COVID-19 is still making new peaks in the graph. These rising COVID-19 cases in India have shown us the importance of our body’s immunity.
People, now more than ever, are concerned about strengthening their immunity. But the truth is immunity never comes in the form of a capsule. It’s something one can strengthen through lifestyle modifications and you can do it too!
How Can You Build Your Immunity Against COVID-19?
To date, the only method which gives you specific protection against COVID-19 is a vaccine.
But there are several things you can do to boost your immunity in general. This will also protect you against the new disease hazard, mucormycosis, also known as the black fungus.
One crucial lifestyle modification includes your diet. It is not just about the nutrients in the food – your food habits influence your body weight too and obesity (BMI>30 Kg/m2) is a significant risk factor that can foster many underlying health conditions.
What Lifestyle Modifications Can Help Boost Immunity During Home Quarantine?
1. Have a healthy diet
One can meet all the daily vitamin requirements by having a properly balanced diet.
2. Sunbathing for at least 15 minutes
Find one corner of your house that receives direct sunlight and sit under it for at least 15 minutes. Not just plants, but even humans require sunlight.
The fundamental difference is that plants need it for photosynthesis (preparing their food). In contrast, humans need it to synthesise Vitamin D. Our skin has the precursor molecule of Vitamin D, which is converted to the active form in the presence of sunlight.
3. Indulge in yogas and home workouts
Studies show that yoga offers multitudes of benefits to our body, including the lungs. Also, daily exercise helps to maintain blood sugar levels, specifically for people with diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes is an essential factor leading to severe COVID-19 infections.
4. Break the fake WhatsApp forward chain
Fake news and information incite more panic and hysteria amongst people. Stop forwarding fake WhatsApp messages from being circulated over the internet is as important as getting vaccinated.
Check the authenticity of the information you receive. Do not start consuming medicines or any procedures based on these Whatsapp forwards without medical consultations. Every medication has potential side effects and consuming them without a doctor’s supervision can be hazardous.
What Foods Should I Eat to Stay Healthy While Being Home Quarantined?
Vitamins and zinc capsules are prescribed worldwide to boost immunity. So, let us invest the same money buying food items rich in zinc and vitamins. Here is a list of six healthy and readily available food items that can help us strengthen our immunity system and keep ourselves healthy during this pandemic.
1. Lemon and other citrus fruits
Well, the days are gone when people used to say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It just got updated to “a lemonade a day, keeps the coronavirus away.”
Well, you can curb your medical bills and also restrain yourself from standing in a queue outside a pharmacy by just squeezing a lemon into a glass of water.
100 grams of lemon(i.e., two standard lemons approximately) is said to have around 53 mg of Vitamin C. Not only does it help fight COVID-19 by building your immunity, but it also has many other health benefits too. It aids in weight loss, prevents kidney stones and also reduces the risk of cancer.
Although the sun is the best and the cheapest source of Vitamin D, eggs are also a rich source of Vitamin D. Fact says that 100 grams of boiled eggs contain around 87 IU(International Units) of Vitamin D. The RDA(Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin D is 600-700 IU(International Units).
Eggs are also a good source of zinc. So, they also keep your immunity in check.
Apart from being rich in Vitamin D, eggs are also a rich source of proteins. Including this in your diet helps you maintain a balanced diet. Eggs are also one of the best sources of choline.
Choline is a substance useful in making acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. Hence, eggs also keep your nervous system healthy. It is specifically recommended for the elderly who are at an increased risk of suffering from neurodegenerative conditions.
3. Milk and other dairy products
The health benefits of milk need no special mention. Also known as the complete diet, milk is packed with many nutrients essential for our body. Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin D, and vitamin B are some of them. Doctors often recommend drinking milk for older adults at an increased risk of suffering from pathological bone fractures due to osteoporosis.
4. Green leafy vegetables
A list of healthy foods is always incomplete without green leafy vegetables. Their property of being rich in vitamins, minerals and fibres but low in calories makes them an integral part of every diet. Especially, if you are trying to shed some pounds, you may run hours on the treadmill, but the hard work will be in vain if you consume an unhealthy diet.
Being overweight and obese are some of the most typical risk factors of diabetes and other fatal diseases. Diabetes is one of the critical comorbidities leading to a severe COVID-19 infection. So, indirectly, green leafy vegetables help you lose weight and decrease your chances of suffering from other diseases.
5. Don’t eat foods labelled with added sugar
The graph has not stabilised yet. Health experts say that ‘’India should also be prepared for a third wave.” And how are you supposed to do that?
One thing that people with diabetes must do is, keep a strong watch on their blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled diabetes not just increases your chances of contracting COVID-19 but also suffering from severe COVID-19 infection. And one ground rule you need to follow to keep your blood sugar level under control is to avoid every canned food which has added sugar in it.
Additionally, if you’re losing weight or fear gaining weight, then added sugar food items are the last thing you should eat.
6. Meat and oily fish
Apart from carbohydrates from rice and wheat, you need some protein to have a balanced diet. Meat and oily fish serve as a rich source of protein your diet demands.
Also, cardiologists recommend eating oily fish as it contains omega-3 fatty acids that keep your heart healthy.
But it is important to note that you should avoid taking red meat as it contains saturated fats that increase your blood cholesterol level, leading to CAD (Coronary Artery Diseases).
When will COVID-19 end in India? Hard to predict. We also don’t know what associated risks are going to follow COVID-19. One has already started infecting people: the black fungus or mucormycosis.
Recently, we saw increased usage of steroids in COVID-19 treatment and these steroids suppress our immunity. And this instead makes a fertile land for other disease conditions.
How is one supposed to escape this vicious cycle? By preventing getting infected with COVID-19 in the first place. So, use this lockdown as a chance to boost up your immunity.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.