How to Boost your Immunity?
It has been over a year since the WHO declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic. It became crucial to maintain high hygiene standards like wearing a mask at all times, washing hands frequently, using sanitizers and air disinfectants in public spaces. And while it is important to maintain all of these and take care of the outside of your body, it is equally important to focus on the inside.
Studies and researches have validated that people with strong immunity are at the lowest risk. Therefore, today, when Covid-19 is at its pinnacle, improving your immune system is the key priority.
Take a Nutrient-rich Diet
Choosing a nutrient-rich diet nourishes the body, builds strong bones, improves heart health and prevents diseases, and thus improves immunity. Our body needs macronutrients, i.e., protein, carbohydrates, and fat, to provide energy. It also needs macronutrients, i.e., Vitamins and Minerals, to reduce the risk of diseases.
Pick colorful fruits and vegetables and consume about 3-4 servings of vegetables and 2 fruits each day. They are low in fat and high in nutrients like Magnesium, Phosphorous, Zinc, Antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E.
Wherever possible, switch from routine to whole-grain foods, for instance- wheat buns instead of flour buns, Brown rice instead of white rice. Foods like Popcorn, Brown Rice, Broken Wheat, Oatmeal, Whole Wheat Bread, or Pasta, and alike are a few examples of whole-grain foods. They are rich in Fiber, Protein, Vitamin B, and Antioxidants. They also reduce the risk of strokes, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Certain seeds and nuts like Walnuts, Almonds, and Chia Seeds are packed with Vitamin E, Magnesium and Antioxidants, and improves metabolism. Ginger, Turmeric, and Gooseberry (Amla) are known since age-old times to boost immunity.
Sleep for 7-9 Hours
Ensuring good quality sleep is crucial to overall immunity. Lack of sleep will prevent your body from resting and disrupt other bodily functions, which will have an adverse impact on immunity. On the other hand, sleeping lets your mind remove the accumulated toxins, including a protein called beta-amyloid responsible for causing Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to follow a consistent routine involving sleeping and waking up at a definite time daily. Also remember, to not drink alcohol right before you go to bed.
Stay Hydrated and Say No to Caffeinated Drinks
Drink 10-12 glasses of water each day. Hydration flushes out the toxins from the body and improves immunity. Additionally, steer clear of tea, coffee, or any other caffeinated drink. Swap to Green Tea and Lemon Water instead. They clean the digestive system, improve metabolism and assist in weight loss. You can also have a smoothie made from green vegetables like spinach, cucumber, and lettuce.
Cut down on sugar and processed food
A high intake of sugar and processed foods is a major contributing factor to obesity. Lowering the intake and switching to natural fruits (preferably rich in Vitamin C) will improve the metabolism and make you pandemic-ready.
Exercise Regularly and Stay Fit.
Along with a good diet, staying fit is equally important to improve blood circulation, regulate oxygen, flush out toxins and reduce inflammation. It also means reducing the risk of diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and alike. Engaging in moderate exercises (stretch/ cardio/strength training) daily for half an hour is the key to improving metabolism, which is directly correlated to immunity.
Don’t take the stress
With so much suffering all around in these unprecedented times, you are prone to stress and negativity more than ever. Moreover, the stay-at-home orders have resulted in anxiety, taking a toll on your emotional wellbeing. Practicing meditation calms the nerves and reduces stress. Staying in a positive headspace and keeping a positive attitude would lead to an improved immune system.
Connect as much as possible with nature, take a walk outside and breathe in the fresh air. It not only gives you a chance to exercise but also brings you out from those four walls. The fresh breeze, the soothing sunshine, and the green scenery help promote a sense of calm and peace within. Moreover, Vitamin D received from the sunshine is good for boosting immunity.
Avoid Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
Excessive smoking and vaping result in damaging the cells in the respiratory tract. These cells are important to fight viruses like coronavirus that enter through the nose. While smoking and vaping are known particularly to weaken the lungs and destroy the cells in the respiratory tract.
Some studies also suggest that excessive consumption of alcohol weakens the body's reflexes and puts your immunity system in danger.
Steam inhalation is one of the most famous age-old home remedies which reduces swelling in nasal blood vessels and eases congestion. It also assists in healthy breathing. Inhale steam using karvol capsules or with mint leaves.
Lastly, getting a jab of Covid-19 Vaccine goes a long way in boosting immunity. Getting vaccinated doesn’t rule out the chances of getting infected, but since it results in improved immunity, the symptoms and infection will not be deadly.
One must consider taking supplements for boosting immunity, but there’s nothing that beats natural foods and a healthy lifestyle. Immunity is a system that needs to be taken care of all year round and not just for a period. Immunity is about achieving holistic health and overall wellness. It is an active and continuous pursuit by bringing positive changes in activities, routines, and lifestyles.
Try to incorporate all the above steps together in your daily routine. You must achieve wellness in all the six dimensions- Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Environmental, Social, and Spiritual.