Fasting is the practice of refraining from consuming food for a stretch of time. Many people practice Fasting as a religious obligation. However, with the rise of awareness of the health benefit of Fasting, a newfound popularity of ‘Intermittent Fasting’ has also gained traction. No matter which form of Fasting you choose to adopt, you want to ensure that your immunity does not take a hit due to restricted intake of food. This is why today we will discuss how you can boost your immunity while Fasting.
First, let’s understand immunity:
What is Immunity?
Immunity refers to the body’s ability to prevent the impact of attack from bacteria and viruses that people are exposed to every day. An immune response is the body’s defense system to fight against these external attacks and to protect the body. However, you body can only continue to work in this manner, if it has the right amount of building blocks to support the immunity.
What are the signs of a weak immune system?
The most common signs and symptoms of a potentially weakened immune system include:
- Constant cold:
If you experience two-to-three colds per year, that is normal. However, if you find that you’re catching colds frequently, it could be a sign that your immune system could use some help.
- Frequent infections:
Historically, individuals with a weak immune system tend to get pneumonia, bronchitis, and meningitis, among other infections often.
- Fatigue or exhaustion:
If you often feel fatigued and struggle to have energy for simple activities, your immune system may be compromised. This is because sleep and the immune system have a close relationship. Consistent sleep can strengthen the immune system.
- Increased stress levels.
Research shows that stress can have a negative impact on our immune system. This is because stress lowers our lymphocyte levels, making it harder for our body to fight off infection.
- Digestive issues.
Suffering from diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramping, and even constipation could be a sign that your immune system isn’t working properly.
What causes low immunity?
While there might be medical reasons to lower a person’s immunity, there are also some common factors, which can impact the immunity of a healthy person while fasting.
One of the key aspects in Fasting is limiting intake of food, which can immediately impact the nutrients that the body receives. To tackle this part of immunity building, focus on eating a healthy balanced diet.
Research shows more and more that focusing on just one kind of food can be detrimental to health. Thus, diets, which are protein or fat focused, are not providing your body with the right nutrients for immunity building. Instead, adopt meal-prep practices and eat a good balance of greens, carbs, proteins, legumes and fat. This will allow the body to support its immunity mechanism.
2. High Stress Levels
We talked already of how one sign of weak immunity are high stress levels. It works the other way around as well. If your stress levels are high, that can cause your immunity to weaken. Have you noticed how when you have a personal or professionally stressful weak, you think you might be coming down with flu. This is a sign that stress is weakening your immunity.
When you are Fasting, as you are already limiting food, this can cause your stress levels to be elevated. This is why you need to focus on good eating habits.
Best practice for dealing with stress is to learn how to balance personal life and office. Read books on Stress Management. Also, adapting exercises for stress-control work well in supporting your immunity.
3. Insufficient Sleep
Many people have adapted the ‘Netflix & Chill’ ideology by trading their sleep time to binge-watch shows and movies. This was indeed a coping mechanism during the pandemic; however, it does have a lasting impact.
The human body relies on sleep to get the rest that the body needs to rejuvenate and to recharge for the next day ahead. When the body is deprived of sleep consistently, the immunity system also takes a hit.
Also, while Fasting many people feel tiered due to not getting their usual sleep. This is why a good idea is to incorporate naps in your day, when possible.
Maintaining a sleep schedule may sound childish to some. However, more and more research shows that people who maintain their bedtime tend to lead healthier and longer lives.
Boost your Immunity
Now that we have established that different practices can impact your immunity, let us now focus on boosting your immunity. Here are some good practices:
- Treat your body as work in progress at all times. Treat it with care and respect, as it will carry you throughout your life. What that implies is that you pay attention to what you put in your body as well as how far you want to push it.
- Read up on meal preparations and plan out what you would like to feed your body in the coming week. This would not only be budget friendly, but also help you control what you put in your body.
- The food pyramid keeps evolving. However, it is a good benchmark to use when planning meals and ensuring that all nutrients are included in your diet.
- Incorporate high quality supplements in your diet, to fill any nutritional gaps. I recommend the Greeniche Multivitamins for this reason.
- Consider visiting a reputable Naturopath and review your current blood work. The Naturopath can advise you on specific supplements to include in your diet.
- If you want to boost your immunity against cold and flu, include high quality Vitamin C in your diet. The Greeniche Time Release Vitamin C is key in providing immune system support.
- If you are looking for a year-around supplement to include in your diet, then the Greeniche Immunity Support is the best choice.
Just because you are fasting, does not mean you have to compromise on your body’s immunity building. Let me know which of the tips you will incorporate while you fast?
Qurrat Izzat, writes about mental and physical well being on her blog Quezzlifestyle. She has studied Nutrition, Psychology, Business and Marketing. However, it’s the years of trial and error, and multiple successes using her knowledge to overcome weight concerns, fertility issues, immigration, job- loss, parenting and mental health, that has fired her passion to write for Greeniche.com