The novel coronavirus or as we say Covid - 19 has brought the world to a standstill. Covid - 19 is fast spreading throughout the world and it has caused an unprecedented human and health crisis.
Needless to say, our public health officials are taking all the precautionary measures to reduce the spread of the virus. The pandemic has turned all of our lives upside down; businesses have been shut, educational institutions remain closed, travelling is banned and so on.
As the world is struggling with the outbreak of this pandemic, we, as people, must protect ourselves against the virus by all means possible. Currently, no vaccines have been found to cure the novel coronavirus. So, boosting the immune system is one of the sensible measures to beat this deadly virus. As the saying goes; ‘Health is wealth’.
However, it is important to realise that a great immune system alone is not necessarily going to keep the virus at bay, but it can definitely reduce the severity of the disease.
Following are 10 ways to boost your immunity and stay healthy during these times of Covid - 19 pandemic;
Sleep plays a pivotal role in our physical as well as mental health. It helps in healing and repair of our heart and blood vessels and is also important for the brain to function well. Adults require 6-7 hours of sleep daily. Youngsters need to sleep for about 8-9 hours and children need to get at least 10 hours of sleep every day. With adequate sleep, our body makes cytokines, a type of protein which helps in preventing infections and maintaining healthy immune system. Hence, people who don't get sufficient sleep, will have a weak immune system, thus more prone to diseases.
A diet rich of vegetables and fruits
We all know that fruits and vegetables play a vital part in boosting our immune system. It is important to eat a variety of foods for your body to function at its best. Many studies have shown that the vitamins and antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables spike our immunity by promoting good bacteria in our gut. So it is essential to follow a diet rich in fruits and veggies.
For good health and longevity, a healthy digestive system is important. Probiotics are living bacteria that are beneficial for you when included in diet. Traditional buttermilk and yogurt are rich in probiotics. So, make sure you add these items in your everyday diet.
Staying hydrated is crucial for the health and well-being of every individual. We should drink at least three litres or 15 glasses of water on a regular basis. Drinking plenty of water will stave off infections and thus boost your immunity. Keeping hydrated also helps your body naturally eliminate toxins. It also adds to weight loss, brings glow to your face and regularise blood flow.
Avoid carbonated drinks
Whether you like it or not, soft drinks and soda are bad for your overall health. People who consume soda are more prone to broken bones. Soda and other carbonated drinks contain a lot of sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeine and extra fructose, none of which do your immune system any favours. Carbonated drinks lack nutrients, adds to weight gain, and bad for your teeth as it builds plaque. The caffeine present in carbonated drinks is the main culprit for dehydration, which means your immunity is at stake. So, stay as far as possible from soda and other carbonated drinks.
Yoga and meditation
Both yoga and meditation are proven to be beneficial for our mental as well as physical health. Practicing yoga enhances balance, boost your self-confidence, strength, flexibility, and fitness while meditation helps keep the mind sharp, relieves stress and anxiety, and can strengthen your immune system. Practicing yoga and meditation results in a positive state of mind that promotes good health and thus strong immune system.
Essential vitamins are needed for your body to grow and develop naturally and function properly. Some major vitamins are Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Vitamin E. Therefore, it is important to include foods in your diet that are rich in these vitamins for improving immunity and thereby having a healthy body. Some foods that are rich in these vitamins are carrots, beetroots, milk, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, fish, eggs, meat, orange, gooseberry, olive oil, flax seeds and fortified foods.
Regular physical activity is important in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. It also improves your brain health, helps in maintaining a healthy weight, makes you less prone to illness and also enhances your ability to do daily activities. As adults, we need at least 40 minutes of exercise daily. Physical activity will help in increasing the immunity cells called T lymphocytes which automatically boost our immune system.
Proteins are essential to life! It helps in growth, repair and better functioning of all livings cells. In order to increase our immunity, it is vital to keep the level of immunoglobulins in our blood. Immunoglobulins are a type of protein produced by plasma cells and lymphocytes, which play a crucial role in immune defenses. Hence, it is vital to consume foods which are rich in proteins. Some protein rich foods are beans, lentils, eggs, meat, poultry etc.
Last, but not least is personal hygiene. Maintaining personal hygiene will help us to stay healthy and also prevent our immunity being affected. Wearing face masks while being outside, washing hands frequently, social distancing and keeping our surroundings clean are some of the most important ways to keep viruses and germs at bay and practicing these are important in the times of Covid - 19. However, with the virus spreading quickly throughout the world, a large part of our population have started taking personal hygiene in a serious way. Yes, you heard it right! Washing hands, sanitizing things before use have become more of a habit than a compulsion.