Coronavirus (COVID-19) was considered a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. It is a leading challenge throughout the globe. People with pre-existing conditions like hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory issues are at a higher risk of having COVID-19 complications. COVID-19 can be tackled if you follow ways to boost your immune system; strong immunity is vital.
Suppose your immune system is very weak or having certain existing conditions, including obesity or diabetes. In that case, it can over-react quickly, creating a “cytokine” that leads to a cascade of various complications that make it harder for your body to self-regulate as it produces antibodies to the virus.
But where there is a will, there is a way. Yes, you can resist it or minimize it by your immune system. And to have a stronger immune response to such foreign invaders, you need to have an immune-boosting diet as well as a healthy lifestyle. COVID-19 can result in a minor infection in the younger generation with no underlying illnesses, provided you have very good immunity. It became very much necessary to attain and maintain especially good nutritional status to fight against the virus.
The nutritional status is determined by various factors, such as age, sex, health status, lifestyle, etc. The optimal amount of nutrition and dietary nutrient intake impact the immune system. Therefore, the way to survive in the current scenario is to boost your immune system. A proper diet, exercise, and other healthy lifestyle factors can ensure that the body is in a good state to fight the virus.
Ways To Boost Your Immune System
Immune-boosting foods to fight off COVID-19 are as follows:
1. Bone Broths
Dr. Josh Axe, the creator of Ancient Nutrition and author of the upcoming book Ancient Remedies, stated that bone broth boosts the immune system by supporting the health of your gut and reducing inflammation. It contains collagen and amino acids like glutamine, glycine, and arginine, which play a crucial role in gut health linked to immune health.
2. Ginger And Garlic
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties due to certain compounds like shogaol, paradol, etc. Drinking tea with fresh ginger is a great way to take advantage of its benefits. Garlic is also responsible for boosting your immune system. It has antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, helping the body resist viruses.
3. Vitamins And Minerals
- Vitamin A helps to boost your weakened or low immunity. Foods include carrots, spinach, broccoli, and red bell peppers.
- According to researchers and doctors, vitamin D also plays a critical role in modulating how the immune system responds to COVID-19.
- Vitamin B6 is another important vitamin that supports various biochemical reactions in the immune system. Examples of this vitamin include chicken and salmon, and tuna, and it is also present in green vegetables and chickpeas.
- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, helping our body fight off various infections. Foods that are good vitamin E sources include nuts, seeds, and spinach.
- Vitamin C, another superpower vitamin, stimulates the formation of antibodies necessary to fight the virus. Lemon, orange, strawberries, red bell pepper, and kiwi are all rich sources of vitamin C.
- Vitamin D and vitamin C play a major role in boosting one’s immunity. One should have more citrus fruits as a vitamin C source, and good egg yolks and mushrooms as a good source of vitamin D. People infected with the COVID-19 are given vitamin C through Intravenous therapy.
- Among minerals, zinc is another important nutrient that helps boost your immune system and metabolism. An individual can either take zinc supplements under the physician’s advice or through some foods like cashews or pumpkin seeds.
4. Probiotic-rich Foods
Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is a natural probiotic and helps form good bacteria in our bodies. If you have a sore throat, you can avoid taking yogurt and instead take a probiotic supplement once a day with a meal under the nutritionist’s recommendation.
Pineapple is an excellent choice that helps boost your body boost its defense mechanism against various illnesses; it has a high vitamin C concentration. Oranges are also supremely rich in vitamin C. Kiwis are a great example of folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium.
These vitamins build healthy cells, fight infection and keep your immune system viable. Eat fruits daily (guava, apple, banana, strawberry, cantaloupe melon, grapefruit, pineapple, papaya, orange, Longman fruit, blackcurrant) with a minimum of 3 to 4 servings a day.
Fishes are mainly good protein sources, and omega 3 fatty acids are equally responsible for boosting immunity. Salmon is rich in vitamin D, which is why it has been advised to add oily fish like salmon to your diet. Research has revealed that vitamin D deficiency is linked with increased susceptibility to respiratory infections.
Broccoli is the most important superfood on the planet as it is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and phytochemicals, which are great for strengthening your immune system. Broccoli is also a good source of lutein, which is a potent antioxidant. It contains other important nutrients, including magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron.
Spinach is not only rich in vitamin C but also lots of antioxidants and beta carotene, which give your immune system a healthy start. But don’t overcook it as it might lose its antioxidant property. Start consuming spinach daily to avail of its benefits for the body.
Almonds are the best, healthy, and nutritious snacks to munch on. Vitamin E in almonds will help keep away your colds and flu and is key to your immune system.
10. Turmeric To Fight Inflammation
Turmeric is the most beneficial spice with strong healing properties considering health aspects. Turmeric helps boost your immune system by stimulating the formation of antibodies. The doctors often advise patients with auto-immune diseases to supplement curcumin daily to reduce inflammation.
Summarizing The Ways
- Eat whole grains, cereals, and nuts.
- Try to eat an adequate amount of fresh vegetables (green bell peppers, garlic, ginger, kale, lime, coriander, broccoli, green chili pepper). Do not overcook vegetables as it leads to the loss of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
- It would help if you made sure that the food is prepared well and served at acceptable temperatures.
- Consume more unsaturated fats (found in avocado, omega 3 fatty fish, nuts, soy, olive oil, canola, sunflower) rather than saturated fats (butter, coconut, and palm oils).
- Drink around ten glasses of water every day. Hydration will help flush out the bad toxins from the body and lower the chances of flu and other infections.
- Adequate sleep will help to support immune functioning followed by exercise. Remember to exercise regularly. Exercise for about 30-45 minutes daily, depending on your stamina.
- Anxiety and depression around the pandemic is another concern that is affecting millions of people. Try to destress yourself by doing meditation before sleep and also practice deep breathing techniques regularly.
- Habits like smoking, alcohol consumption have a direct link between weakened body defense systems and respiratory illnesses.
- Avoid all kinds of unnecessary and non-emergency travels. Most COVID-19 positive cases are actually imported cases, which later spread to the communities. Try avoiding the public transport system and public places to avoid any exposure.
Supplements And Immunity-boosting Foods
If you’re not sure whether you are getting the right amount of nutrients from your diet, consult with your physician or licensed nutritionist about supplementation to boost your immune system.
Here are a few common supplements and superfoods that can help.
- Vitamin C is a crucial vitamin. It helps prevent the common cold, acts as a powerful antioxidant, and protects against oxidative stress.
- Vitamin D supplements are said to have a protective effect against respiratory tract infections. It’s best to consult with a doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement to boost immunity.
- Zinc deficiency makes one more susceptible to flu and other viral infections. It is advisable to take a zinc supplement, especially for older people.
- Turmeric contains curcumin, which helps boost your immune system function.
- Garlic possesses anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, which boosts the body’s immunity.
A proper and healthy diet can ensure a HEALTHY immune system that can resist the virus. Individuals taking well-balanced diets appear safer with better immune systems and lower incidence of diseases and infections.