How to increase immunity in Winters
Winter is the season when nature is ready to nurture us. Our body is compact, stiff, has maximum strength & a normal resistance in winters. Our body is in a state of balance/equilibrium & unless provoked by rash eating & irregular habits it remains so. As per Ayurveda, winter is the best season to strengthen immunity of the body. Energy is conserved in this period for the rest of the year.
In Ayurveda, immunity is said to be directly proportional to digestion. When digestion is strong and appetite is good, our immunity is strengthened. Whatever weakens digestion weakens the immunity. As the metabolism is good in winters, people feel hungrier and can digest food better. This nourishes the body. Increased hunger can lead people to eat junk and hard to digest food resulting in a weakened immunity. So to increase immunity it is more important to make the right choices in eating.
Immunity-boosting food means fresh, organic, easy to digest, pure and wholesome meals with digestion enhancing spices. Cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, cloves, turmeric, ajwain, sesame seeds, ginger can be added to food while cooking. Milk, yogurt, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, ghee (clarified butter), dry fruits and spices strengthen the body & keep us warm.
Winter Tips :
- Do not to skip meals.
- Drink warm water.
- Eat pure, fresh & warm home-cooked food and drinks including freshly prepared soups.
- Avoid cold or ice-cold food. These affect metabolism and decrease immunity.
- Avoid canned or processed foods that contain preservatives.
- Honey, wine & vinegar are good in winters.
- Warm drinks, such as herbal teas are useful.
- Include supplements like Chyavanprash in diet. It contains amalaki (Indian gooseberry) which is one of the richest natural sources of Vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Days being shorter in winters, the body craves for rest. So going to bed a little earlier helps.
- Get regular oil massage (abhyanga). This improves the blood circulation, flushes out impurities from the body and enhances immunity.
- Exercise is a must to avoid accumulation of kapha.
- Though all 6 tastes should be enjoyed in winters but the preferred tastes are sweet, sour and salty.
- Preparations of sugarcane can be taken.