Social distancing ,regular handwashing and wearing mask are the most effective and proven methods to reduce risk and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However its equally important to understand the link between nutrition, immune system and supplements in COVID.
Your immune system constantly defends your body against invading pathogens, including viruses, toxins, and bacteria.
Keeping your immune system healthy year-round is key to preventing infection and disease. Making healthy lifestyle choices by consuming nutritious foods and getting enough sleep and exercise are the most important ways to bolster your immune system.
Poorly nourished individuals are at a greater risk of various bacterial, viral, and other infections.
What factors can depress our immune system?
- Old age
- Poor nutrition
- Lack of sleep and recovery
- Lack of physical activities
- Chronic stress
- Excess weight
- Chronic diseases
- Environmental toxins
Eating enough nutrients as part of a varied diet is required for the health and function of all cells, including immune cells. In addition, research has shown that supplementing with certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other substances can improve immune response and potentially protect against illness.
A healthy and clean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, moderate consumption of fish, and poultry, and limited intake of red and processed meat, refined carbohydrates, sugar and ultra processed food.
SMARTEST DOCTOR IS YOUR BODY. We all are blessed with a super power inner pharmacy which can be activated by FARMACY.
Your inner tube of life is your digestive system. Two wolf in your digestive system- Good bacteria and bad/wrong bacteria, whom you feed the most will grow and take the lead of your health. Processed foods are the treat for bad bacteria whereas whole unprocessed foods, probiotic, prebiotic, fermented foods are the treat for good bacteria.
The microbiome plays a key role in immune function. The gut is a major site of immune activity and the production of antimicrobial proteins. The diet plays a large role in determining what kinds of microbes live in our intestines. A high-fiber plant-rich diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes appear to support the growth and maintenance of beneficial microbes.
Certain helpful microbes break down fibers into short chain fatty acids, which have been shown to stimulate immune cell activity. These fibers are sometimes called prebiotics because they feed microbes. Therefore, a diet containing probiotic and prebiotic foods may be beneficial. Probiotic foods like curd contain live helpful bacteria , and prebiotic foods contain fiber and oligosaccharides that feed and maintain healthy colonies of those bacteria.
In COVID pandemic, it is indispensable to keep our immune system healthy and vital.
Here are the few suggestions to boost your immune and keep COVID -19 at bay-
- Vitamin D- A number of studies have found that those who have less vitamin D are more vulnerable to COVID. The smaller number of foods contain vitamin D and the human body produces the vitamin D when in contact with the direct sunlight. Since COVID- 19 pandemic induced lock downs have confined a large number of people to their houses it is very imp to get checked your vitamin D and start the supplement . When get in safe range then the best practice is sunning for 15- 20 mins daily when the UV index is not too high. About 20 minutes of daily sunshine on 40% of exposed skin produces ample vitamin D in general. Dark-skinned people need more exposure to produce the same amount of the vitamin.
United kingdom is giving free vitamin D supplements to more than 2.5 million “vulnerable people” COVID pandemic. Vitamin D is actually a hormone rather than a vitamin; it is required to absorb calcium from the gut into the bloodstream. Vitamin D is mostly produced in the skin in response to sunlight and is also absorbed from food eaten (about 10% of vitamin D is absorbed this way) as part of a healthy balanced diet. Less vitamin D less absorption of calcium. Now think what will happen to your bone and teeth?!
2.Probiotic foods: Kefir, yogurt with live active cultures, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, and miso.
3.Prebiotic foods: Garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, bananas, and seaweed. However, a more general rule is to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains for dietary prebiotics.
4.Zinc: Zinc is proven to be effective at slowing the rate that similar viruses such as SARS and common cold replicate in the body. As an essential micro nutrient for human health, zinc plays a key role in the immune system. Zinc is vital for more than 300 enzymes in the body.A daily intake of up to 15 mg of zinc is needed to maintain a steady state as there is no specific zinc storage system in the body.
5.Vitamin C: The body is not able to make vitamin C on its own. It does not store vitamin C. It is therefore important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in your daily diet.Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is vital for the immune health.Supplementing with vitamin C has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold.
The upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 mg. Supplemental daily doses typically range between 250 and 1,000 mg.
6. Medicinal mushroom: Over 270 recognized species of medicinal mushrooms are known to have immune-enhancing properties . Cordyceps, lion’s mane, maitake, shitake, reishi, and turkey tail are all types that have been shown to benefit immune health.
7.Turmeric and black pepper: Curcumin and black pepper helps up in boosting up the immunity and helps to fight against viral replication. Curcumin suppresses various inflammatory molecules which are responsible for the causes of the damage by viruses.
The addition of black pepper with turmeric increases the absorption of turmeric by 2000 percent when used in a 1:10 ratio of pepper to turmeric. Pretty amazing, right? Black pepper aids in combating respiratory conditions and rejuvenating the lungs.
8. Ashwagandha: It is an ancient herb commonly known as Indian Gingeng and is a powerful adaptogen. It enhances the body’s resilience to stress. Ashwagandha improves the body’s defense against disease by improving the immunity. It also possesses potent antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.
An herb used for more than 5,000 years in the practice of Ayurvedic medicine, can increase the body’s white blood cells, which help boost immunity.
9.B complex vitamins. B vitamins, including B12 and B6, are important for healthy immune response. Yet, many adults are deficient in them, which may negatively affect immune health.
10.Selenium: Selenium is a mineral that’s essential for immune health. Animal research demonstrates that selenium supplements may enhance antiviral defense against influenza strains, including H1N1 . Brazil nuts are good source of selenium. Two Brazil nuts are enough to boost your immune and take care of inflammation.
11. Sleep ,Rest and Recovery: This is a significant and required element for healthy immune, that you have to take care on daily basis. Without sleep ,rest and recovery neither you nor your immune can survive or thrive.
Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick. During sleep hours your body recovers from kryptonites. Poor and bad sleep can lead to long term chronic diseases.
12. Exercise: Stay physically active during quarantine. WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease.
Supplementing is important to get on the wellness track,however, maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, engaging in regular physical activity, and not smoking and drinking are some of the most important ways to help keep your immune system healthy and reduce your chances of infection and disease.
More inflammations more you are vulnerable to infections. So eat more anti inflammatory foods such as kale ,green leafy vegetables, spices and herbs, fruits, cruciferous veggies, beans and lentils ,coconut oil,ghee…
A robust and diverse food supply is an essential part of the health and nutrition response to COVID-19 pandemic.
“Here are five simple rules for a powerful immune system that you should commit to memory: 1. Eat a large salad every day. 2. Eat at least a half-cup serving of beans/legumes in soup, salad, or another dish once daily. 3. Eat at least three fresh fruits a day, especially berries, pomegranate seeds, cherries, plums, oranges. 4. Eat at least one ounce of raw nuts and seeds a day. 5. Eat at least one large (double-size) serving of green vegetables daily, either raw, steamed, or in soups or stews.”
― Joel Fuhrman, Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease