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Immunity Booster - Build Immunity with Zandu

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What is Immunity?

Immunity refers to a complex system within the human body that works to defend against pathogens that can cause infections. Pathogens can include a variety of disease-causing organisms, including bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. We are exposed to such pathogens on a daily basis, but in most cases do not suffer from infections because of the immune response. This response involves a number of different mechanisms and a complex system that includes different organs and cells of the body working together to fight off disease-causing pathogens.

5 Ways to Boost your Immunity

1.Fix Your Diet

As is the case with almost every aspect of health, your diet plays a critical role in immune health and this makes healthy eating and balanced nutrition extremely important. The best way to do this is by limiting your intake of processed foods that are high in sugar, sodium and trans fats, while increasing your consumption of whole foods.
This means that you should eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean protein and healthy fats. Such a diet is highly recommended in Ayurveda to boost your immunity and strengthen your health as these foods can provide you with a range of nutrients as well as antioxidants and phytochemicals that are known to strengthen immune function.

2.Get Active

Taking up a regular exercise routine or engaging in physical activities like yoga is regarded as essential for your wellbeing in Ayurveda. It also plays an important role in boosting your immunity, as a sedentary lifestyle with low levels of activity is known to impair immune function, increasing the risk of infections.
Research shows that even moderate levels of physical activity with aerobic exercises like walking, swimming and cycling can promote the regeneration of immune cells and regulate the inflammatory response. Mild to moderate intensity workouts and yoga are regarded as the best choices, as over-exercising can also cause low immunity.

3.Don’t Neglect Sleep

The importance of sleep is easy to overlook, but it has a direct impact on the immune system. Today, with our fast-paced lifestyles and focus on productivity, most of us get inadequate sleep. This is regarded as one of the main causes of a weak immune system and increased susceptibility to infections.
Studies now show that individuals who regularly sleep for less than 6 hours a night or experience disturbed and poor-quality sleep are more vulnerable to infections and also take longer to recover from them.

4.Cut Back On Stress

Despite the conveniences of modern technology, we are more stressed than ever before because of the growing pressure to perform at work, balance relationships and manage finances. This constant exposure to high levels of stress makes us vulnerable to chronic stress disorders and this is known to adversely impact immunity.
A study that appeared in the journal Psychological Bulletin, found that prolonged exposure to stress elevates levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn blocks or impairs the immune system’s ability to respond to threats from disease-causing pathogens. Stress reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can help to lower stress levels significantly.

5.Stay Hydrated

Increasing your intake of water and fluids isn’t going to directly boost immunity, but dehydration can weaken immunity. Poor water intake is associated with headaches, digestive problems, loss of focus, heart and kidney disease, all of which make you more vulnerable to infections.
Most importantly, water is the main component of lymph, which is the fluid that flows through the lymphatic system and carries immune cells through the body. To maintain adequate hydration, make it a point to drink water and consume fresh fruits or veggies with high water content, while avoiding caffeinated, aerated and alcoholic beverages.

Types of Immunity in The Human Body

As noted earlier, the immune response involves a complex network of organs that work together to fight off disease-causing pathogens. There are different types of immunity and it helps to understand each type if you wish to boost your immune system naturally.

Types Of Immunity

Innate Immunity

The innate immune system refers to the general immunity or protection that an individual is born with, which provides defense against infections as soon as a pathogen attacks. It includes barriers that can keep viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens from invading the body and limits their ability to spread. These barriers include physical barriers like your skin and body hair, defense mechanisms including secretions like mucus, gastric acid, and tears, as well as general immune responses such as inflammation. The innate immune system does not distinguish between or recognize pathogens or foreign bodies, but will respond quickly to any threat.

Passive Immunity

This refers to the type of immunity that allows your body to respond to pathogens because of ‘passed on’ or inherited antibodies. This type of immunity includes antibodies that are transferred to a baby or fetus from the mother via the placenta or through breast milk. Passive immunity may also be obtained from blood products that contain antibodies like immune globulin, which can be administered when immediate protection is needed against a particular infection. As passive immunity is inherited or obtained, it provides immediate protection. The limitation of passive immunity is that the protection is only temporary and will last for just a few weeks to a year as your body is not producing the antibodies itself.

Acquired Immunity

This is also described as active or adaptive immunity and it is a type of immune defense that develops over time through immunological memory. This means that after exposure to a certain antigen or pathogen, the adaptive immune system develops antibodies to fight that particular antigen. As a result, the immune system is then ready to produce these same antibodies anytime in the future when exposed to the same pathogen because it has ‘immunological memory’. This type of immunity doesn’t just develop as a result of exposure or infection with a pathogen, but it can also develop with vaccination when the individual is exposed to a weakened or deactivated form of the pathogen. This type of immunity may develop over a period of time, but it is long lasting, often for years or even for a lifetime.

How to Boost Immunity with Ayurveda?

