The topic of Dabur Chyawanprash blogging contest- ' Building Immune India ' is so pertinent and necessary in today's context. Our fathers and forefathers brought us up as close to the nature as possible; when the air was much cleaner , the water was more potable and the environment was much healthier. They handed us a future that looked rosy , full of material comforts and with immense possibilities. In the mad rush of growth, fueled by industrialization , urbanization and rampant use of machines we have contaminated our surroundings to such an extent that neither the present is healthier nor the future looks any better. In this scenario the concern is how do we ensure that our children grow in a safe and robust environment that helps them develop a strong foundation and a body that is build on a strong immune system.
So first let's understand is simple terms what immunity is. Definition from Wikipedia tells me that "In biology, immunity is the state of having sufficient biological defences to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion. It is the capability of the body to resist harmful microbes from entering it. Immunity involves both specific and non-specific components. The non-specific components act either as barriers or as eliminators of wide range of pathogens irrespective of antigenic specificity. Other components of the immune system adapt themselves to each new disease encountered and are able to generate pathogen-specific immunity."
From my basic knowledge of biology and human body i know a fact that people are born with some inherent immunity and rest is acquired naturally or artificially. So when the defense can be build against the ailments , germs, infections and allergies we have a task cut out for our children. What can we as parents do to make them stronger and prepare their bodies to fight these external malicious agents / antibodies ??
I can broadly divide the areas of concentration in the following:
1. Rich Nourishment - This will involve intake of vegetables , fruits , whole grains that are good source of vitamins , minerals , protein , fiber , carbohydrates and antioxidants. Kids have to eat in small and frequent portions a diet that balances intake of the above mentioned components. Milk Products , Lean meat , Poultry Products , Cereals , Nuts , Fresh fruits and Vegetables are good source of rich nourishment. What is important is everything that is consumed fresh has to be thoroughly washed to eliminate pesticides and chemicals( Read Times of India article mentioned below). There are plenty of health supplements like Chyawanprash , Honey , Horlicks , Bournvita etc available in the market that also aid in growth of children and improving immunity in them.
From the website of Dabur i have gathered this information :
Dabur Chyawanprash has a number of herbs like – Amla known to be one of the best antioxidants, Giloy (Guduchi) known to have immuno-modulatory properties and has many other natural ingredients which helps to boost immunity. Dabur Chyawanprash increases NK cells (Natural Killer Cells) which are an essential part of our body’s immune system and fights germs, bacteria and infections by 3 times hence increasing our immunity by 3 times. Thus Dabur Chyawanprash helps us in fighting against germs, viruses and helps protect against infections, making us free to take on the outdoors, unhygienic surroundings, weather changes, pollution etc.
|TOI Article on Pesticides in Vegetables|
Plates loaded with pesticides: Survey shows fruit, vegetables are high on chemical content - Report published in Times of India on Nov 8th , 2013
3. Physical activity and Exercises- In today's times kids are spending more and more time indoors watching television , surfing internet , playing video games etc. , moreover the stress on studies has also grown manifolds. Lack of physical activity is hampering their growth and again reducing the fighting ability of their white blood cells. Children have to be not only encouraged for outdoor activities but also accompanied frequently for games , picnics , morning walks and school events. Research shows that obese kids are more prone to illness and infections as obesity depresses the production of antibodies.
4. Awareness of the surroundings - Fighting germs present in the external surroundings needs awareness about them. Healthy habits like washing hands with soap before and after meals, after coming from outside, after handling pets ,while sneezing and coughing and in general observing hygiene and cleanliness helps to reduce contact with germs that could otherwise cause infections and ailments. The waste bins , toilets , kitchen slabs , mobile phones, laptop/ desktop keyboards have germs all around them. By being aware of the fact that many a household items are good breeding grounds for germs we can keep them clean and also inform and educate our kids about them. Healthy habits and knowledge of the surroundings go a long way in securing sound health and building a very strong immune system.
5. Regular health check ups and understanding of areas for improvement - Visits to doctors should be kept at minimum unless and until it is strictly warranted . In spite of that kids should undergo regular health check ups and these could include oral and dental health , physical examination , growth measurements , vaccinations & immunizations , eye sight ,hearing and allergies etc.
If there are areas that need improvement and focused care , those should be discussed with the doctor and corrective measures to be taken.
This post is my entry for the Dabur Chyawanprash blogging contest ' Building Immune India ' hosted on Indiblogger Website.