COVID-19 has spread to almost every state and has been declared a pandemic. If we have a strong immune system, we are able to manage the disease. If your immune system is not strong enough to battle the disease, then you should prepare yourself and start boosting and strengthening your immune system. There are ways by which you can boost your immunity and manage the disease. In this article, we will talk about your lifestyle, diet, and habits. These are the basic things that play a key role to every system of your body.
Lifestyle: Our first line of defense is to take a healthy lifestyle. These are the general good-health guidelines you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions healthier when protected from environmental attacks and boosted by healthy-living strategies such as: avoiding smoking, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, taking steps to avoid infection (such as washing your hands, wearing masks, or cooking meats thoroughly), and minimizing your stress.
Diet: A proper diet can ensure that the body is in a proper state to defeat the virus. If we talk about food, there are certain foods may help keep your immune system strong. You should increase the intake of foods that has vitamins A, C, and D, minerals like zinc, selenium, and antioxidant-rich food. Here is the list of food that you can take for this purpose.
For vitamin C, you should take:
For protein and zinc, you should take:
• Lean beef
• Dairy products
• Soy-based foods
For vitamin D, you should take:
• Fortified foods (mushrooms, milk, orange juice, tofu, soy beverages, some cereals)
• Egg yolks
For anti-oxidant rich food, you should take:
• Dark chocolate
• Sweet potatoes
• Bell peppers
Whole-foods including grains, beans, nuts, and seeds provide daily nutritional value along with sweet-tasting vegetables and leafy greens. Make it a habit to have at least 2-3 fruits every day. Seasonal fruits have a wide range of healthy antioxidants and are also full of fibers that give you the required amount of nutrition, necessary for the immune system. Apart from solid food, your body needs liquids also. So, drink herbal tea, green tea, and coffee at alternate times to give yourself some liquid energy apart from solid foods only.
Exercise: Physical activity can give your immune system a great boost in countless ways. Regular exercise increases your body’s production of antibodies and T-cells, causing them to circulate more rapidly. Plus, it helps expel toxins from your body, which can energize your cells and metabolism. Regular exercise also lowers your body’s stress hormones. Take a walk or go for a run. Just be sure to keep that 6-foot distance.
Sleep well: If you want your immune system strong, you should get enough sleep. Sleep boosts up your mind and your body, so it’s no wonder that it also boosts your immune system. How much sleep you need varies according to your age. The Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep for young adults and adults (18-64 years), and 7 to 8 hours of sleep for older adults (≥ 65 years).
Lower your stress: Worrying about the stock market, stressing about having enough toilet paper, and focusing on the doubts of the future can raise cortisol levels, which may negatively influence our immune function. We can’t make this stressful situation disappear but, we can all take measures to control our reaction to stress. Meditation, mindfulness exercises, and getting outside and going for walks are all examples of activities that are free and relatively easy to do.
Healthy habits: If you have good habits like book reading, exercise, fitness games (cricket, football), gardening, cooking, or drawing, you can make your time useful and this can improve your health, too. Clean your home and take better care of yourself. Avoid smoking because smoking harms the immune system and can make the body less successful at fighting disease. This increases the risk of several immune and autoimmune disorders. If you drink alcohol, drink it in control. Drink warm water.
Therefore, the responsibility of the people during the COVID-19 pandemic lies in making an effort to choose a healthy lifestyle, eat diets high in fruits and vegetables, exercise during free time, try to maintain a healthy weight, and get an adequate amount of sleep. In addition to taking care of one’s dietary intake, the collective responsibility of individuals is to avoid the spread of misinformation related to nutrition and dietary intake and the COVID-19. Since the outbreak, networks of social media were flooded by messages of single foods/herbs promising cure or prevention of the infection. The effects of such unfounded claims could lead to negative implications ranging from giving a false sense of protection against the infection to toxicity. We should just try to follow all-natural ways to boost our immune system so we can prevent this pandemic.