Our body is a battleground, every day it is fighting battles and putting out fires. We are not ever fully protected from external entities like bacteria and viruses. They enter our body through any opening from our mouth and nose to wounds. Thankfully, our bodies have a natural guard against everyday bacteria, our Immune System.
In this current time of the novel coronavirus, it is important to understand how you can keep yourself safe or rather try to reduce the risk of getting it. What are certain diets or lifestyle changes that can help you improve your immunity? Why immunity? Because it can help you not just fight viruses and other sickness but also help you stay healthy and protected. It’s like your body’s natural defence mechanism against outside forces.
However, please note that in the case of COVID-19, the only method of prevention until a vaccine is discovered is to stay indoors with less direct contact with people, surfaces, always wear a mask when stepping out and regular sanitation.
Coming back to immunity, let us first try to understand it in brief. It’s your whole body, from your skin, your blood cells to your digestive fluids, everything that defends you from harmful pathogens is your immune system. In fact, there are two types of immune system in our body. The first being our Innate Immune System that is constantly at work fighting bacteria and whatnot from your body, round the clock with the help of White Blood Cells. Then there is the Adaptive Immune System is a special set of cells that trains itself to fight a virus or bacteria preventing a disease from occurring a second time.
Just like any fighting troop, the Immune System also needs proper care and rest for improvement. During this time of staying at home, all that we can do is to train and better our body’s natural defences and by that, we mean to improve our immune system. The catch is that there is no medicine or specific food that can help increase our immunity directly, rather it only helps make it stronger. Here are some known ways to help boost your immunity from home:
We are now living in a world of Chronic Stress where our whole body, including our Immune System, is constantly active and on the lookout for external agents. This eventually depletes your health and wears you down making you susceptible to viruses. Do things that help you calm down, do things that make your body relax and your natural fight mode off so that it can relax. This helps rejuvenate your immunity making it ready for battle. Practice yoga, listen to music, read a book, anything to make you relax.
Sleep & Exercise:
Yes, we put the two binaries in one point. That is because both are extremely and equally important to help improve your immunity. Sleeping helps restore your body’s defence because just like you, your body needs rest too. Inadequate sleep can reduce your immunity making you prone to sickness. Exercising is not just for your muscles but for your immunity as well. It makes you breathe heavily that helps release pathogens from your respiratory system, the increased temperature kills bacteria and virus. When your heart beats faster, the blood flow increases which releases more White Blood Cells across the body that helps fight unwanted entities.
This is a point we all know and have been told throughout our lives. However, the seriousness of it is only taken into account when we actually fall sick. So might as well take action and start adding things that help improve your immunity into your diet. Start by including food that is rich in antioxidants like green tea, papaya, poultry and more. Add probiotics like yoghurt, kimchi and pickles. Most of all, get rid of sugar or at least try to reduce the intake of sugar as it adds nothing good in your system and rather causes internal inflammation that reduces your immunity.
The Right Supplements:
You might have gotten plenty of Whatsapp forwards telling you to consume all sorts of Vitamin C & D and Zinc supplements to help prevent COVID-19. However, that is untrue. The real fact is that it only helps improve your immunity giving you a better defence capability and reduce the effect of the virus. Consult your doctor and ask for the right dosage of the supplements or even lookout for food that is rich in it:
Above all, stay sanitized, wear a mask and keep yourself healthy!