From the Ayurvedic perspective, immunity is more than a biological process and you need to understand some key Ayurvedic concepts. The first of these concepts is that of Doshas or natural energies that exist in nature and in all of our bodies. There are 3 Doshas, called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, with each exerting different effects, based on their qualities. Every individual has a unique balance of these Doshas, which is defined as Prakriti and this has a direct influence on every aspect of health, including your immune system. The first step to strengthening immunity is therefore to identify your dosha type. This will allow you to use Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle modifications, as well as Ayurvedic herbs to preserve the optimal balance of Doshas to support and improve immunity.
Another concept that you need to understand is that of Prana, which refers to the universal energy or life force that permeates through every being. Poor dietary habits and lifestyle choices can lead to the accumulation of Ama or toxins in the body, blocking the Srotas or channels through which Prana flows. This adversely impacts immune function, increasing the risk of infection. In addition to Doshas and Prana, Ayurvedic texts also describe Ojas, which is a subtle matter in the human body that is a source of vitality, strength, vigour, and balance. This makes it extremely important for healthy immune function too. These concepts and their intricate interactions may be hard to understand, but the effects are quite clear. Ayurvedic immunity boosters work to address all of these concerns, restoring the optimal balance of doshas, enhancing the flow of prana, and strengthening Ojas. To get the best results from the use of Ayurveda to improve immune system function, you should get personalized diet and lifestyle recommendations to reflect your unique balance of doshas. However, general Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle recommendations and Ayurvedic immune boosters can also help strengthen the immune system no matter your dosha type. As Ayurveda takes a holistic approach, your use of diet, lifestyle, or herbal immunity booster medicines needs to be consistent.

How Immunity Boosters Strengthen the Immune System?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no single supplement or nutraceutical that can boost immune system function instantly without also correcting diet and lifestyle imbalances. This is something that is quite clear in Ayurveda as it takes a holistic approach to health, with Ayurvedic immunity booster medicines used to support and strengthen immunity. They are not meant as a substitute for healthy whole foods and dietary nutrition or other healthy habits. However, high-quality supplements and herbs can help to fill nutritional gaps and can support your immune system.
An Ayurvedic or natural immunity booster is basically a highly concentrated ingredient, containing a herbal extract or combination of herbs that have a stimulating effect on the immune system. These herbal formulations aren’t just nutritional supplements, as herbs provide a complex blend of nutrients as well as phytochemicals that have immunomodulatory, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. While most nutrients are best obtained from food, it is not possible to get an adequate amount of all nutrients and antioxidants from our diets alone due to limitations in the variety of foods we eat or because of dietary restrictions. Moreover, some of the most potent sources of nutrients and therapeutic phytochemicals include parts of plants and herbs that are inedible or unpalatable.
To elaborate on the importance of specific nutrients and antioxidants in supporting immune function, we’ll take a look at the impact of certain nutrients and herbal compounds on immunity.

1.Zinc – Deficiency of this mineral is known to be a contributing factor in the development of many chronic diseases, but it has also been shown to adversely impact the immune system and inflammatory response.

2.Vitamin D – Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to more severe cases of COVID-19, which should be no surprise as earlier research has also shown that vitamin D activates certain T cells and can lower the risk of respiratory infections.

3.Soluble Fibre – Fiber content in natural immune boosters can support immune function as research has found that soluble fibre encourages a switch in immune cells from a pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory state, helping with quicker recovery from infections.

4.Pterostilbene and Resveratrol – These polyphenols are found in grapes that are used in traditional Ayurvedic formulations like Darakchasava, exhibiting antioxidant and cancer chemopreventive effects. They have also been shown to increase the expression of a particular gene involved in immunity.

5.Curcumin – The main bioactive compound in turmeric or Haridra, which is a staple ingredient in numerous Ayurvedic formulations, is also known to strengthen immune function, even helping reduce the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain.

Top 10 Food for Boosting Immunity

1.Turmeric

Turmeric is known as the wonder spice for a reason. It possesses properties that go beyond adding taste to cooked food. Turmeric, for years, has been used as an anti-inflammatory medicine. Curcumin, the main compound in turmeric is found to be a promising immunity booster. This natural immunity boosting ability is attributed to the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of the compound.

2.Ginger

Ginger is another everyday Indian kitchen spice that we tend to turn to when we’re sick. The spice has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help keep various illnesses and infections at bay, and can effectively fight disease-causing pathogens. Ginger also contains gingerol, a compound that gives it its immunity-boosting properties.

3.Spinach

Spinach is enriched with vitamin C and antioxidants that give this leafy green its infection-fighting abilities and protects the body against certain diseases. Not only does spinach boost the immune system naturally, but it also replenishes the blood cells which help keep certain health ailments at bay.

4.Carrots

Carrots can do more than just improve your eyesight. They can improve your immune functions and shield your body from pathogens too. Carrots are packed with antioxidants and vitamin A that help the body fight infections and inflammation making them one of the best natural immunity boosters.

5.Almonds

Vitamin C can effectively fight off disease-causing pathogens and protect the body from cold and other diseases, but when it comes to strengthening immunity naturally, vitamin E is extremely crucial. Nuts such as almonds are packed with vitamin E. Regular consumption of almonds can help strengthen your immune system while improving your overall health.

