We have officially hit the 1M mark of Corona Virus cases around the world. It is scary, but all we can do is follow the recommendations of the healthcare providers- social distance, wash your hands with soap, and sanitize. Apart from these, you also need a diet that will boost your immune system, so your body has a better chance of fighting off the virus.
Our immune system is responsible for fighting infections. One of the best ways to boost your immune system is by improving your nutrition. That means including food with Vitamin A, B, C, D, and E in your diet. You also need food rich in iron, zinc, and selenium minerals.
Below is what you need to know about these Vitamins and minerals, and which foods to consume.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps support a healthy immune system and aids in fighting cell damage through antioxidants. You can obtain this from foods such as pumpkin, carrots, grapefruit, oranges, and sweet potatoes.
2. Vitamin B
Vitamin B is generally good for cell health and helps in the growth of red blood cells. Sources of vitamin B are plenty, including dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, meat, eggs, and dairy products, fruits, arrow roots (nduma) seeds, and nuts.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is quite famous for its role in boosting the response of the immune system. Sources of vitamin C include mangoes, lemons, red peppers, broccoli, oranges, strawberries, and other fruits and vegetables.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D aids in boosting our defensive system, which helps kill the deadly bug. For a fact, vitamin D enhances the production of peptide components in the body. This helps fight off fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
The best part is that vitamin D is readily available from sources such as eggs and fish.
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and also helps the immune system fight infections. It is readily available from spinach, broccoli, seeds, and nuts.
Our bodies need minerals like zinc, iron, and selenium for various functions. Iron, for example, helps in increasing free radicals in the body, which are in charge of killing pathogens. Some of the food that contains iron include chicken, fish, legumes, and cereals. Zinc and selenium, on the other hand, are antioxidants. They help in mopping up damages from oxidative stress.
Zinc is also responsible for marinating our skin and the mucous membranes. You can easily obtain zinc from seafood like oysters and other foods like meat, nuts, chicken, and dried beans. Selenium is present in foods like mushrooms, meat, nuts, and cereals.
By all means, dietary concerns point out the vast benefits a diet has on one’s immune system. However, there are other factors that matter, apart from watching your diet.
Other non-dietary ways to boost your immune
Getting quality sleep
The good news is that you can control the duration of sleep and consequently rev up your immune system. While the adage that plays without work makes Jack a silly boy is prevalent, many take this to mean that rest is bad. However, without rest, the body cannot adequately perform its functions without breaking down.
Sleep deprivation due to stress, especially in these uncertain times, is quite common. As you seek to minimize exposure, make sure that your sleep patterns are aligned such that you can obtain adequate sleep every night. You can easily achieve this if you deliberately focus. There is much emphasis on getting sufficient sleep, given that sleep deprivation elevates cases of inflammation.
With the lockdowns and curfews in place, exercise is rarely on our to-do list. However, you can increase your immunity by ensuring your body is on its full performance. According to WHO, 30 minutes of exercise for adults and an hour for children will do.
Considering that most gyms will not be open, try doing some exercises at home like aerobics, daily walks (if possible), and joggings. If you have no routine in mind, get an app that has one.
Have a clear mind
Did you know that your mental state contributes largely towards your immune system? Working yourself into a frenzy of stress is going to be quite detrimental at this time. With news flashing in on the state of the pandemic, it is quite reasonable for one to be caught up in dismay. Further, the uncertainty that has crept in has left many in a state of quagmire.
As it is, some people are working from home with disruptions. Others are jobless due to the closure of businesses. It is no doubt then that stress lurks into the lives of many. Instead of being disoriented and helpless, relaxation through spending quality time with your close ones, listening to music, engaging in hobbies, and meditation all help curb stress. In fact, stress has been termed as one of the major factors that lead to an unbalanced immune system and consequently makes the body vulnerable to infections
Your lungs are assets
Given that Coronavirus fatality arises from complications brought about by pneumonia and swelling of the lungs, the health of the lungs must remain a prerogative. Smoking is a deadly habit, especially so in this period, as it amounts to severe complications. Moreover, it weakens the lungs such that the functioning is not optimal.
Doctors are not shy to point out the obvious; people should stop smoking, and there are no two ways about it. Having healthy lungs during this pandemic is tremendous merit to your immunity, and this should not be compromised.
Another easy yet effective way to rev up your immune system is through the use of probiotics, which are present in plain yogurt. As you stock up on food, be sure to add this to your basket as it helps boost your immunity. Probiotics work by supporting good bacteria, which aid in fighting off bacteria and viruses.
Probiotics are also beneficial for your microbiome system, and you obtain this by eating ginger, onion, garlic, and fermented foods. That said, it is important to note that antibiotics have the opposite effect. The latter wear out the good bacteria and thus lower the chances of effectively fighting off infections.
One must maintain wholesome wellness in these trying times. Needless to say, there is no one way to keep your immune system revitalized. Instead, there are plenty of options that you can use to ensure that your body can effectively fight off infections. And, remember to thoroughly wash your hand regularly with soap and running water, sanitize as much as possible, and social distance.