Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

Children are as vulnerable as they are adorable. Their immune system is not as strong as that of adults, so they are easy victims to environment borne diseases like cold, cough, influenzas and other infections. Here are 5 practical and easy ways in which you can boost your child's immunity and make sure that your role as a parent is sufficiently fulfilled.

1. Decide judiciously what he is supposed to eat and drink

Your child's daily diet must contain a lot of fruits, vegetables, juices, organic foods and proteins. Healthy fats like butter, pastured eggs, coconut etc. Are also essential as they help in absorbing important vitamins like vitamins a, d, e, k and others. Even your child's water intake should be at an optimal level. Processed food and excessive sugar intake should be avoided as they add to your child's calorie count.

2. Get your child to exercise

Regular exercise is a must. It may include running, swimming, jumping or simply strolling. Screen time should be limited as much as possible as those video games and i-pads are robbing your child of his immunity. Make sure your child spends a few hours outside in the sun so as to absorb vitamin d that is obtained from sunlight, for his immunity.

3. Ensure a clean and hygienic environment for your child

You must make sure that that your child learns to keep himself clean. Teach him to wash his hands whenever necessary and tell him not to sneeze and cough in a way that spreads germs. Maintain a clean and healthy environment in and around your home but make sure that you don't shoo away the good bacteria that prevent diseases.

4. Cut down the stress levels of your child

It is very important for you to recognise and eliminate stress from your child's life to ensure immunity for him. Do not force your will upon your child and let him follow his heart. Help him relax if he is stressed and talk to him patiently about things that are worrying him. Maintain a healthy and loving environment in your family to help your child grow.

5. Ensure you child gets adequate rest

Make sure that your child gets adequate amount of comfortable sleep. It is important for you to make your child understand the benefits of sleeping early. This not only increases his/her immunity but also helps him/her to stay attentive and focussed.

Yoga has been touted amongst the best and most effective, time tested and natural way 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 improve 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.

Monsoons are in full swing, and therefore, now is the time for you to load up on healthy food to shield your body from infections and diseases. The rainy season exposes you to many different kinds of diseases and a proactive approach may go a long way in preventing you from falling prey to them. There are a number of dietary and lifestyle changes that you can make, in order to boost your immune system and keep diseases at bay. For one, you should at least minimise consumption of roadside eatables or street foods, if you cannot completely do away with it. Another way to boost immunity during the rainy season is to stay hydrated and reduce consumption of sugary and fried foods, as these directly impact your immunity.

It's also important to get enough sleep and eat nutrient-rich foods during monsoons, in order to stay healthy. While all of us are more or less familiar with immunity-boosting foods, there are some lesser known and quick DIY health drinks or tonics, which you can easily make at home to fight monsoon infections naturally. These tonics are very easy to make, require minimum ingredients and are ready within a few minutes. Keep these tonics handy and consume them regularly during the rainy season, in order to sail easily through the flu season.

Here are 5 immunity-boosting tonics that may reduce your chances of falling ill during the monsoons:

1. Ginger Tea

Ginger is one of the best spices to include in your diet during monsoons. The root spice has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Ginger tea is one of the best home remedies for upset stomach and can also go a long way in boosting immunity. All you need to do for making ginger tea is take three cups of water in a deep-bottomed pan and add freshly chopped ginger to it. Bring the water to a boil and then add tea leaves and honey to it. Finish the tea off with a little bit of lemon juice, which adds the immunity-boosting powers of vitamin C to it and voila! Ginger tea is ready within minutes and is a soothing monsoon concoction.

2. Turmeric And Black Pepper Tea

Another root spice from the East that is fast taking over the culinary world around the globe is turmeric. The magical spice present in every Indian household has potent antioxidant properties, all thanks to the presence of curcumin. It is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal in nature and can guard against infections when consumed or applied topically. We can turn this magical spice into turmeric tea for the rainy season by simply adding a teaspoon full of turmeric powder to your black tea. Add black pepper and honey to your tea to enhance its infection-fighting abilities.

3. Garlic And Honey

The idea of having raw garlic with honey isn't very appetising, but it surely works. This tonic works both during the rainy season and winters by significantly boosting your immunity. Garlic and honey are both immunity-boosting foods that you should anyway be adding to your monsoon diet. But, consuming this concoction everyday may prevent diseases more effectively. All you need to do is peel some garlic cloves, crush them with the flat side of the knife and place them in a glass jar. Cover them with raw, organic honey and let the jar sit for a few days to let the two foods get infused. Refrigerate the jar for consumption during the monsoon months.

4. Cinnamon And Honey

Honey and cinnamon have multiple benefits, from curing constipation to combating allergies and even regulating blood sugar levels. The brilliant combination should be consumed during monsoon especially, as it can prevent infections and keep you from falling sick. This concoction can also help in natural detoxification of the body, if consumed first thing in the morning. To make this immunity-boosting tonic, take some cinnamon-infused water and add a teaspoon of raw organic honey to it. You can make cinnamon water by simply seeping cinnamon sticks in lukewarm water.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar And Cinnamon

Apple cider vinegar has a number of health benefits, including revving up the immune system and strengthening it to fight infections. To make this immunity-boosting monsoon tonic, you need raw and unpasteurised apple cider vinegar, as it contains live cultures or good bacteria, which keep your gut healthy. Take some apple cider vinegar in a glass and add some cinnamon powder, lukewarm water and cinnamon sticks to it. Stir the mixture well and drink it to reap its benefits.

