As this COVID-19 situation intensifies all around the globe, you probably are thinking: what can I do to keep myself safe amid this pandemic? And it’s totally natural. Everyone, nowadays, is worried about the health of their own and their loved ones. But is there really anything you can do to stay safe?
Well, maybe you can!
You probably have heard that one’s immunity plays a major role in determining the severeness of this disease in an individual. At least the trends say so. And so, it’s probably a good idea to improve your immunity. And let’s say, if it doesn’t work, it won’t hurt you, right?
But now the main question is: how to improve our immunity?
Boosting your immunity is certainly not as easy as it may sound. However, certain lifestyle and dietary changes may help you strengthen your body’s ability to fight infections. And here is a list of a few things you can do to achieve that.
There is surely a very close relationship between your immunity and how well you sleep. And if you are not getting enough sleep, or the quality of your sleep is poor, the chances of you falling sick are much higher.
In a study conducted on more than 160 healthy adults, it was found that people who didn’t sleep for at least 6 hours each night are much more susceptible to catching a cold as compared to those who did. And therefore, it is clear that getting an adequate amount of rest is very important in order to strengthen your immunity naturally.
Adults should try to sleep at least 7 hours a day, while teenagers need to sleep around 8-10 hours each night. For infants, this time goes up to 14 hours.
In order to sleep better, you should try keeping your phone down at least an hour before hitting the bed. Also, try to sleep in a completely dark room, sleeping every day at the same time, and exercising regularly.
Eat Whole Plant Foods
Whole plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and seeds, are very rich in various nutrients and antioxidants. And this can help you a lot in keeping you safe from harmful pathogens. Antioxidants also help our body fight inflammation, which is linked to various chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc. And you probably know how dangerous this novel virus is for the people who have an underlying medical condition.
Furthermore, plant foods that are rich in fiber enhance the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. And these bacterias, in turn, help you improve your immunity and keep the harmful pathogens away.
Vegetables and fruits that are rich in vitamin C may also minimize the duration of the common cold in you. However, during this time of COVID-19, if you see any symptoms of cold, you should see a doctor immediately. And if you can’t go out right now, you may see a doctor online too. It’s probably not a very good idea to rely on self-medication if you have a cold in these times.
Limit your Added Sugar Intake
Various studies have shown that added sugar is a very major contributing factor to obesity. And obesity is directly linked to various different diseases. It may make you very vulnerable to falling sick.
In a study conducted on around 1000 people who were given a flu vaccine, it was seen that those who were obese had a much more chance of still getting the flu than the others. Also, being overweight increases the chances of you developing conditions like heart disease and diabetes, which can significantly weaken your immunity.
By controlling the amount of sugar you consume, you can significantly decrease your inflammation and weight. And this can greatly reduce your chances of getting the above conditions.
As we know diabetes and heart disease can weaken your immunity, curbing your sugar intake should definitely be a part of your immunity-boosting plan.
Eat Healthy Fats
Though a low level of inflammation is very normal in case of some stress or injury, extreme or chronic inflammation is never good. It can have a very drastic effect on your body’s immune system.
Healthy fats, that are found in salmon and olive oil, may help you a lot in such a case. Their anti-inflammatory effects are very effective in reducing chronic inflammation. Plus, they may also decrease the risk of you developing any heart disease or diabetes.
Olive oil is also very popular for its properties to fight off various harmful viruses and bacterias.
Hydration, itself, doesn’t save you from any harmful viruses or bacterias. However, keeping yourself hydrated is actually very important for your overall health.
Staying dehydrated for a long time may cause headaches and hamper your body’s performance. Plus, it may also take its toll on your concentration, moods, digestion, and many individual body parts, like heart and kidney. And all these can make you very vulnerable to falling ill. Therefore, you must keep yourself hydrated in order to keep your immunity well.
To keep yourself well hydrated, you must drink enough liquid daily. Prefer consuming water, as it is free from all the additives, sugar, and calories. But if the water is not available, you may turn to fresh juices or sweetened tea. However, it’s better to limit these things due to the high level of sugar in them.
As a general rule of thumb, you should always drink some water when you feel thirsty. However, you may need to drink more if you exercise intensively, live at a hot place, or are working outside. Also, as you grow old, your body may stop giving you thirst signals effectively. And so, if you are an older adult, you should drink water frequently, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Maintain an Exercise Routine
In order to keep your immune system in the best shape possible, you must exercise regularly. However, if you are not an expert, you should not try to push yourself too hard. Keep your workout sessions moderate.
Studies suggest that having a moderate exercising routine can significantly enhance the effects of vaccines, even in people who don’t have a very good immune system. Furthermore, working out regularly may decrease your inflammation and improve the regeneration of your immune cells.
The above-given tips can surely help you improve your immunity, which is very important in times like these. However, you should note that none of these tips can guarantee you of the prevention from the novel COVID-19 virus. As per the experts, until now, the only known way of preventing coronavirus is social distancing. So, we recommend you follow that extensively. And if you see any symptoms of the virus in you, see a doctor online, immediately.