As you cross the age of 40, your immune functions start declining. If you are leading the life of regular Mumbaikar-rushing out to work in the morning, travelling the length of Mumbai; irregular meal timings, too many meals out, partying and eating restaurant meals, drinking and leading a sedentary life style-this information should be of special interest to you.
All of us here in Mumbai are exposed to auto exhausts, pesticides, food additives, compounds emanating from cleaning products, new carpets, new constructions, open garbage, wood working chemicals to name just a few. Many of these chemicals accelerate the aging process. They enter through your lungs and poison your cells. They age your skin, attack your arteries, stress your body and stimulate the release of free radicals. Free radicals are bachelor molecules with a missing electron which promote cellular damage. These free radicals age us from within and the toxins we breathe in or swallow in through food, damage the body that passes for aging. But we don’t notice all this. Most of us don’t even think of fending off such an attack. We submit to these chemical insults that wear us down from inside and out. When this happens our immune functions deteriorate and there is decline in the number of white cells which fight off infections. Whether you are disease prone or not naturally depends upon your immunity levels. The amazing thing is that so much of this aging is needless and reversible. The good news is that much of this needless aging can be controlled and reversed by simple knowledge of nutrition and taking some vitamins and minerals. You don’t have to be complacent about being bombarded by chemicals and free radical from out and within.
Take Vitamin E Supplements
The anti-aging effects of Vitamin E are widely known. It is a super antioxidant. It helps combat free radical attacks and thus prevents cellular damage. As we grow older our arteries begin to harden and clog and cause atherosclerosis. The bad LDL cholesterol gets oxidised by free radical attacks and enters the arterial wall and forms plaques which clog the arteries. Vitamin E blocks the oxidation of the LDL bad cholesterol and thus prevents it from entering the arterial wall and prevents clogging and narrowing the arteries.
Vitamin E also helps to rev up the immunity and infection fighting capacity of the body. It prevents the fat in the body from being oxidised by free radicals. It is known to cut the risk of cancer. It can arrest the development of cataracts. Some scientists also believe that Vitamin E can heep delay loss of mental faculties that occur with progressing eye.
How much should you take?
You need a minimum dose of 100IU to get some protection against heart attacks. But a dosage of 400 IU is preferred to block LDL cholesterol oxidation. If you are hypertensive or if you are on anticoagulated drugs or if you have any type of bleeding problem, then you must check with your doctor before taking Vitamin E supplements.
Since Vitamin E is fat soluble and primarily comes from plants it is concentrated in Vegetable oils, groundnuts, almonds, soybean, wheat germ, cashewnuts, coconut etc. It is advisable to take it in the form of a pill rather than bank on natural sources because one would have to eat two cups of peanuts daily to get the RDA (Required daily allowance) for Vitamin E. The calorie value of the diet would then become unreasonably high.
Eat curds regularly
The bacteria in curd boost immune functioning. Eating curds daily increases infection fighting capacity and also provides your body with valuable calcium.
Tips to preserve Immunity
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. They contain Vitamin C necessary to boost immunity and a host of other known and unknown antioxidants which work together to prevent aging and preserve immunity.
- Take a multivitamin pill daily.
- Take antioxidants like Vitamin A, selenium, chromium, zinc, Vitamin C and E daily either in the natural form or in a pill form. Antioxidants prevent aging by nullifying free radical attacks.
- Shun foods that are easily oxidized like all fried foods, processed foods, high fat meats, cakes, etc. By feeding your cells with antioxidants you can easily slow down aging and preserve your immunity.