IMMUNITY AND COVID-19:
2020 has been quite harsh on all of us, isn’t it? The pandemic has costed our jobs, mental peace and most importantly physical health. The world is aware that there will be no vaccine anytime soon. So to help us fight this battle, the only bet against it is our immunity. WHO has confirmed that people with low immunity are more vulnerable to this virus and more likely to lose their lives. Hence it’s clear that our immunity is the only way we can save ourselves.
Here are a few tips to augment our immune system:
Weall know that adequate amount of sleep is the most important factor for our overall well-being.
There are many reasons why our generation fails to get adequate amount of sleep. Few of them being excess screen time, huge workload, hormonal imbalances etc. Though they have become an inevitable part of our lives, we have to understand that these factors are back stabbing our immune system.
- Various studies have shown that individuals getting less sleep are more likely to have a weaker immune system.(1)
- As per the studies, adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep, while teens need 8-10 hours. The infants are majorly prone to every disease our there and hence their sleep should be taken care of. Infants are advised to sleep for 14 hours in a day.
There are plenty ways to make your sleep better and peaceful.
- It is advised to not consume caffeine late in the day
- You should reduce irregular or long naps in the day
- Try to build a strict sleep cycle for yourself
- Maybe you should try optimizing your bedroom environment.
Engage in Moderate exercise
Exercising is the best way to fuel your body. It not only helps to build physical strength but also helps you to manage your negative thoughts.
Exercising releases certain hormones that fight stress and regenerates immune cells regularly.
Prolonged intense sessions of exercise are not as helpful as you think as too much of something is poison. Such intense workouts can suppress your immune system rather than improving it.
Thus, it is advised to indulge in moderate workout routines that last for about 20-30 mins. It is very important to warm up and to stretch before going forward with the routine.
Examples are brisk walking, jogging, skipping, jumping jacks, lunges. The main motive is to keep the blood flow and take heart rate up for some time it also good for cardiovascular system.
Eat more plant foods
Whole foods like sprouts, vegetables, fruits etc. are rich in antioxidants and they also consist of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Sprouts are rich in living enzymes which help in boosting body metabolic processes. They also contain dietary fiber which regulates digestion.
- Adding green vegetables to the diet helps in building your body’s natural defences.
- Apart from being high on vitamin A and C, fruits are beneficial in regulating healthy blood pressure.
Moreover, Antioxidants present in plant foods help in reducing inflammation which results in reducing free radicals that are harmful for your body.
Remember, you are what you eat!
Include a probiotic
Probiotic foods like yogurt, fermented milk drink, fermented soyabean product, fermented black tea etc. is known for improving gut health. Ayurveda states that 90% of the diseases are due to gut health. Now you know what to take the best care of!
The best easily available and affordable product in the market is yogurt. Fermented foods are rich in probiotics also known as good bacteria.
As we know that science has a way to replace the naturals, probiotic supplements can be considered as a good alternative.
However, probiotics when naturally consumed has more benefits as you should try to be as natural as possible but if a person has a major digestive/gastric issue, supplements are the key.
Many studies show that people who include probiotics in their diet have stronger immune systems (2).
Remove processed sugar
People who are overweight have weaker immune systems and including sugar in your diet result in obesity which directly affects the immunity of the individual.
People who consume excess amount of sugar are more prone to type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
- These refined sugar are present in beverages like energy drinks, fruit drinks, soft drinks etc.
- Not only these drinks but packaged items like chocolate bars, cereals, granola etc.
Unfortunately our day revolves around such food items and it’s impossible to completely eliminate their intake. Thus we should try and minimalize the consumption of such foods.
Limiting the intake will lead to boosting your immune system. Anything that harms your health will take the edge off your immune system.
Hydration may not directly prevent you from viruses and germs. But dehydration can cause headaches, hinder your physical performance. It’s also bad for digestion and kidney functioning.
To keep yourself hydrated enough, you should drink 8-12 glass of water every day. Consuming coconut water in the day is a cherry on the top as it is rich in electrolytes. Do not opt for processed coconut water packets as they consist of additives.
This COVID-19 makes the older people more vulnerable and thus they should take extra care about hydrating themselves. Because as we grow older our urge to drink decreases. So it is very important to stayhydrated to drain out all the toxicity from our body.
We can keep a check on the number of glasses by simply downloading an app that reminds you to drink water on regular intervals. For better digestion, it is advised to drink a glass of water half an hour before and after lunch/dinner.
Receiving stress and anxiety can be the main cause of your reduced immunity.
Long term stress promotes the inflammation as well as damage your immunity(3).
During stress, hormone called cortisol is produced. Which significantly reduces the production of dopamine(also called feel good hormone).
Hence making a person feel irritable and cranky. Prolonged psychological stress is known to supress the immune system response in children (4).
There are plenty ways to reduce stress
- Some of them include doing yoga or meditation.
- Any physical activity that reduces cortisol level.
- It is always good to communicate how you feel or keep a stress diary.
Remember, how you feel will directly effect your immune system. Let’s make the population healthy!