Winter is around the corner, and with winter comes weak immunity and flu. Winter has got a bad reputation. Known as flu season, it is a time when there is a high risk of suffering from this contagious run rampant. But according to Ayurveda, winter is the best time to increase immunity by providing winter super-foods in the diet.
To understand how to boost immunity in the winter season, let's understand the concept of immunity through Ayurveda.
We know Immunity protects us from diseases by detecting viruses and harmful micro-organisms. But, our shifting lifestyle, poor eating habits, and irregular routines have made our bodies more susceptible to flu and dangerous diseases.
Bala, which means "strength", is an Ayurvedic word for immunity. Like the western concept, immunity is not just physical strength but also psychological and spiritual immunity. Bala, i.e., provides control against any disturbance in these areas.
In Ayurveda, immunity is related to digestion. Our immunity strengthens when our digestion is strong and our appetite is good. Well, what weakens digestion weakens immunity.
It is during winter when we have the most robust immunity, and it is due to an increase in fire (Agni) content in the body. As a result, people feel hungrier and digest more. Due to high fire, our body is deprived of nutritious food, causing it to burn our body tissues, which can lead to severe diseases and disorders.
That is why our skin gets dry in winter as the excess fire starts burning the tissues and the water content in the body. It is advised to drink plenty of water to keep away from dryness and itching in winter.
Also, read – How to Boost Immunity in Winter with Ayurveda
1- Inherited (Sahaj) - the inherent immunity you're born with
2- Seasonal (Kalaj) - the changing immunity levels due to planetary and seasonal shifts.
3- Established (Yuktikrit) - the constant level of immunity that can be maintained through the Ayurvedic lifestyle
Ayurveda strengthens second-level immunity, which fluctuates with changing seasons and planetary cycles. There is a misconception that winter is terrible for immunity causing digestive issues. As the appetite in winter increases, people tend to eat more junk food, which comprises immunity.
Not just in winter but in general too, it gets crucial to consume nourishing food. Ayurvedic winter foods help to boost immunity instead of weakening it. A balanced lifestyle is crucial in maintaining good immunity throughout the season.
Some people also add Chyawanprash to their diet regime in winter as it's a perfect immunity booster.
1. Have plenty of Herbal Tea
Winter is the time for hot beverages. If you want to boost your immunity, add plenty of herbal tea to your diet. Green tea, ginger tea, and chamomile tea are great immunity boosters with antioxidant properties.
2. Stay Hydrated
The thought of visiting the washroom often stops us from drinking more water. In winter, you quickly become dehydrated, which makes us more susceptible to various diseases. Water produces lymph, essential for transporting white blood cells and other immune system cells. Adequate water helps us to stay healthy in winter. You can even add a slice of lemon in plain water and drink it to give your body an extra dose of Vitamin C.
3. A Diet Full of Herbs
Another brilliant way to boost immunity is adding herbs to the diet, especially in the winter season. Onions, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and turmeric have potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. You can use these herbs, cooked or dried, according to preference.
4. Lots of Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, sweet lime, and grapefruits are loaded with Vitamin C. Vitamin C-rich food plays a significant role in preventing infections such as colds, flu, and skin condition as it boosts the production of blood cells. Our body cannot produce Vitamin C, so it is necessary to stock it up by including winter fruits and vegetables.
5. Incorporate Whole foods into the Diet
The immunity system requires many nutrients such as A, C, D & E, as well as minerals and zinc to support the immune system. For this reason, focus on eating more whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Include foods that boost the immune system. However, ensure the raw food items are washed thoroughly before eating to prevent diseases.
6- Have Chyawanprash
Swamala Chyawanprash is an immunity booster and an effective herb. The herbs in it enhance white blood cell production and support the immunity system. In changing weather, there are more chances of infection. So, including Chyawanprash in the diet will help you support your body's defense against bacteria and germs. Take 1 or 2 tablespoons of Dhootapapeshwar Swamala morning and evening on an empty stomach, or consult an Ayurvedic doctor.
A balanced lifestyle and a healthy Vata and Kapha are crucial to nature's rhythm. A personalized routine goes a long way in contributing to the vitality and positivity of your being. You can even consult Ayurvedacharya's and HealtyBazar.com to get the right lifestyle tips. Start getting proactive and having a nutritious meal to live a long healthy life by boosting your immunity.