The immune system of a human body is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to defend the body against the attacks by the ‘foreign’ invaders. The term ‘foreign invader’ is used for the bacteria, parasites, fungi and other viruses that can lead to illness through infections. It is the job of an immune system to keep these infectious organisms out and destroy them.
Though unseen, the immune system cells are constantly gobbling up with the bacteria and blocking viruses from invading your cells. Similar to your heartbeat and indigestion, the immune response is a system that functions on its own and you don’t control them. But, there are a lot of practices that can work as your helping hand. Some of such practices are:
- Good hygiene- The first step to begin with the defence is to keep all prospective germs at bay. How can it be done? By following good personal hygiene habits. Stop infection as it begins and before it begins. Make sure you avoid spreading your infections to others with these simple measures:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap or use sanitizers 5-6 times a day. Always prepare or eat food after washing your hands and every time you use the restroom.
- Whenever you sneeze or cough, make sure you cover your mouth and nose with a tissue in order to avoid its germs infect others.
- Always bandage all your cuts because if left open, it can become septic and harm your immune system. If you have any serious cut or wound anywhere on your body, get is examined by the doctor within due course of time.
- Do not touch your healing wounds and do not squeeze pimples because doing so allows germs to enter your body.
- Vaccination or Immunisation- A number of serious infections can be prevented by immunisation. Whereas vaccination is used to cure a sore arm or low fever. The vaccination is generally safe and effective in curing such diseases. And when it comes to the infections, consult your doctor for the immunisation status. A number of health care providers and centres provide immunisation services. Generally:
- Children should be given all necessary immunisations and vaccinations as and when recommended by the doctors.
- All adults should make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date.
- Travellers should get additional immunisations before their date of journey.
- Food safety- Mark yourself safe from the causes of food-poisoning not because they are life-threatening but they can lead to serious medical conditions sometimes. For this, you have to prepare and store your food safely. Take necessary precautions to kill germs or to prevent them entering your immune system:
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after each time you handle a raw food.
- Rinse all meat, poultry, and fish under running water before cooking. Rinse all fruits and vegetables under running water before cooking or serving them.
- Separate raw foods and cooked foods, and never use the same utensils or cutting boards with cooked meat that were used with raw meat.
- Healthy travel- If you’re planning a trip, make sure you consult your doctor once, for, if your body needs some immunisations and vaccines before you make any travel. Consult your doctor at least 3 months or as early as possible about your journey and ask him about the precautions you have to take during your visit to the place.
When choosing packaged foods, it’s important to read the labels. This can be time consuming but worth it. To save time, try focusing specifically on foods low in sugar, low in salt and high in protein. Stay away from anything containing high fructose corn syrup which is an unnecessary sugar additive. Why do we even need sugar in bread? Foods with the fewest ingredients are best. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, chances are it’s not good for you.
Marketing techniques labeling foods as Lite, gluten free, healthy or wheat may not always be the healthiest choice. As an educated consumer you should know the difference. Many so called “wheat” products may not be whole grain or made from whole wheat. The first ingredient should be whole wheat flour. Wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, multigrain, enriched, and stone-ground wheat flour are alternative ways of saying “refined white flour.”
To save you some time in the grocery store, I’ve compiled a list of packaged healthy foods that can also save you money. Here are 6 packaged foods that I recommend:
1. Canned beans. Opt for the low salt version if you can. Always rinse the beans thoroughly to wash away any unnecessary salt. Try to avoid beans with sauce or refried beans that tend to be high in sodium.
2. vegetables. Plain vegetables without sauces and added salt are a healthy and delicious addition to any meal. Steamables are a great choice when you’re in a hurry or just too tired to cook. They are quick and easy and leave you with little clean up. They can be more expensive, so stock up when they’re on sale. I’ve found them on sale for as little or close to $1 a bag.
3. Frozen berries. Not only are they delicious, but can really save you money. Especially in the winter when berries are out of season and more expensive. Try mixing them in plain Greek yogurt. Or serving them with pancakes or French toast. It makes a natural sweet sauce. Sometimes we thaw them in the microwave, making them a little warm to pour over our pancakes. Try topping them with a dollop of Greek yogurt too. It gives it a taste that’s almost like a crepe.
4. Nut butter. If the ingredient says almonds, you have a winner. It takes some time to stir, but if you store it in the refrigerator, you shouldn’t have to stir it again.
5. Low sugar cereals. Ideally cereals should have less than 6 grams of sugar. Opt for whole grain cereal such as toasted oats and muesli. Unsweetened instant oatmeal can be thrown in the microwave for a quick & healthy breakfast.
6. Canned Tuna fish. Packed in water. This is a quick and inexpensive source of protein. I pack my tuna salad with lots of vegetables like onions, celery, carrots, vinegar, pepper and olive oil mayonnaise (it tastes just like the real thing without adding as much fat and calories).
When choosing pre-packaged foods just remember, marketing can be deceptive. The fewer ingredients, the more natural the product. Look for whole wheat flour as a first ingredient when selecting whole grain foods. Try to stay away from processed foods that are high in sodium, sugar or contain high fructose corn syrup.