Boosting Immunity with Vitamin C and Physical Fitness
Way back in 1742, lemon juice was used to prevent scurvy among sailors who had to travel a long distance. It was in 1928 that this magic component that improved health by fighting against diseases was identified as vitamin C. Its scientific name is ascorbic acid. This wonder vitamin helps to protect our cells by fighting damage caused by free radicals.
How Does Vitamin C Function?
Vitamin C strengthens the capillaries and cell walls and plays a dominant role in the formation of collagen. It prevents bruising, quickens healing, and helps to keep ligaments, tendons, and gums strong and healthy.
The production of hemoglobin in red blood cells is aided by this vitamin which helps the body to absorb iron from the food we eat. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects us against heart disease and even cancer. If we have food rich in vitamin C, it protects us against cataracts.
Natural Sources of Vitamin C.
All citrus fruits are rich in this vitamin. In the time of coronavirus pandemic, we have been hearing a lot about making the immune system strong. Amla or gooseberry in English, ‘nellikai’ in Malayalam is a rich source of vitamin C. Just one amla a day will fight all the toxins that try to invade a healthy body.
Our ancient Ayurveda has always advocated the intake of ‘chayavanprash’ made from this wonder fruit along with jaggery and other condiments. The seed of this fruit can be removed and its flesh can be sliced and blended in a mixer with a cup of water. Add salt or sugar to taste and have this fortifying drink. This makes the body strong enough to face the strongest of enemies lurking around.
Another fruit that grows in our garden and is available throughout the year is the faithful lime. This is also a store house of vitamin C.
Studies have proved that vitamin C helps to recover wounds fast and fight free radical damage. Vitamin C is essential to build red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. Squeeze lime over your salad and it tastes divine.
When and How to Eat Fruit?
The fruit is best eaten half an hour before a meal, preferably before breakfast and lunch. The idea of a fruit juice is not as good as biting into the fruit. The goodness of the fruit is lost in trying to squeeze the juice out.
People go in for exotic fruits and spend a lot of money on these in the hope that they are being very wise and kind to their bodies. The secret is to have seasonal fruits as they contain the vitamins and minerals required by the body at that time of the year. The same goes for vegetables.
Tea or coffee should be taken in moderation with jaggery. Once a week go ahead and treat yourself to a sweet dish.
Along with food, exercise is essential. Half an hour of yoga or a fitness regime reduces stress and keeps inflammation at bay. Seven to eight hours of sleep is a must to keep the body fit to fight the onslaught of any type of infection.
It is said that ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ so you should practice it. In summers, you can bathe twice or thrice and change your clothes accordingly. Keep your surroundings clean and ensure that plastic is disposed of separately. These days the government has arranged for plastic to be collected from homes.
Preserve Our Mother Earth
Let us think of mother earth, as we are just caretakers of this earth and it is our duty to preserve this earth for future generations.
Last but not least it is of prime importance that we take one day at a time and remain calm and pleasant. Stressing ourselves will not help us in any way and will negate the effect of good nutrition.
Spend quality time with your family by sharing the tidings of the day. This brings joy and strengthens the bonding. Involve yourself in helping people who are less fortunate and believe me it brings a lot of joy.
Go for an outing, visit places and engage yourself in a hobby like playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing, etc. All these de-stress you and keep you happy. A happy person brightens the house, or workplace and spreads positivity. Be positive and strong.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Rema Vijayan