Maintain your Body's defenses, as season changes! New year embarks with resolutions and promises for many to keep their bodies healthy and adopting a lifestyle with dietary changes and regular exercises. Some keep them, following it regularly till the heat of the new year dies off, while most just postpone it on a daily basis, till it becomes a resolution of the next new year.
However, our bodies don't postpone the tasks to keep our internal environment of cells, tissues or organs healthy and functioning, even for a second! Such is the resolute inclination bestowed by nature towards its functioning, aimed to keep our bodies alive, hail and healthy, away from any infection, that right from the day we start evolving in mother's womb, innate immunity develops as maternal antibodies get transferred via placenta. As we take birth and grow up, infections (minor or major) and vaccinations activate our B cells and T cells in the body, thus providing active immunity which stays a lifetime. These types of biological defenses acquired to ward off invading pathogens or any unwanted biological invasion while providing ample tolerance to keep allergies and autoimmune diseases at bay, is called Immunity-body's power to defend itself from harm!
Year by year, Immunity changes!
Age: As days pass, we age, in fact we are ageing this very second, and so does our immunity which becomes weaker due to its system becoming slower to respond. Thus, its ability to detect foreign cells and manage any invasion slowly declines, thereby opening floodgates to vast range of pathogenic infections caused by bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, etc. These don't attack at once, but a gradual loss of immunity due to age eventually shovels the path towards diseases and disorders caused by them. Also, steady decrease in ability of thymus gland to produce white blood cells which are immune system's protectors and responders to an incoming infection, is also observed as one ages.
Seasonal variations: Research studies have also shown one fourth of our genes associated with immune system gets influenced by the time of the year, and environmental cues, such as daylight and temperature. Seasons have an impact on immune-regulatory genes, and also impact gene expression of certain types of white blood cells too.
Rainy seasons make us more susceptible to harmful infections, while winter flares up conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and psychiatric disorders. Hence, those at a greater risk of a particular disease/disorder will highly-likely reach its threshold during colder and darker months, thus increasing the chances of an impending infection attack much sooner. Also, as the immune system is prompt in response during winters and rains, most individuals have an active response to vaccination administered in these seasons.
Stress: Chronic psychological or psychosocial stress 'ages' the immune system in various ways depending upon the exposure and responses to various physiological, emotional, and behavioral stressors. Stress can not only mimic, but also exacerbate the effects of ageing, thus prenatal and early life stress can have long-term effects on physiology and immune function. A functional decline of immune system, poses grimly with diseases/disorders later in life.
Tips to Boost your Immunity!
1. Strengthen your gut 70% of your immune system lies in the gut; thus probiotics and fermented foods are good sources for maintaining a healthy, wellfunctioning microbial flora in the gut, eventually keeping a strong immune system.
2. Take a balanced healthy diet Eat foods high in antioxidants and nutrient-dense foods, like dark leafy greens, berries, salmon, and sweet potatoes, which help build up your immune system's defenses and citrus fruits, that will boost your overall health and ward off flu/sore throat.
3. Keep processed foods away Avoid bingeing on sugar, gluten and processed foods which may drastically decrease immune function.
4. Become friends with 'Zinc' Pumpkin seeds, spinach, oysters, nuts, and beans are rich in the mineral zinc, which boosts the immune system and provides protective effects that can help shorten the duration of cold by few day .
5. Maintain hygiene House and office hygiene to be maintained regularly by cleaning, washing, sanitising and keeping good air circulation in premises. Maintaining personal hygiene by washing hands frequently with soap and water, taking bath everyday is recommended to keep infections at bay.
6. Sleep well At last, keep up your activities and perform exercises, but do make sure to get a good night's sleep for a speedy wear and tear of the body, preventing/healing infections.
This New Year make a resolution to keep your body's fighter force the strongest!