Vitamins, herbs enhance immunity

I cannot effectively express the humility, wonder, strength, beauty and harmony that exist in nature. The human body is a marvel of nature and is highly capable of looking after itself. All you have to do is enhance your body’s natural immune system and make it as strong as it possibly can be. You should be aware that modern day living with its increasingly sedentary lifestyle and excessive consumption of junk foods, depresses the immune system.

Vitamins, herbs enhance immunity
– By Dr Anjali Mukherjee

I cannot effectively express the humility, wonder, strength, beauty and harmony that exist in nature. The human body is a marvel of nature and is highly capable of looking after itself. All you have to do is enhance your body’s natural immune system and make it as strong as it possibly can be. You should be aware that modern day living with its increasingly sedentary lifestyle and excessive consumption of junk foods, depresses the immune system.

To add to this, antibiotics and other pharmaceutical weapons invade the body and battle with the disease as well as the immune system.

Increasing work pressures, poor stress management, pollutants in the air, pesticides in the food all add up to ruining our disease fighting capacity.

But remember, you are as strong as your immune system allows you to be. What you choose to put into your mouth accounts for your first line of defence against disease. Irrespective of exercising everyday, having a positive state of mind, keeping your sexuality under control, you can upset everything by eating foods which subtract from your health.

Refined flour, white sugar, processed and canned foods, deep fried foods, red meat can damage your health and depress immunity.

Eating foods in their most natural forms like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds is the easiest way to enhance immunity. Some vitamins and herbs have special immune enhancing powers.

Echinacea

There are numerous clinical studies that confirm echinacea’s immune enhancing actions. This herb can be used to treat infection like upper respiratory tract infections, urogenital infection, influenza, candidiasis etc. Its anti-inflammatory activity helps reduce pains in rheumatoid arthritis. Several studies have indicated that Echinacea has a stimulating effect on the white blood cell (WBC) count.

This is especially beneficial for cancer patients receiving radiation or chemotherapy as these treatments depress WBC levels. Echinacea may prove to be beneficial to cancer patients receiving orthodox cancer treatment. Echinacea is a safe herb and no studies report any toxic reactions due to its use. It can be safely used to enhance immunity.

Glutathione

This is a powerful antioxidant that is naturally produced in our body. It is an amino acid that is produced as an attempt to fend off free radical attacks. But its production slacks off as you age, thus weakening your resistance to disease and ageing.

Its main function is to regenerate declining immunity. It is made up of three amino acids. It is produced in all the cells of the body. It can also be obtained by eating foods rich in glutathione namely raw fruits and vegetables.

Cooking destroys the glutathione content of food to some extent. Tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, are particularly rich in glutathione. Spinach is also a good source.

A combination of tomato and spinach juice therefore would prove to be beneficial. You can blend a few leaves of raw spinach with two tomatoes into a paste. Add water to make it of drinkable consistency, add salt and lime to taste.

This juice, in addition to having potent antioxidants, also helps as a bowel cleanser. Walnuts are also high in glutathione. You can also take certain nutrients, which help your body to boost its natural production of glutathione for example the mineral selenium — glutamine — an amino acid and vitamin C are the building blocks that help the body produce glutathione more efficiently.

Supplements of glutathione should be taken by people above 60 years of age as its production in the body declines, which result in declining immunity.

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