COVID-19 has taken the world by storm and almost every country in the world is affected by it. The global pandemic has reached its first peak in the countries like the UK, Spain, and Italy, while it is still on the verge of creating havoc in the South Asian countries. New Zealand is the only country to have recently reported no case of coronavirus disease in any to its citizens. While we see a rising affected cases ratio and deaths happening all around the world, we can only hope for a magic wand. Scientists and medical experts all over the world are spending day and night to find out a cure, but for now, prevention seems to be the only practical policy. While we are finding out the best ways to keep ourselves safe from the virus, we should be taking evidence-based preventative measures. Improving our immunity is one of them.
Mode of Transmission
The novel coronavirus is an enveloped virus that spreads through the following routes:
- Through the mouth
So, to prevent the virus from spreading, vigilant care must be practiced to keep the nose and the mouth protected from any exposure to the virus. For this, a safety measure is to always keep a distance of at least 6 feet from people out of your home and always wear a mask when at the risk of exposure to the virus.
The most common symptoms of the COVID-19 are as under:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
NOTE: reach out for medical help if you develop any of these symptoms as your first priority and make sure you socially distance from everyone if you are tested positive for corona.
The most troubling symptom here is the shortness of breath.in medical terms, it can lead to the cytokine storm syndrome, meaning that in fighting the perpetrated virus present in your lungs, your autoimmune response will get hyperactivated. To avoid this scenario, getting a medical facility in the Intensive Care Unit gets highly important. This becomes necessary as the shortness of breath symptoms starts to appear.
Why Improving Immunity Is Important?
The virus enters the body as a foreign agent. In any case, the body recognizes this foreign body and creates antibodies against it to kill the agent. This is the normal immune response of the body. However, it is only possible if your immune system is strong enough to activate this mechanism. Even if you get the coronavirus inside your body, your immune cells will work their best to protect you by killing the virus and repair your body. You will see that the body has gone to its utmost to protect itself from getting defeated by this notorious being. In this case, you become from a corona positive individual to corona negative. If that goes otherwise, you might have to face some trouble managing your symptoms and would need stricter medical supervision.
How do I Know if My Immunity Is Not Good?
Knowing how your immunity works can help you stay prepared to fight a disease, be it a chronic disease or an infectious one, coronavirus in this case. You will have to see some of the trigger points that might put you at risk of having low immunity, or these points would already affect your immunity:
- You have an underlying chronic condition such as CVD, cancer, or diabetes
- You easily get the cold
- Any cold or sour edible or drinkable can easily cause irritation in your throat
- You feel fatigued all the time
- You have a bad digestive output
- You are mentally depressed or remain stressed
These are some of the triggers that speak about your immunity. However, the absence of all these points does not necessarily mean that you have to take care of nothing and you are all good against any infectious disease. There is absolutely no fixed scale to measure your immune system functioning, so the best approach here is to focus on building up your immunity whether you have or may not have the conditions mentioned above.
How to Improve My Immunity?
The best way to improve your immunity is to follow these steps listed below. Note that each step is not in any way a substitute for medical help and must be only looked as a preventative way. Following these steps will help you get immunity strong enough to withstand the effects of the disease. It prepares your body to fight the symptoms you might face on exposure to the virus. However, these do not guarantee that it will cure you, you just need to be vigilant about it:
1: Improve your Diet
The most important thing that you can do to improve your immunity is to take care of the food you eat. Giving your body all the essential vitamins and minerals along with the required macros according to your calorie needs is essential for forming a baseline that will help you get a stronger immune system. Make sure to get all these servings in a day:
- Fruits – 4 to 5 servings
- Vegetables – 4 to 5 servings
- Milk and milk products – 2 to 3 glasses or cups (in case of yogurt, cream and cheese)
- Protein – 2 to 3 ounces (use animal sources, eggs, or use alternate sources if you are a vegan like tofu)
- Cereals – 10 to 11 servings (look for whole grain cereals instead of refined ones)
- Fats – in minor amount (go for nuts, seeds, essential fatty acids from omega 3 like fish, olive oil)
These are some rough serving numbers that go suitable for an adult with a normal BMI who wants to improve his or her immunity. The key is to bring as much variation in the same food group as you can to make sure that you get all the required minerals and vitamins you want.
2: Move your Body
Staying in the bed all day or sitting on the couch would not help your body get a better immune system in any way. This is because all the foods we have mentioned before are targeted to provide your body the nutrients it needs. It is not possible to do so if your circulation and metabolism are not fast enough. The only way to get them running on an efficient speed is when you will introduce some physical activity in your life. Not only this, but it is also essential that you take care of your respiratory system. make sure that to deal with the virus, we will have to build our lungs strong enough to fight symptoms like shortness of breath. Cardio workout and resistance training at home will pretty much get that job done while also helping your body get the oxygen it wants to function at its best.
You can perform some of these activities to get a better immune system:
- Climb up and downstairs for at least 10 to 20 minutes a day
- Try cardio workout starting from a stretch exercise
- Lift dumbbells while you squat or do any weight lifting exercise with kettlebells or dumbbells
- Brisk walk for 15 minutes if there is sufficient space around you
- Put some music on and dance your heart out
3: Take Some Extra Steps
These were some of the basic steps you could take to improve your immunity against the corona pandemic. To intensify your fight against the disease, you can take some extra steps as discussed below:
Take vitamin C and vitamin D supplements: upon medical supervision, you can take these supplements to boost up your immunity. However, note you do not have an underlying medical condition like kidney stones or arthritis.
Start getting more sunlight: The research from Harvard suggests that sunlight is vital for boosting up immunity and prepares the body well in fighting against communicable diseases such as the coronavirus. It is recommended that if you are pale toned, 10 minutes of sunlight before dusk is sufficient for you. However, if you have enough melanin in your skin, you can exceed the time to 15 minutes.
Drink special teas: teas having herbs such as chamomile, basil leaves, cardamom, turmeric roots, garlic, and ginger roots can help you get a better immune system. All these ingredients are said to have antioxidants in them which help in building up a stronger immune system.
Do yoga: practicing mindfulness techniques and doing yoga can help a lot in destressing your body. It is scientifically proven that the less stressed you are, the lesser chances you have to have a weakened immune system. So spread that yoga mat, and keep breathing deep, in and out.
All these were some of the essential and extra steps you can take to build a strong immune system. if you follow all these steps, you can notice positive results such as a happier mood, more alert mind, relaxed and active body, and a general feeling of wellness.