Flu season is around the corner, and viruses are getting more vicious by the year. It is time to pay attention to the health of your immune system. Ayurveda provides incredible insights on how to use food and good eating habits to keep the immune system resilient.
The first thing to understand about the Ayurvedic approach, is that it sees each person as unique - an individual product of genetics, lifestyles and age. If you find yourself generally susceptible to colds, you may need to take more care than others who are graced with a more robust system.
According to Ayurveda, your immune system is directly related to your digestion. The stronger and more efficient your digestion, the stronger and more resilient your immunity will be. Improperly digested food clogs the channels in your body, and dulls the intelligence of your individual cells which then leads to compromised immune function.
So the rule of thumb here, and especially so if you do not have a strong digestive fire, is to avoid anything that weakens your digestion. You are the only one who can listen to your own body, so tune in, pay attention, and keep your digestive system running smooth and strong.
Here are my general Ayurvedic tips for keeping your digestion and immunity healthy this winter. Please feel free adapt them to your own unique body.
1. Avoid foods that are heavy, hard to digest, and low on intelligence; such as:
· Processed, canned, frozen, and packaged foods
· Foods grown with chemicals, or laced with preservatives
· Deep fried foods
2. Avoid habits that weaken your digestion; such as:
· Eating without an appetite
· Keeping an irregular eating and sleeping schedule
· Frequent eating that does not allow for proper digestion of the previous meal
· Drinking cold drinks before or along with meals
· Eating late at night
3. Favour immune-boosting foods:
· Everything fresh, organic, easy to digest, pure and wholesome
· Good fats like ghee and coconut oil
· Cooked, warm and well spiced foods
4. Use these 4 magic immune-boosting spices:
· Ginger: Enhances digestive power and burns undigested food toxins
· Black pepper: Clears the channels so nutrition can reach the deeper tissues
· Turmeric: Has an immune-modulating effect because it is detoxifying and enhances the intelligence of the immune cells
· Cumin: Burns undigested food toxins and stuns foreign microbes