The world is overwhelmed by coronavirus or COVID -19 at the moment. People are anxious and stressed as many of the countries are going into lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
The good news is there are many things we can do to avoid catching this virus and boost our immunity and give our immune system the best possible chance of working at its optimum level to fight infections.
The immune system is the defence system in our bodies that fight against infections. However, some people have weaker immune systems which make them more prone to infections. Here are some of the things you can do to naturally strengthen your immunity.
Smoking is known to compromise the immune system which makes you susceptible to infections such as pneumonia.
When stress hormones like cortisol elevated, it depresses our immune system. It’s difficult to keep a cool head during these troubling times. But it is crucial.
Yoga and Meditation
One of the proven ways to destress is the regular practice of meditation and yoga. Yoga is a mind-body practice which is a combination of physical poses and controlled breathing. Many studies have found that practising yoga helps to relax your body and reduce stress.
Eat a Diet High in Fruits and Veggies
Generally, fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamin, minerals, fibre and water, which are immune-boosting nutrients? Vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale help immune cells in the gut and skin, function properly. Whereas, citrus fruits like orange, lemon, grapefruit contain vitamin C which thought to increase immune health.
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep deprivation causes our bodies to produce fewer cytokines, a protein that fights against infections and creates an effective immune response. Try to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep regularly.
Exercise reduces the stress hormones and may flush out germs of the lungs and airways which helps to prevent getting flu or other infections. Both less exercise and too much exercise depresses the immune system. Do it in moderation.
Maintain a healthy weight
Studies have found that people affected by obesity have impaired immune response, leading to an increased risk of infections. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is very important.
Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration reduces the volume of blood lymphatic fluids which affects healthy immune response. Drink the recommended amount of water which is 2-3 litres per day.
Herbs and Home Remedies
There are hundreds of herbs which you can use to boost immunity. Herbs like garlic, ginger, turmeric, elderberry, cumin and licorice are very effective in enhancing immunity.
According to researches, deficiency of vitamin D is associated with increased susceptibility to infections. Get enough sun exposure, eat vitamin D rich food and take supplements if needed.
These are some of the things you can do to keep your immune system in top shape and give it the best chance of fight against infections. It’s time for us to play our part in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Please be safe and take precautions.
Article by Health expert, Ayurvedic Physician, Dr. Nethi Weerasinghe