The scientific community is at a race against the global pandemic COVID-19 — how fast can we develop an effective vaccine for the virus. The deadly coronavirus cases are multiplying around the globe — so far in 199 countries with over 731450 confirmed cases and rising.
While you should stick to the basics: testing, washing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, maintaining social distance, self-isolation, and quarantine — it is crucial to boost your immune defense to ward off the virus naturally.
Health experts suggest a combination of diet, sleep, exercise, and supplements plan for a strong immune system. It’s always the first line of defense against any virus, flu, or be it COVID-19.
Here are some of the foods and lifestyle changes that may enhance your immune system to fight coronavirus.
1. Have a Nutritious Diet.
A diet with essential vitamins, proteins, and minerals are necessary for beefing up the immune defense. Citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, grapefruit, tangerines, etc. are good sources of vitamin C. The vitamin is responsible for producing white blood cells and counter infections and flu.
Besides red bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, and other leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Both ancient and modern medical literature confirms the immune-boosting properties in garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Lean protein such as chicken and turkey can help produce new red blood cells.
Almonds, sunflower seeds, papaya, kiwi, etc. are other nutritious foods that may be incorporated in your immune-boosting diet.
2. Get Enough & Regular Sleep.
The popular belief — ‘Sleep and rest helps healing’ has strong scientific backing. Researchers suggest that a proper sleep cycle regularly helps regulate the immune system better.
A regular sleep cycle means a scheduled sleep-wake time. The practice may produce an immunological memory in the body and has long-lasting effects resulting in good health.
The experts recommend 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day to reset the body and deal with the physical and mental stress during this pandemic.
3. Do Exercise & Meditation.
Exercise and meditations have both physical and spiritual benefits in this time of the corona outbreak. Currently, more than 158 million Americans are in self-isolation due to stay-at-home orders from the government.
Exercise and mindfulness meditations are of immense importance in this time of crisis to keep up the physical and mental well being.
Regular stretching, freehand exercises such as push-ups, squats, ab crunches, leg lifts, and so on can sweat you out and improve the circulation. The practice can help produce endorphin hormones to de-stress. WHO also recommends mindfulness meditation and yoga to keep your stress and anxiety on check during this time of global crisis.
Researchers claim that meditation has favorable therapeutic effects on the body and mind — to reduce cell aging, produce antibodies, and ward off inflammations.
4. Check on Alcohol Consumption and Cigarette Smoking.
Americans generally love alcoholic beverages. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that an average American consumes approximately 2.3 gallons of alcohol annually.
COVID-19 contagion has forced us to be locked inside our four walls. All the alcohol-serving establishments are shut, and it’s very natural to feel dry and grab your favorite drink while at home.
Excessive alcohol consumption is always harmful. It’s even worse while you are amid a global pandemic. Several medical research shows the negative impact of alcohol on the immune system. Overconsumption of alcohol makes the body prone to be affected by sepsis, pneumonia, and different respiratory disorders.
Studies suggest that drinking too much alcohol affects the regular activity and production of the immune system cells. Alcohol also deteriorates the function of cilia or respiratory cells lining, which otherwise helps to keep off the harmful substances from the tract. Medical experts recommend drinking in moderation during this time of viral contagion to preserve good health.
Smoking cigarettes is another matter of concern during the coronavirus outbreak. WHO tells us that smoking puts us at risk of contracting and fighting a COVID-19 contagion.
Holding a contaminated cigarette may transmit the virus from your hands to the mouth. Moreover, smoking makes your lungs weak and more vulnerable to severe lung conditions such as pneumonia. So, it’s better to keep your smoking habit in check during this coronavirus pandemic.
The Bottom Line
The vaccine for the deadly coronavirus is yet to come. In the meantime, you can prevent the contagion and its spread by following the recommendations given by WHO. You can also gear up your immune system against COVID-19 by having a nutritious diet, enough sleep, doing physical exercises, meditations, and cutting down on alcohol and cigarette consumption.