As the mercury touches new heights every day, we're all starting to miss the winters already and hoping to escape to hill stations to get some respite. It's just the start of the summer season, but we're sure the heat has already started taking a toll on you. Indian summers are especially intense if you happen to be living in a metro city or a highly polluted area. From taking small measures like covering your face and limbs before stepping out to making changes in your diet and lifestyle, it's important that you make sure to keep your body protected against the heat. One of the most common symptoms of heat stroke is fatigue and sluggishness. Excessive heat tends to generate heat in the body as well and causes a number of digestion problems.
This is why you suffer from lethargy and stomach problems during summers. Thankfully, there are a number of desi remedies for low energy during summers, in the form of foods and drinks, which you can add to your daily diet. Consume these summer foods and drinks daily, to stay energised throughout the day, especially if you have to spend a lot of time outdoors.
Add the following desi foods and drinks to your diet to keep energy levels high during summers:
1. Buttermilk (Chhas/Lassi) or Curd
Apart from keeping you cool from inside and keeping digestive problems at bay, buttermilk or curd can also help keep you energised during summers. Lassi or sweetened buttermilk served with a dollop of white butter is especially useful in recharging your body during summers. Chhas or salted and spiced buttermilk contains rock salt, roasted cumin seeds and coriander or mint leaves, which can all help keep your energy levels up.
2. Nariyal Paani (Coconut Water)
A lot of people prefer to drink the water from one whole nariyal or coconut daily during summers. This is because coconut water is rich in beneficial electrolytes as well as important minerals like sodium and potassium to recharge the body and keep it energised.
3. Tarbooz (Watermelon)
Whether you like eating ripe and chilled watermelon as is, or love making juices, sorbets or maragritas out of it, this fruit can help you stay cool and healthy during summers. Watermelon is even known to boost athletic performance and fasten muscle recovery if consumed before a workout. The performance boosting benefits of watermelon or tarbooz are due to the presence of amino acid L-citrulline.
4. Ganna (Sugarcane) or Ganne Ka Juice
Ganna or sugarcane functions as an instant energy booster. If may juice it or simply chop it, peel it and chew on the fibrous inner flesh of the plant. Chewing on sugarcane releases the natural sugary sweet essence, which gives your body an instant boost of energy.
If you feel that the levels of your body's energy are persistently low and not enough to even perform small everyday tasks, you may want to consult a doctor and get a full diagnosis.
Immunity in Ayurveda is linked to good digestion, a balanced endocrine system, proper functioning of the liver and a strong agni or metabolism. It's also strongly connected to a subtle essence known as ojas, which means vigor. According to Ayurveda, the strength of your ojas has a bearing on the influences and factors (both external and internal), which cause you to suffer from any health problem. By protecting your ojas, you boost your body's immune system and protect you from every external or internal harms.
There are times when the protection of this subtle essence becomes vital and these are:
Period of recuperation
Period between seasons
Cold and flu period
Times of rejuvenation
Drastic change in your routine
Major life changes like having a baby or divorce
How to go about protecting your ojas and boosting your immunity levels?
When it comes to boosting your immunity and fortifying your ojas through diet, garlic is a very useful food. It provides natural support to your body's immune system by kindling your agni, eliminates destroys natural toxins, ensures your body temperature is at an optimal level, improves the functioning of the lungs and as well as removes excess kapha (one of the three energies or doshas) from your body.
The adoption of certain fruitful Ayurvedic therapies such as yoga, pranayama and meditation can help in supporting the quality of your ojas, thereby improving your immunity. Although these practices come with diverse benefits, all of them aid in cultivating presence, clearing up your nadis (channels in the body), relieve stress and digest ama (toxins).
There are also certain herbs that are known to support your immune system and encourage proper function of the immune system. Herbs like Ashwaganda, guduchi, neem and holy basil ensures a balanced immune system, rendering you with an optimal health.
Yoga has been touted amongst the best and the most effective, time-tested and natural ways to eliminate various diseases and problems with the body as well as the mind. It is an antiquated craftsmanship that strengthens the body as well as relaxes the brain with the right dose of mindfulness as well. Yoga tends to stimulate the nervous system and the endocrine, digestive and circulatory systems and improves the functioning of the same.
The postures mentioned below affect at least one of these systems, thereby clearing the path for a strong immune system. These postures are as follows:
Shishuasana (child posture): Shishuasana is a phenomenal stance that de-congests the abdomen and constructs a superior and stronger immune system.
Setu Bandhasana (bridge posture): Setu Bandhasana opens the heart and enhances the blood flow. It increases the energy in the body to build a strong resistance against pathogens.
Halasana (plow posture): Halasana is a pose that requires a backward bend. It discharges white cells in the body and strengthens the immune system.
Bhujangasana (cobra posture): Bhujangasana is a mid-section opening posture which discharges white cells that enhance the body’s resistance.
Dhanurasana (bow posture): Dhanurasana is yet other posture that enhances the flow of white cells by putting weight on the working of the digestive system.
Matsyasana (fish posture): Matsyasana stretches the abdomen and chest and strengthens the thymus. This enhances the body's invulnerability level.
Vinyasa Adho Mukha Svanasana (flowing downward facing dog pose): Begin with the plank pose, palms lying on the floor just underneath your shoulder and extend the legs backwards. The whole body should form a straight line like a board. Taking a full breath, lift your hips off the floor. Hold yourself on the hands and heels. Your head needs to point towards the ground. Take full breaths, two or three times, as you hold the position. Breathe out a deep breath, relax and return to the plank posture. Gradually bring down your body. Slide your hands backwards, allowing your palms to rest alongside the chest. Toes need to be in contact with the mat or the floor.
