According to Ayurveda, human body is comprises of physical, mental and emotional aspects. All the these aspects are supremely connected. Every one has a different composition of body, just like everyone has a unique face or unique fingerprints.
Ayurveda states that any physical discomfort, what we most often call a disease, is nothing but an imbalance in the body’s constitution, called Dosha. The disease is rather a body not at ease and begins with a root cause, that is, an imbalance of Doshas.
- Three types of Doshas:
- Vata: This aspect heads of voluntary movements like blinking eyes, breathing, movement of hands and legs, essentially all the action by cytoplasm fall under vata aspects
- Pitta: All activities which our body incurs from ingestion of food to metabolism fall under the aspect of Pitta
- Kapha: It’s about nourishment of the body. movement of assimilated food to different parts of the body falls under the Kapha aspect
Boosting immunity is not a curative disease. You cannot boost immunity overnight, it’s a long-term health investment. It needs time, patience and mostly immunity-boosting foods supplementing your diet.
- Just like machines break down when they over-work or miss overhauling, similarly, body also breaks down when there is lack of right fuel and/or lack of activity.
Needless to say, most of us understand immunity as the protection agent of our body. If a foreign infection/ virus enters our body, the immunity system identifies it and begins to fight against it. However, sometimes our body is not correctly able to distinguish between harmful virus and the good virus in our body and it gets confused. In such a case our Immune system begins to attack the body itself.
According to Ayurveda, such scenarios (and diseases) where the immune system attacks the body itself, is a result of heavy imbalance of Doshas. The root cause of this can be attributed to the lifestyle we lead or predominantly the food we eat.
Understanding food for Immunity
On an everyday basis, we need to consume proteins, carbs and fats, as they are the essential macronutrients needed for the functioning of the body, but sadly, 83% of the population lacks meeting their requirement of protein or good fats, as most of the food we consume is carb-heavy.
- In earlier times, food was fresh, wholesome and consumed in its most natural form. There were combination of foods preferred purely on the basis of health and experience (and are now supported by scientific research). Few examples, ghee was prepared using fermented curd which retained good bacterias. Whey was made fresh everyday and consumed for protein in early hours (and also to support metabolism, something which is now called the intermittent fasting). Potato was roasted with skin and not boiled or peeled as that results in massive mineral loss. Food and milk was stored in a dark place to secure certain vitamins in wholegrains. Vegetables were paired such as to maximise nutrient absorption.
- In a striking contrast today, there is consumption of processed food or refined ingredients in at least two meals everyday.
- Food for immunity
The food we eat plays a key aspect in determining our overall health and immunity. Replacing carb-heavy food with a good balance of nut, veggies and fruits adds Vitamin A, C, D, E which are high antioxidants and prepare body to fight infections.
- Oranges: They are the best source of Vitamin-C that kids love to eat. Just one orange can meet 100% vitamin C requirement for daily nutrition. Guava, Gooseberry (Amla), Garlic are other good sources of this vitamin.
Nuts: Full of Vitamin E, they are a great source of antioxidants that keep body healthy and disease free by neutralising free radicals and reducing inflammation. Study presents that some roasted nuts appear to have an increased antioxidant level compared with raw ones.
Curcumin: A compound found in turmeric, offers therapeutic relief. It is a rich antioxidant which supports against body cell damage. It has found to delay or reverse diseases or age related decrease in body functions. Other good herb is Shallaki, Brahmi, Ashwagandha, Licorice (Mulethi).
Dairy: Every single cell in the body requires Vitamin D to stay strong and protect against infection. Ghee, cow milk are a good source of this. Body can also produce this through cholesterol exposure to sunlight.