Types of Immunity
Immunity can be broadly classified into two categories - Innate Immunity and Adaptive Immunity.
Everyone is born with innate or natural immunity, which is considered a general protection. The skin, stomach acid, enzymes found in tears and skin oils, mucus and the cough reflex are components of the innate immune system.
Adaptive or active immunity is what we develop throughout our lives - through exposure to diseases or vaccination/immunization against them. Adaptive immunity is specific, meaning it identifies a particular threat and creates antibodies to fight it. Once the threat is neutralised, the adaptive immune system remembers it and makes future responses to the same virus more effective.
Threats to immunity & stamina
Here are some factors that compromise immunity and deplete stamina.
Stress boosts the production of cortisol, commonly known as a stress hormone. Cortisol is an important hormone, but high cortisol levels can cause headaches, memory problems, digestion issues, weight gain, sleeplessness, even anxiety and depression.
Excess consumption of sugar and highly processed foods containing pesticides, chemical additives, and preservatives can weaken the immune system.
Excessive Consumption of Alcohol
Alcohol, just like sugar, when consumed in excess can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs. Damage to the immune system increases in proportion to the quantity of alcohol consumed.
Lack of Sleep
Getting a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep is essential as it is when proteins that protect against infection and inflammation are produced and released in the body. Insufficient sleep hampers this process, and compromises immune response.
Whether you are smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes, their chemicals are toxic to the body. Even exposure to secondhand smoke (passive smoke) can affect your immune system.
Excess weight gain is an indication of imbalance in metabolic and hormonal functions. Obesity can weaken the immune system and affect the multiplication of white blood cells that produce antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria.
IMPROVING IMMUNITY, STAMINA & STRENGTH: THE AYURVEDIC APPROACH
Ayurveda has three fundamental energies (doshas) that govern an individual’s inner and outer environments. A small change in your lifestyle along with these natural supplements can boost your immunity, and build stamina and strength
Chyawanprash is a herb-based health supplement that helps fight viruses and bacteria. Chyawanprash contains vitamin C, and other ingredients like Amla, Neem, Tulsi, Brahmi that boost immunity, and is ideal for both adults and children.
Ashwagandha is an ancient, adaptogenic herb that enhances the body’s resilience to stress. Ashwagandha also helps increase stamina and strength.
Aside from its benefits to the brain, Brahmi flushes out toxins from the body and nourishes it at a cellular level. This makes it a great supplement to reduce fatigue and lethargy.
Turmeric is considered to be a natural way to boost the immune system. Turmeric contains antioxidant elements that help moderate the immune system.
Tulsi fights off infections, fever, cold, sore throat, cough, flu and is also useful for detoxifying your body.
Shilajit reduces the feeling of lethargy, fatigue, body pain, while naturally boosting energy and stamina.
Shatavari possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help boost immunity and energy levels, and reduce fatigue.