various ways like :
- Antioxidant – Protecting healthy cells
- Boosts antibody production – which is our intrinsic response to foreign attacks of any kind to our immunity.
Combining the knowledge of Ayurveda and concepts of modern medicine we have enlisted ingredients for an ideal immune-boosting dietary pattern.
- Garlic (Lasun) – The gem which enhances the number of virus-fighting T-cells in your bloodstream. It also fights fatigue and stress. Proposedly affects adrenal glands’ response to stress by reducing cortisol production. Garlic can hence become your shield, ensuring your alertness and increasing your ability to fight off foreign invaders.
- Elderberries – One of the most versatile solutions to your health problems. Hippocrates, a renowned Greek physician refers to the fruits as his ‘medicine chest’. It’s packed with antioxidants and vitamins boosting your immune systems. It prevents and eases cold and flue along with benefiting as a treatment for infections affecting breathing patterns (like the coronavirus), joint aches, constipation, headaches, and fever.
- Ashwagandha – Classified as an adaptogen helps in stress modulation of the body. Along with boosting immunity it also helps in lowering blood pressure of the body by playing a role in cholesterol reduction. It’s known to boost testosterone in men and enhance reproductive health. It is scientifically known to increase natural killer cell activity and decrease inflammation markers like C-reactive protein.
- Rosemary – Contains a high amount of antioxidants along with anti-inflammatory properties. Its added benefits include aiding in digestion, preventing neurological damage, and enhancement of memory and concentration.
None of these supplementary factors substitute the need for a wholesome diet for boosting immunity. Let food be thy medicine.
Along with boosting the diet for increased immunity, factors like adequate sleep is highly required for the efficient carrying out of immune processes by maintaining the circadian rhythm. These help to maintain the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily routine.
We need to understand that we can benefit these age-old practices when its incorporated like a package in our lifestyles.
Nature provides us with the immune-boosting diet which helps us become the best version of ourselves but to benefit from these there’s a bigger picture to look at.
This means it intractably depends on our lifestyle, sleep pattern, amount of stress, exercise, and the genetics you have been blessed with to make up for great immunity overall.
We need to take the utmost care of our body, it is the only place to live in.