Your level of immunity determines your overall health and well-being. A healthy person is one who has a strong immune system that keeps diseases and infections at bay, or enables faster recovery and causes less severe symptoms. A healthy immune system is required to protect the body from foreign invaders. In one of his recent live videos on Facebook, lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho talks about some simple ways to boost our immune system. He says that a few lifestyle modifications can help in having a strong immune system.
Simple ways to boost immune system
The immune function is dependent on two important factors: the environment which you create inside your body, and the environment surrounding you. Both these factors have a direct impact on how the cells in your body behave. We are in complete control of the environment inside your body and the one surround you.
The environment inside our body can be improved by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, different spices and everything that nature has given us. Eating these foods in balance can help in boosting immune function.
Similarly, we can control the environment surrounding us. By changing the temperature of room and dampening it a bit, one can facilitate growth of bacteria. Similarly, the bacteria can be killed by adding a bit of dry air and changing the temperature inside the room.
7 lifestyle choices you didn’t know were harming your immunity
1. Lack of sleep
No matter how much healthy and immunity boosting food we eat, lack of sufficient sleep can play havoc with the immunity. Sleep is required to balance functioning of cells in the body. Repair, balance, rejuvenation, hormonal balance and detoxification all occur during a good night’s sleep.
2. Not focusing on right quality of protein more than the right quantity of protein
Proteins are the building blocks of cells. You need to focus on the right quality of protein for a strong immunity. Do not separate the egg yolk from the egg white, do not give up on rice while eating dal. It is when you eat food in such combinations that your body gets adequate amount of protein. Khichdi or dal chawal is a complete protein food which can help in maintaining your immune function.
3. Not washing hands before meals
Washing hands before meals is important. We compromise our immune system a lot because of the germs and pathogens we ingest. Wash your hands both before and after your meals.
4. Constipation and acidity
Constipation and acidity are clear symptoms of a compromised immunity. Eat the right kinds of foods and improve your lifestyle to get rid of these conditions for a stronger immunity.
Stress is a major deterrent to your immunity. Your diet and exercise are not going to give the desired results if you are under stress. Constantly high cortisol levels results in low immune function. It is important to work towards reducing your stress if you want to a strong immunity and an overall healthy body.
6. Smoking and alcohol
Smoking, passive smoking and drinking alcohol excessively are all factors which can decrease your immunity.
7. Lack of exercise
You need to be physically active and yet not over-trained at the same time. Rest and recovery are as important for your body as exercise for a strong immunity.
Physical activity helps in improving your blood circulation and facilitating strong immunity.
Foods which are good for the immunity
1. Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, radish, aragula, etc
2. Nuts: Especially almonds and walnuts
3. Seeds: Flaxseeds and sesame seeds
7. Nut oils
9. Coconut oil
10. Fresh vegetables and fruits
(Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach – Integrative Medicine)
Constantly Facing Gut Issues And Indigestion Problems? Chronic Stress Could Be The Culprit!
Impact of your stress on your overall health and well-being can be much more than you can imagine. Excessive stress can play a toll on your physical and mental health. It can specifically damage your gut health and digestion. Short-term stress can make a person lose appetite and slower down digestion, while long-term stress can cause gastrointestinal issues like indigestion, constipation and upset stomach. People who are chronically stressed are likely to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other serious gastrointestinal disorders.
The key to curbing digestion problems is managing stress. Taking lesser stress can bring down inflammation in the gut and will help in keeping you nourished. This is because without stress, your body is able to absorb all the nutrients it needs in a better way.
Following are some effective measures to control stress and improve gut health:
1. Quit smoking
Smoking is hazardous to digestive health. It is likely to increase risks of gastrointestinal diseases, peptic ulcers and cancer. It is about time you stopped resorting to smoking whenever you are stressed, as it is really being of no help to you. Opt for stress management techniques like engaging in a hobby, exercising, listening to music or simply taking a walk in the park. Here are some effective tips that can help you quit smoking.
Yoga is an activity which has benefits for both physical and mental health. Yoga involves postures which improve alignment and posture and these can help in eliminating digestion problems and gastrointestinal issues. Yoga is a great stress busting activity as well.