Note: Do not consume apple cider vinegar as is because the high acidic content in it can irritate your oesophagus.

So, now you know! If you suffer from a chronic illness or allergy and feel like any of the above drinks may be unhealthy for you, it is advisable to consult your physician or a certified dietitian before adding these to your diet.

Catching a cold once in a while is nothing to worry about, but needing to take sick leave every few weeks is a sign of low immunity. Immunity can be defined as our ability to fight infections. By eating right and making a few lifestyle changes, you can easily strengthen your immune system and lower your risk of catching infections. On that note, here are 10 ways to strengthen your immune system.

Eat a balanced meal: Along with fruits and vegetables, your body also requires carbohydrates and proteins. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar levels stable and allows your body to prioritize building your immune system over generating energy to perform normal tasks.

Drink plenty of water: When you’re ill, fluids help transport nutrients to the infected area and flush out toxins from the same. Hence, it is important to stay hydrated in order to recover faster from an illness and to build your immune system.

Probiotics: 80% of your immune system is located in the gut. Probiotics help the body produce more healthy gut bacteria. Thus, probiotics directly boost the immune system.

A good night’s sleep: Ideally, a person should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep on a daily basis. While we are asleep, the body produces cytokines ad antibodies that are vital to a strong immune system. Depriving the body of this sleep can thus make us more susceptible to infections.

Get some sun: While we put a lot of effort into protecting ourselves from the harmful UV rays of the sun, sunlight is also a rich source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps protect us from a number of serious illnesses. Apart from sunlight we can also get vitamin D by adding cod liver oil, egg yolks and fatty fish to our diet.

Quit sugar: Sugar is an immunosuppressant and hence cutting out added sugar from your diet can have a drastic effect on your immunity. Added sugar refers only to refined sugar in cubed, crystal or powdered form and not the natural sweetners in fruits.

Exercise: Regular exercise improves blood circulation and boosts the production of antibodies. A healthy circulatory system combined with antibodies enables your body to fight infections in any part of your body.

Avoid tobacco and alcohol: Alcohol impairs the immune system and tobacco smoke weakens the body’s basic immune system. This holds true for both first hand and second hand smoke.

Reduce stress: Stress increases the production of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol suppresses the immune system and thus makes us more susceptible to illnesses.

Prevent germs from spreading: Lastly, make simple things like washing your hands before eating and after coming home or using the toilet a habit. This prevents germs from spreading and entering our bodies.

National Institute of Nutrition in India (NIN), recently released a report on its foundation day, in which it was revealed that your gender will define whether or not are you at risk of suffering from hypertension. It was mentioned in the report that 31% men and 26% women in urban localities of India suffer from hypertension. The report also indicated that whatever you eat has a crucial impact on preventing and controlling hypertension and one such superfood is Lemon. It is helpful in lowering your blood pressure, as it can make blood vessel soft and flexible.

Ask any health conscious person for health hacks and one of the first things they would share with you is to begin the day with a glass of warm lime water. Those of you who have tried this are well aware of its benefits and in case, you haven't tried it so far and are wondering as to what this magical potion can do read on to know more.

Digestive benefits: The food that we eat passes through the food pipe. When we wake up after a good night's sleep there could be remnants of food along the food pipe, and drinking warm water flushes out this and renders the food pipe clean for today’s meal. Warm water also helps in removing the oiliness, which is quite likely due to your present food habits.

Improves immunity: The vitamin C and potassium in the lemon work wonders for the immunity. Also, because it is consumed on an empty stomach, the absorption is better and so the body derives the complete benefit.

Weight loss aid: Touted as one of the best weight loss aids, hot lime water boosts metabolism and allows the body to burn fat, thereby, helping in weight control. Combined with other weight loss measures, it definitely can help you lose weight.

Glowing skin: The vitamin C in the lime is essential for collagen formation, thus helps in keeping your skin healthy and radiant. Also, hydration is one of the key skin care essentials, and drinking warm water in the morning flushes out toxins and keeps your skin glowing and clear.

Lively liver: The liver is the center of metabolism and drinking warm water in the morning helps keep the liver clean. The liver is active through the night and so drinking warm water in the morning helps restore its energy. This, in turn, boosts the flow of lymph and bile in the body.

Promotes healing: For those who have had injuries, vitamin C present in the lemon helps with the production of collagen and aid in wound healing. It improves connective tissue formation including cartilage and bones.

Mood enhancer: The smell of lemon juice is known to uplift your mood and so it is an interesting way to start your day. It also reduces anxiety and depression and can clear your mind of confusion.

pH balance: The ascorbic and citric acid in the lime are easily digested and the result is an alkaline environment. Body diseases occur when the body pH is acidic. By keeping the environment alkaline, lime reduces the overall chance of body illness.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

Dr. Pratibha Labade
Dr. Pratibha Labade
BAMS, Ayurveda Immuno Dermatologist, 19 yrs, Pune
Dr. Suhas Shingte
Dr. Suhas Shingte
BAMS, Family Physician General Physician, 18 yrs, Pune
Dr. Devyani S. Ahire
Dr. Devyani S. Ahire
BDS, Dentist, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Aniket Amrutkar
Dr. Aniket Amrutkar
BAMS, Family Physician Physician, 8 yrs, Pune
Dr. Abhijit Sangule
Dr. Abhijit Sangule
BDS, Dentist, 8 yrs, Pune