With the spread of the coronavirus, it's wise to keep your immune system strong. One of the oldest healing sciences, dating back 5,000 years, is called Ayurveda. In Sanskrit this means "Science of Life," according to The Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico.
Its principles are to help balance the body through the right thinking, diet, lifestyle, and healing herbs. Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, who holds a doctorate in Ayurvedic medicine, says that in this practice, the body becomes the most important tool to defend against any invasion. He offers these tips in an article published by The Chopra Center.
- Avoid heavy, oily, and cold foods. These foods weaken your immune system and produce excess mucous, says the expert. While mucous helps tap airborne particles before they get into your lungs, too much can restrict your breathing. Some foods to avoid include dairy, red meat, breads and pastas, fried foods, and sweets.
- Add healing spices to your food. The best choices for immune boosting are turmeric, cinnamon, clove, ginger, cumin, garlic, and cayenne pepper. "These hot spices, especially garlic and ginger, can help fight inflammation," writes Kshirsagar.
- Eat at least one citrus food a day. Grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines contain vitamin C, an important immune booster. You can also squeeze lemon juice into a glass of hot water to get your vitamin C and give your body a gentle cleanse.
- Stay active. By generating heat, you may be keeping the virus at bay. Dr. Stefan Baral, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, told the Boston Herald that he expects a "natural decrease" of COVID-19 in the United States as we move into warmer weather.
- Take warm baths in the evening. According to Gaia, soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salts and essential oils like eucalyptus and rosemary helps de-stress your body, which makes the immune system more resilient.
- Add steam to your routine. Practice steam inhalation before bedtime by carefully placing your face over a pot of boiling water, covering your head with a towel and inhaling the steam. You could also add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil into the pot. "Dry nasal passages tap more infections, so keeping them lubricated is important," says Kshirsagar.
- Make fresh, homemade meals as often as possible. Frozen foods usually have fewer immune-boosting nutrients than homecooked meals made with fresh ingredients.
- Have at least one bowel movement daily. The doctor says that 70% to 80% of your immune system is in your colon and gut. "Eliminating your body's impurities on a daily basis is very important," he says. "If you don't eliminate waste daily, it turns toxic and breeds inflammation. This adds stress to your body, breaking down its immune system."
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