By: Dr. Shweta, Deptt. of Genetics & Plant Breeding C.S. Azad Univ. of Agril. & Tech. Kanpur & Sr. Associate Editor-ICN
COVID-19 was declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. And while the countries are grappling with imminent dangers that this virus poses to humanity, there are few key measures that individuals can take to fight this pandemic.
While it’s crucial to say hygiene standards like washing your hands frequently, especially if you’ve got travelled by public conveyance. Using an alcohol sanitizer, in case you are travelling to disinfect your hands, wearing a mask (cover your nose and mouth) and avoiding touching your hand or mouth. There are also certain methods to improve your immunity which is paramount at this juncture. Individuals in certain pre-existing illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, cardio vascular disease, and respiratory issues are at a greater risk of getting COVID-19 complications, it also aggravates with age as the general immunity reduces as you get older.
In the younger generation with no underlying illnesses, COVID-19 may result during a minor infection, provided you’ve got a strong immunity and do not engage in activities like smoking or vaping to combat the onslaught of the virus. There is recent evidence that some younger people suffer strokes after contracting the virus, but the majority of people who end up hospitalized, in intensive care or dying from COVID-19 have an underlying medical condition.
Improve Your Diet with the food you eat plays a key aspect in determining your overall health and immunity. The immune system is the first line of defense of human body against an alien microorganism entering the body like Covid – 19. Stronger our immune system, lesser would be the chance of falling ill. But then again, having a strong immune system doesn’t make us invincible. With little change in our diet and routine, we can ensure that our immune system is strong enough to protect against the virus infection like corona.
From sleeping for 8 hours , walking in the sun ,eating a balanced diet, the ways are simple but they can really be helpful if followed properly. Follow them and witness the change in our body’s strength to fight illness. For now, there are not any scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function. But that does not mean the consequences of lifestyle on the system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, hygiene, exercise, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response. General healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving the immune system an upper hand.
1.Exercise regularly : Frequent and moderate exercise helps to boost your circulation and increase immunity. Exercise helps increase a type of cells called macrophages which attack bacteria that cause upper respiratory diseases. Studies have shown that the immune system experiences physiological changes when a person exercises. The cells that promote immunity and are capable of killing both bacteria and viruses circulate through the system more rapidly. The body returns to normal within a few hours after exercising, but a regular exercise routine appears to extend periods of immunity.
2.Practicing Yoga and Pranayama : A regular practice of yoga asanas and pranayama exercises keep our good physical and mental health. Exercise in general will help to increase the functioning of the immune system by increasing the circulation of white blood cells throughout the body. Pranayama techniques that lowers anxiety and stress levels help to boost the functioning of our immune systems.
3.Intelligent foods: These foods include fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and light dairy products. If we select fresh, whole foods that are not altered by processing, then our meal is going to good in nutritional value and easily digestible. Naturally grown foods are best because not only are they free of harsh chemicals, but they also contain more minerals. Vegetarian proteins such as paneer , milk, and pulses enhance immunity.
4.Immune-boosting foods: All tree-ripened sweet, juicy fruits enhance immunity. Apples support the immune system because they contain antioxidants and both insoluble and soluble fiber, which cleanse the bowel. Pomegranate seed juice are also excellent boosters of immunity. A papaya after lunch enhances digestion and increases immunity. Leafy greens veggies provide iron, calcium and other nutrients while simultaneously cleansing the bowel. Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower contain antioxidants, flavonoids and other immune-enhancing nutrients. Whole grains have immunity-fighting effects. Ghee is the most easily digested fat, contains essential fatty acids, and is a great immunity booster.
5.Eat the rainbow food: Leafy greens like cabbage, spinach and broccoli are good sources of vitamins A, C and E, as well as folate, antioxidants and fibre. These vitamins also have an antioxidant action that helps in cell function and integrity as well as development. Colorful fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants. These nutrients guard against free radicals, molecules that can harm cells.
6.Indian Spices: This include more immunity boosting spices in our food like turmeric , mustard, asafoetida (hing), coriander, turmeric, fenugreek (methi), cloves, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and curry leaves. They help in digestion and make our immune system strong.
7.Tea: A cup of tea prepared using ginger, tulsi, black papper, lemon and honey without milk can actually help to enhance our immunity . It’s also a good means of hydrating our body. Coffee has some antioxidants. But high acid levels of coffee may prevent the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and potassium from food. It may also dehydrate the body. Green tea is a healthier alternative. Green tea contains disease-fighting polyphenols and flavonoids which are effective antioxidants that identify cell-damaging free radicals and destroy them. Therefore, drinking green tea is a great way to increase immunity.
8.Eat at the proper time and proper quantity: To enhance the immunity, eating our meal at the proper time and right amount is important. The main meal in the middle of the day, when the sun is highest and digestion strong. Eat lighter at breakfast and at night, when digestion is weaker. It’s also important to eat our meals at the same time every day.
9.Maintain good hygiene: Most infections develop due to touching contaminated surfaces and then touching our eyes, nose or mouth. The possibility of infections can be reduced by habits such as brushing your teeth twice daily, properly washing your hands before consuming food and trimming nails to keep them neat and tidy. A poor hygiene routine exposes the body to more germs which ultimately results in a weak immune system. Therefore, maintaining good hygiene is a great way to increase immunity.
10.Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep compromises the immune system and therefore you should have adequate sleep every day. Adequate sleep helps the immune system to rebuild and replenish making it much more effective in fighting infections and diseases. Inadequate sleep is highly associated with reduction in the number of T-cells. Sleep deprived people are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses such as the common cold. Therefore, you need to get enough sleep to increase immunity.