3. Include prebiotics and probiotics in your diet
Prebiotics and probiotics provide your body with essential good bacteria. Food sources of prebiotics include onions, garlic, banana and asparagus to name a few. You can get your desired probiotics from kombucha, kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and other fermented products. Prebiotics and probiotics have the capability of altering bacteria makeup in gut microbiome, thus making room for good bacteria and improving digestion.
You need to practice mindful meditation for effective stress management. Mindful meditation is the practice which helps you be more aware about your daily life. You can also practice some deep breathing exercises as they can reduce inflammation and stress. You can try deep breathing exercises before your meals. This will help you relax and also make you prepared for digestion.
It is important to know that stress can cause weight gain and may even lead to anxiety and depression. Stressful situations will always occur in life. You need to work towards changing your attitude to stressful situations and not give too much importance to every problem which occurs in your life.
Beware! Do Not Buy Skincare Products If They Contain These Ingredients
There are thousands of suggestions available on the internet on what skincare products you should be using. But do you know about the ones you should definitely not be using? Dermatologist Dr Kiran Lohia Sethi, in one of her posts on Instagram, talks about some products which you must never use on your skin. Whenever you are buying skincare products, it is important to check the ingredients with which they are made. Read below to know about the products which you must definitely avoid using on your skin.
Products you must not use on the skin
In her Instagram video, Dr Kiran says that products there are some products which contain nasty chemicals hidden in them. These chemicals are especially present in products which have artificial fragrance. “Artificial fragrance actually contains thousands of different chemicals which have not been tested,” she says. Products which come with artificial fragrances can be harmful for the skin.
Products with artificial colours should also be avoided as they too are loaded with nasty chemicals. Such products are likely to give you an allergic reaction or even an inflammatory disorder, says Dr Kiran.
Products which contain parabens need to be avoided. Parabens are preservatives that are commonly used in pharmaceuticals, moisturisers, shampoos, cosmetics and deodorants. Butylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben and methylparaben are commonly used in parabens. If you can find non-paraben skincare products, it is going to be really beneficial for the skin. “Parabens have known to be associated with certain cancers and they have the tendency of sitting on your body for a long time,” says Dr Kiran.
Similarly, formaldehyde derivatives have also been found to be carcionogenic. Products which contain them as ingredients should be avoided.
The idea is to take care of your skin with natural and home remedies without using these products which can actually harm your skin in the long run.
(Dr. Kiran Lohia Sethi is a dermatologist at Isya aesthetics Pvt Ltd)
Novel smartphone app can detect anaemia without blood test
Biomedical engineers have developed a novel smartphone application that could non-invasively detect anaemia without the need for a blood test.
The app uses photos of a person’s fingernails taken on a smartphone to accurately measure how much haemoglobin is in their blood.
Fingernail beds are ideal for detection of anaemia because they do not contain melanin — pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their colour — indicating that the test can be valid for people with a variety of skin tones.
“All other ‘point-of-care’ anaemia detection tools require external equipment, and represent trade-offs between invasiveness, cost, and accuracy,” said principal investigator Wilbur Lam, Associate Professor from Emory University in the US.
“This is a standalone app whose accuracy is on par with currently available point-of-care tests without the need to draw blood,” said Lam.
The app is particularly helpful for pregnant women, women with abnormal menstrual bleeding, runners/athletes, and patients with chronic anaemia as they can monitor their disease and identify the times when they need to adjust their therapies or receive transfusions, the researchers said.
The app, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, is part of the doctoral work of former biomedical engineering graduate student Rob Mannino, who was motivated to conduct the research by his own experience living with beta-thalassemia — an inherited blood disorder that reduces the production of haemoglobin.
Maninno first took pictures of himself before and after transfusions as his haemoglobin levels were changing.
Later, the researchers studied fingernail photos and correlated the colour of the fingernail beds with haemoglobin levels measured by complete blood count (CBC) in 337 people.
The results showed some healthy and others with a variety of anaemia diagnoses.
However, additional research is needed to eventually achieve the accuracy to replace blood-based anaemia testing for clinical diagnosis, according to the team.
The smartphone anaemia app is projected to be commercially available for public download in 2019.