Immunity is the power of the body to protect itself from pathogens and other agents. Many microbes and viruses can cause disease, known as pathogens. When these Pathogens enter in our body, Immunity of the body protects us from these Pathogens. Everyday our body comes in contact with several pathogens, but only a few results into diseases. The reason is, our body can release antibodies against these pathogens and protects the body against diseases. This defense mechanism is called immunity. If a person has low Immunity Power then Pathogens affect the whole body.
Types of Immunity
There are two major types of immunity:
Innate Immunity or Natural or Non-specific Immunity
This type of immunity is inborn. This is also called natural immunity. This is activated immediately when the pathogen attacks. Innate immunity includes certain barriers that keep foreign particles out of the body. It is a long-term immunity in which our body produces antibodies on its own.
- Acquired Immunity or Adaptive Immunity
This type of immunity protects the body from pathogens develops as we go through life. As we are exposed to diseases or get vaccinated, we build a lot of antibodies to different pathogens. This type of immunity is acquired by the body in response to a specific germ and learns to fight that antigen. It remembers and can fight in the future.
- Active Immunity: When the body proactively prepares an antibody against a specific antigen.
- Passive Immunity: In this, the body does not make any antibody. The antibody is specially inoculated in the body from outside. For example, through vaccination.
Antioxidants and Immunity
An antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that damage cells.
Vitamin E is also a superstar for immunity. It protects cellular membranes of the immune system and other cells by trapping free radicals and enhances the effectiveness of white blood cells.
- Some sources of vitamin E include mustard and turnip greens, spinach, broccoli, carrots, mangoes, papaya, and pumpkin.
- Vitamins B6 and B12 indirectly contribute to antioxidant defenses having considerable influence on the immune system. A deficiency of these vitamins will create abnormalities in the immune system.
- Vitamin C prevents the production of free radicals and reduces DNA damage in immune cells. Since your body can’t produce vitamin C, a plentiful supply must come from your diet. Some sources of vitamin C include berries, kiwi, red, yellow, green peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
- Beta-carotene is another powerhouse for immune function. In addition to being a precursor for the immune protector, vitamin A, this nutrient provides powerful antioxidant defenses against invading pathogens.
Natural Ways of Improving Immunity
All the above foods are necessary for increasing immunity but few more things are important:
- Walk regularly.
- Do Yoga daily.
- Cut down Stress.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Stay away from Pollution or avoid it.
- Avoid Processed Food in the diet.
- Drink sufficient water.