Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Currently, COVID-19 is a leading challenge across the globe. The pandemic has imposed a new set of challenges for every individual. But, if there’s one positive thing to come out of this pandemic, it’s a greater understanding of the importance of a strong immune system. This isn’t to say that the immune system didn’t play a role before, but it’s become painfully clear now. Never before has the world been confronted with such a lethal and global pandemic for which there is no known remedy.
To put it another way, a healthy immune system and some common sense are the only defenses against COVID-19 infection. If you have a lot of the latter, you might be searching for ways to improve the former. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes, and increased immune benefits take time to accumulate.
As a result, it would be prudent to begin accumulating those benefits as soon as possible, and the most straightforward strategy would be to follow some of our top tips to keep your immune system operate at full capacity, as it was designed to do.
Drink plenty of water:
Your body’s first line of defense against the coronavirus is strengthened by adequate hydration. Although drinking water does not guarantee that you will not catch the virus, however, it can certainly help improve immunity. Water aids in the transfer of nutrients through the bloodstream, and the regulation of body temperature – a prerequisite for reducing your risk of infections.
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink more water. It can be as simple as naming your alarm “Hey, time for some water!”
- Drink a glass after every bathroom break and before each meal.
Maintain a balanced diet:
Over 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates aptly said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Optimal nutrition and dietary nutrient intake can ensure that the body is in a proper state to defeat the coronavirus or any virus for that matter. While no particular food is a magic bullet against COVID-19 infection, but a balanced diet guarantees a healthy immune system that can withstand any assault by the virus. Hence, strengthening the immune system is the only sustainable way to survive in the current context.
- A daily dose of one-half of a raw garlic clove has been shown to improve immunity.
- Include vegetables and fruits rich in Beta carotene, Ascorbic acid & other essential vitamins in your diet.
- Vitamin C has long been known to increase immunity, so foods like oranges, kiwi, and even broccoli can help you feel better.
- Healthy fats, such as those contained in olive oils, salmon, and other seafood, have anti-inflammatory properties that aid the body’s battle against the disease.
- Zinc-rich foods such as eggs, chickpeas, watermelon seeds, fish, and berries can play a pertinent role in mitigating the impact of the virus.
Exercise on a regular basis:
Moderate exercise can help to minimize inflammation and encourage a healthy immune cell turnover. Exercising on a daily basis is beneficial to both the body and the mind. As per Liz Joy, MD, senior medical director of Wellness and Nutrition at Intermountain Healthcare, “moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with better immune function, lower levels of anxiety, and perceived stress.”
- Our advice? Remain active, but keep in mind that now may not be the ideal time to begin a new high-intensity workout routine.
Have a good night’s sleep:
A healthy immune system can battle infections more effectively than a sleep-deprived immune system. Maintaining a healthy immune system necessitates adequate sleep. Having enough rest and sleep goes a long way in restoring and recharging your body, and that includes your immune system.
- Regulate your screen time an hour before turning off the light.
- Try to do non-tech-related activities, like puzzles, crosswords, or reading an actual book (not an ebook!).
- If you are having trouble sleeping, try to sleep in a dark room. The reason for this is that exposure to light blocks the production of a hormone called “melatonin,” which helps our immune systems to combat diseases. Melatonin synthesis shuts down even if there is a small amount of light present in the room.
Control your stress levels:
The less stress and anxiety we inflict on our bodies—mental and emotional as well as physical—the more positively our immune system will function. Chronic stress causes inflammation and immune cell function imbalances. Worrying about your job, stressing about running out of toilet paper, and dwelling on the unknowns of the future can all increase cortisol levels, which can damage your immune system.
- Yoga, meditation, mindfulness exercises, dance, and listening to calming music can all be used to reduce stress levels.
Your immune system is your most potent tool against many disease-causing germs and viruses. A robust immunity will aid in ensuring that the body is in the best possible condition to resist any onslaught by the virus or complications from COVID-19.