Here are some tips to boost your immune system and prep-up to fight and minimize the risks of Covid-19, along with the common flu.
As winter is quickly approaching, many researchers have postulated a surge in Covid-19 cases if the standard protocols are not followed properly.
Many countries are suffering from the second wave of Covid-19. India records 40000-45000 new Covid cases every day. With the change in weather, the immunity is decreasing and the chances of viral infection or spread are rising. This brought about the major need to focus on appropriate measures to combat Covid-19. Respiratory viruses thrive better in cold weather and low humidity conditions, suggesting the probability of another wave of Covid-19 in the winter season. Therefore, people need to be extra cautious during the festive season and practice social distancing everywhere.
It is also assumed that coronavirus (which is subjected to be more active in winters) may function like other flu viruses that thrive in winter conditions. Furthermore, the rising pollution levels in major cities are likely to aggravate the condition, especially for people with respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, etc. Various studies suggest people with stronger immunity can fight the Covid infection better.
Here are some tips to boost your immune system and prep-up your body to fight and minimize the risks of Covid-19, as well as other viral infections like cold and flu.
· Taking a healthy and balanced diet: Try and keep a count on your carbs/ protein and fats and consume in a balanced amount Focus on high-quality protein/ complex carbs and essential fatty acids. Add a variety of foods to your meals- fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouts/legumes. The nutrition in these foods will help keep your immunity at its best.
· Add herbs and spices to your food: Apart from enhancing the taste of food, they also have antibacterial and antiseptic healing properties that can protect you from viral infections. Moreover, they are rich in antioxidants, which further add to immunity. Nowadays they also prefer kadda/herbal concoction or decoction. However, always remember it should be taken in limited quantity as every person’s body reacts differently and it depends on person to person to what extent their body can tolerate. Sometimes excessive intake is subjected to a negative impact on health.
· Hydration: Usually, people drink less water during winter, as they sweat less and water loss is minimal. However, it is important to stay hydrated even during the cold weather to keep your system healthy. Water also helps cleanse your body from the toxins as well as strengthen your immune system.
· Exercise daily: Engage in any physical activity like yoga/aerobic/ gym/ walking/ jogging/ cycling for at least 30-45 min every day. Also, try to incorporate some good breathing exercises.
· Manage metabolic illness: People with co morbidities are more vulnerable to Covid-19 such as diabetes/ hypertension/ cardiac disease/ dyslipidemia/ respiratory disease. A healthy lifestyle is a pre-requisite now.
· Cap HFSS: High fat/salt/sugar: Limit consumption of fried, refined and processed food items that contain a heavy amount of salt/sugar and fat as they cause inflammation in the body.
· Immunity booster/seasonal delicacies: Food rich in antioxidant/vitamin C, zinc, probiotics, and prebiotics are important to be part of your diet. Try to consume amla – Indian gooseberry; guava; ginger; sweet lime; oranges; green leafy vegetables; beetroot; carrot; radish; lemon; mint; custard apple; pineapple; kiwi etc.
(The author is a lifestyle coach and diet counsellor. She tweets @Bipasha1sugati)