6.Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a sweet delight! But more than that, it is one of the healthiest fruits you can have. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties among others, that help the body fight diseases. It is also packed with rich vitamins such as vitamin A, C, E and folic acids that help the body protect you from certain diseases.

7.Papaya

Papaya is one of Ayurveda’s most recommended food items. It is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that support the body and ensure good health. It has an abundant amount of vitamin C and a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory properties making papaya a natural immunity-boosting agent.

8.Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds contain a good amount of nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B-6 and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that regulates and maintains the immune functions in the body. Sunflower seeds also contain a good amount of selenium. Such essential nutrients make sunflower seeds one of the best Ayurvedic immunity boosters.

9.Buttermilk

Buttermilk is considered an important part of the Indian diet. It is also given due importance in Ayurveda. Known as Takra in Sanskrit, buttermilk is widely used in Ayurvedic treatments to deal with inflammation, digestive issues and more. It also has Kapha and Vata Dosha balancing properties. Regular consumption of buttermilk after a meal can prove to be beneficial for your overall health.

10.Jaggery

Jaggery or Gud is another common Indian household food item. It is used in several ways, but most commonly is used as a healthier alternative to sugar. Jaggery is enriched with nutrients such as iron, magnesium and potassium that help keep the body healthy. It also helps in keeping certain ailments such as the common cold and flu at bay. Jaggery can also boost your immunity and improve your overall health, especially during the winters.

Top 5 Immunity-Boosting Supplements by Zandu

Zandu Haridra (Turmeric)

Zandu Haridra Pure Herb is a natural immunity booster that has been formulated using 100% pure extracts of turmeric. Known as the wonder spice, turmeric is an important spice in Ayurveda that is given due importance for its several health benefits, but most importantly, for its potent immunity-boosting properties. Zandu Haridra can not only help you boost your immunity, but also help you get flawless skin and manage weight.

Zandu’s Daily Immunity Kit

consists of Zandu Kesari Jivan and Zandu Ayush Kwath Ghan. Zandu Kesari Jivan is a daily revitalizer enriched with saffron and pearls that helps increase strength and stamina and is especially beneficial for the elderly.
Zandu Ayush Kwath Ghan is a Kadha mix that is loaded with immunity-boosting herbs such as Tulsi, Dalchini, Sunthi and Krishna Marich.

Zandu Chyawanprash Avaleha

Zandu Chyawanprash Avaleha is a traditional immunity-boosting supplement formulated using the age-old Ayurvedic recipe. It includes herbs such as Ashwagandha, Shatavari and Bala that are extremely beneficial for a healthy immune system.

Zandu Papaya Leaf Extract

Zandu Papaya Leaf Extract is a 100% natural supplement rich in antioxidants that helps boost the immune system, aids in digestion, and promotes good skin and hair health. It is also an effective remedy to improve blood platelet levels in the body.

Zandu ImmU

Zandu ImmU is an immunity booster for kids that is healthy, tasty and safe. It comes in a soft chews format, loved by the kids! The product has proven to provide 2X immunity. It is formulated using four potent immunity-boosting ingredients – Amla, Tulsi, honey and apple. The product is available in kids’ favourite flavours - mango, strawberry and mixed fruits.

Frequently Asked Questions on Immune System

How can I boost my immune system fast?

Ministry of AYUSH recommends some guidelines to boost immunity that include drinking warm water throughout the day; including spices like turmeric, cumin and coriander in the diet; regular practice of yoga; intake of Chyawanprash; undergoing Ayurvedic procedures such as Pratimarsh Nasya and oil pulling regularly.

What is the best immunity booster?

85. Some of the top products include - Zandu Haridra (Turmeric), Zandu Daily Immunity Kit, Zandu Chyawanprash Avaleha, Zandu Papaya Leaf Extract and Zandu ImmU for kids.

What are signs of a weak immune system?

Some common signs of a weak immune system include recurring infections, falling ill with a cold regularly, tummy problems, lethargy, wounds that take time to heal, stomachaches and other tummy-related problems, etc.

Can you really boost your immune system?

With certain lifestyle changes, healthy diet habits and including Ayurvedic herbs and spices to your diet that have potent immunity-boosting properties, you can help your immune system function better, improve overall health and keep certain diseases at bay.

Is banana good for the immune system?

Bananas contain a good amount of prebiotics that are essential for a healthy gut. They are also enriched with vitamin B6 that is needed to keep the immune system well-functioning. These properties of banana make it an excellent fruit for a good immune system.

Importance of Immune system to win the battle against various Infection

Ongoing pandemic has brought significant changes in our lives. Consumers have started emphasizing on prevention based approach rather than treatment based approach. They are looking for ways in which they can enhance their immunity to fight against infections rather than waiting to fall ill and then get treated. A live snapshot of google trends data around shift in demand for Immunity booster products across the worldwide is presented below.