Yoga is a holistic routine that strengthens the body physically and also mentally. Subsequently, the body’s immune system additionally enhances in such a condition. A sound life can be effortlessly accomplished if we figure out how to embrace a healthier way of life, healthy food decisions, and standard routines of yoga and meditation. Ayurveda, yoga and meditation are the perfect variables to carry on with a sound life.
Yoga is not an alternative option to medicines. It is a careful step to keep infections under control. Along these lines, one need not sit tight waiting for the seasonal flu to affect the body because it can be cured effortlessly with yoga.
Most of us have been causing tremendous harm to our immune system with our daily habits. Day in and day out, we have potentially risked our lives by being so casual with our health choices. But still, is it possible to leverage some of this burden and thus, make our immune system stronger? What if we incorporate some healthy habits into our daily regime? What if we improvise on our diet? Take certain additional vitamin supplements perhaps? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of achieving a near-perfect immune system?
What exactly is the Immune System?
The immune system in layman language can be considered as a protective cover of the human health system. We are surrounded by millions of pathogens (disease-causing germs) that have the ability to enter into the body and cause damage to it. Our immune system, in reality, is the body’s natural shield against these pathogens.
How can you boost your Immunity?
You definitely cannot evade all the pathogens and get a top-notch, impeccable immune system, but you can at least try and listen to what your body has to say and take steps accordingly.
The first and foremost protective measure can be to follow certain general good-health guidelines.
1. Do not smoke. There can be no compromise on this issue. Smoking or consuming tobacco in any form brings about a host of health complications; the most pronounced of them all is probably cancer. Smoking, in more ways than one, can spell real trouble for your immune system. So better cut down on your puffs or gear up to face the various medical banes of smoking.
2. Eat a diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in saturated fat. Some examples may include citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables such as spinach or lettuce, yoghurt, almonds and lean meat. Sipping on green tea thrice a day is a wise choice in this regard. These measures strengthen the immune system to a great extent.
3. Drink plenty of water. Water keeps the body hydrated, the ultimate prerequisite for a strong immune system. It helps to flush out all the toxins and ensures that the cells get the optimum levels of oxygen. Drinking a glass of lukewarm water mixed with honey and lemon on an empty stomach after getting up in the morning can prove to be one of the best health choices that you can make for your body.
4. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption causes dehydration and it can deprive your body of the valuable immunity-boosting nutrients. It also impairs the body’s ability to fight off germs and infections.
5. Get adequate sleep. One reason behind stressing on the need to get adequate sleep is because it’s so closely linked to the immune system. While you sleep, the body secretes certain hormones and substances which help better fight infections and diseases. This makes these hormones so vital and indispensable at the same time. So, now you know what wonders can those 8 hours of sleep do to you.
6. Exercise Regularly. If you're looking for a safe and smart way to boost your immunity, regular exercise is the answer to it. But we are not talking about being an ardent, hard-core gym-junkie; rather exercising in moderate amounts would suffice. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking or swimming, performed 30-45 minutes a day, can prove to be very beneficial.
Including good hygiene habits in your daily routine, such as washing your hands properly, bathing and brushing your teeth daily, etc. can be useful as well. Good sanitary habits can be the most basic way to ward off infections at the germination stage. Keep a hand sanitizer with you all the time.
Thyme herb belongs to the mint family. Apart from being a staple culinary ingredient, it is getting fast recognition for its medicinal benefits. Here are 13 topmost benefits of thyme -
1. Fights acne: When thyme is soaked in alcohol for several days, it turns tincture and attains antibacterial properties for fighting acne.
2. Lowers blood pressure: If thyme can be replaced with salt in foods, it will work effectively in lowering the heart rate.
3. Controls cough: Thyme oil mixed with ivy leaves is a wonderful natural remedy for cough, cold and even acute bronchitis.
4. Boosts immunity: Thyme comes loaded with nutrients like vitamin A, C, Manganese, Copper, Iron and fiber to help build body's immunity.
5. Helps in controlling pests: Thyme is added as a primary ingredient in many pesticides for controlling pests, virus and bacteria. Rub thyme leaves on your arms and legs and you will be safe from mosquito bites.
6. Improves mood: Thyme essential oil contains a substance called 'carvacrol'. This substance helps thyme in being used as an aromatic agent that renders many therapeutic uses.
7. Protects from cancer: Thyme extracts render protective effect on organs like colon and breast from cancer.
8. Treats yeast infection: Thyme essential oil can be applied over yeast infected areas (vagina and mouth) for quick relief.
9. Cures rheumatism: The diuretic properties of thyme oil can help in removal of toxins, which consequently improves the circulation and can cure rheumatism.
10. Strengthens cardiac muscles: Thyme has anti-spasmodic properties that make it eligible to be used for regulating the functioning of heart valves. It relieves heart from stress by smoothening veins and arteries.
11. Can help treat gas: Thyme is an effective carminative agent and can easily push gas downward for removal.
12. Uplifts low blood pressure: Thyme is a boon for those who often have plummeting blood pressure to save them from the sluggish lifestyle.
13. Kills virus: Thyme, in its various forms, holds immense antiviral potential and prevents the entry of the virus into the cell.