Covid-19 or coronavirus has been formally asserted as a pandemic by the World Health Organization(WHO). And while countries are tackling the imminent danger that the virus poses to humankind, there are few important steps individuals can take to combat this pandemic.
It is important to mention hygiene standards such as frequent hand washing, especially if you have traveled by public transport. If you are traveling to disinfect your hands with alcohol disinfectants, wear a mask (cover your nose and mouth) and avoid touching your hands or mouth. There are also specific ways to improve your immunity, which is most important at this point.
Here are ways to make sure your immune system has everything you need to function optimally, and why you shouldn’t rely on supplements to boost your immune system.
Get enough sleep
Sleep certainly doesn’t feel like an active process, but when you’re not awake, there’s a lot of important activity happening in your body, even if you don’t recognize it. For example, molecules that fight important infections are created while you sleep.
Studies have proved that folks who don’t get enough sleep are more expected to get ill after being exposed to a virus, such as the virus that causes the common cold. To give your immune system the best chance to fight illnesses and infections, it is essential to know the amount of sleep you should get and what to do if you are suffering from sleep.
Water performs many important functions in your body, including supporting your immune system. The body fluids of the circulatory system, called lymph, carry important immune cells that fight infection around the body, most of which are made up of water. Dehydration slows the movement of lymph and can damage the immune system.
Even if you are not exercising or sweating, you are constantly losing water not only by breathing, but also by urine and defecation. Make sure you are replacing the water you lost with water you can use to help support your immune system.
Physical activity isn’t just about building muscle and relieving stress. It is healthy and an important part of supporting a healthy immune system.
One way exercise improves immune function is to promote overall circulation and make it easier for immune cells and other infectious disease-fighting molecules to move throughout the body.
In fact, studies have shown that moderate to strenuous exercise for about 30 minutes each day stimulates the immune system. This means that it is important to stay active and focus on regular exercise.
Whether stress develops rapidly or increases over time, it is important to understand how stress affects your health. This includes the effects of stress on the immune system. During times of stress, especially during frequent and long-lasting chronic stress, your body responds by initiating a stress response. This stress response increases the likelihood of infection or illness and suppresses the immune system.
Stress varies from person to person, and so does how we relieve stress. Given the impact it has on your health, it is important to know how to identify stress. And whether it’s deep breathing, mediation, prayer, or exercise, you should also be familiar with activities that help you reduce stress.
Improve your diet
The food you consume plays an crucial role in deciding your overall health and immunity. Eat a Low-Carb Diet as this helps control high blood sugar and pressure. A low-carb diet helps delay diabetes, focus on a protein-rich diet, and keep you fit. Also, regularly consume vegetables and fruits that are rich in beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, and other essential vitamins.
If you can’t go out to buy groceries when you’re at a social distance, you can also eat supplements rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in daily doses. Innate immune supplements include ginger, gooseberry (amla), and turmeric. Some of these are common ingredients in Indian food and snacks.
There are several Herbs that help boost immunity, such as garlic, basel leaves, and black cumin. Certain seeds and nuts, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and melon seeds, are the best sources of protein and vitamin E.
Probiotics such as yogurt, Yakult, and fermented foods are also excellent sources for activating the composition of gut microbiota, which is important for the body’s absorption of nutrients. These are also suitable options for older generations.
Foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can give them an edge over harmful pathogens.
The Antioxidants in these foods help in decreasing inflammation by fighting free radicals (unstable compounds). Free radicals can cause inflammation when accumulated at high levels in the body.
Chronic Inflammation is associated with a variety of health conditions, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers.
Vegetable food fiber, on the other hand, nourishes the intestinal flora, or a community of healthy bacteria in the intestine. The robust gut flora helps boost immunity and prevent harmful pathogens from entering the body through the digestive tract.
In addition, fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, which can shorten the duration of colds.
Supplements and foods that boost immunity
All the above suggested tips will definitely benefit, but the need for an hour is a quick boost to your immune system to help keep fighting health. If you’re worried about getting the right amount of nutrients from your diet, talk to your doctor about supplements to strengthen your immune system. Here are some super foods that can benefit you.
This particular vitamin is an important participant in the immune army. Helps prevent colds. It acts as a powerful antioxidant and protects against damage caused by oxidative stress. For severe infections, including Sepsis and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), intravenous administration of high doses of vitamin C has been shown to significantly improve patient symptoms.
Vitamin D have a moderately shielding effect against respiratory tract infections. Most people are deficient in vitamin D, so it is advisable to consult your doctor about taking vitamin D supplements to boost your immune response.
Zinc is an essential component of WBC (white blood cells) that fight infections. Zinc deficiency is often predisposed to influenza, colds, and other viral infections. Zinc supplements are recommended, especially for the elderly.
Elderberries are rich in minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, iron and copper, vitamins such as vitamins A, B and C, and nutrients such as protein and dietary fiber. Niwatoko has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help fight colds and the flu.
Turmeric and garlic
Turmeric, a bright yellow spice, contains a compound called curcumin that boosts immune function.
Garlic has strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that boost the body’s immunity system.
The Ministry of Health of India proposes some organic and natural ways to practice as a precautionary measure to fight COVID-19, besides maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking supplements.
The Ministry of AYUSH recommends the following self-care guidelines as a precautionary measure and to boost immunity, especially in relation to respiratory health:
- Drink hot water all day long.
- Practice meditation, yogasana and pranayama.
- Start Increasing the consumption of turmeric, cumin, coriander and garlic.
- Take herbal tea or decoction of holy basil, cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger and raisins.
- Avoid sugar and replace with jaguar if necessary.
- Apply clarified butter (ghee), sesame or coconut oil to both nostrils to keep them clean.
- Inhale vapor with mint leaves and caraway seeds.
- The fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is being fought by healthcare professionals, but by staying indoors, staying socially distant, eating healthy, hydrating, and following basic hygiene protocols. You can do even a little by limiting your exposure to the virus.
Today you can make several lifestyle and diet changes to strengthen your immune system.
These include exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, reducing sugar intake, staying hydrated, and managing your stress levels.
It is to be noted that although none of these suggestions can avert COVID-19, they can improve your body’s capability to fight against harmful pathogens.