Top Foods to Increase Immunity admist Covid-19

Photo: The Financial Express
  • Garlic: Allicin, a compound in garlic, is well-known for its ability to boost the immune system. The most benefit comes from eating one-half of a raw garlic clove daily. If you can’t stomach raw garlic, the next best thing is to roast it.
  • Prebiotics: Robust gut bacteria protect us against infection. Keep those bacteria healthy with prebiotics that contain fiber, specifically inulin fiber. Excellent sources of prebiotics are Jerusalem artichokes, green bananas or plantains, Jicama root and asparagus.
  • Vitamin C-rich foods: Vitamin C is known to boost immunity. One study found that older adults who ate kiwi every day for a month had a significant decrease in the severity and duration of upper respiratory infection symptoms.
  • Antioxidants: Stress can lead to lowered immunity and make you more prone to illness. Colorful fruits and vegetables including berries, carrots and spinach have antioxidants that protect you against oxidative stress, which translates to a stronger immune system.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate.

    The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all. Research has shown that steaming is the best way to keep more nutrients in the food.

  • Ginger: Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after getting sick. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may help with nausea as well.

    While it’s used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin.

    Ginger may also decrease chronic pain and might even possess cholesterol-lowering properties, according to healthline.

Lifestyle improvements

Living under constant stress, even low-grade, that continues day in and out, causes the body to produce too much cortisol, the stress hormone. Over time, elevated cortisol lowers your resistance to fighting off infection and contributes to poor sleep and higher blood pressure.

Protect yourself from stress and bolster your immune system with a few lifestyle tweaks:

  • Sleep: Yep, it’s easier said than done (especially if you’re an insomniac). But here’s the deal — you need seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night to fight off infection. “Prioritize sleep. If you need help, choose a tried-and-true technique known as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBT-I,” says Dr. Darling. “Talk with your doctor to find a reputable therapist or download a CBT-I app.”
  • Meditation: Even five minutes a day of guided meditation, or simply sitting quietly and focusing on your breath, can make a difference. Meditation lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and reduces anxiety. Plus, it’s calming. So it’s not surprising that it also helps you sleep.
  • Exercise: “Exercise increases your resilience so you can fight off infection,” says Dr. Darling. “Our bodies function better when we’re physically active every day.” Dr. Darling recommends carving out at least 10 minutes a day, ideally 30 minutes, and doing a mixture of cardio and strength training.

Attitude is everything

Photo: Psychology Today

A positive mindset is vital for health and well-being. Research shows that positive thoughts reduce stress and inflammation and increase resilience to infection — while negative emotions can make you more susceptible to the common cold and flu.

Raise your spririt up

Find a Furry Friend

There's a reason we call them "man's best friend." Dogs and other pets aren’t just good buddies. They also give us a reason to exercise and boost our health in other ways. Pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and healthier hearts. Dogs can help your child’s immune response and make him less likely to get allergies.

Build Your Social Network

We all know friends are important, but strong social ties can also have a big effect on your health. People with healthy relationships are likely to outlive those with poor social ties. Want to broaden your circle? Volunteer, take a class, or join a group that interests you. And nurture the bonds you already have, cites webmd.

Look on the Bright Side

When you think good thoughts, your body’s defenses work better. Want to stay in your happy place? Savor the things you enjoy. Look for a silver lining -- even in tough times -- and try not to dwell on the bad stuff.

Have a Laugh

A giggle or two is good for you. Not only does it make you feel better, there’s no downside. One study found that after people laughed out loud at funny videos, their immune systems worked better. But we aren’t sure yet if that means less illness in the long run.

Top Drinks

If you’re ready to give it all you got when it comes to avoiding the coronavirus, consider these extra measures:

  • Supplements: “A lot of people are deficient (or low) in vitamin D, and a deficiency may increase your susceptibility to infection,” says Dr. Darling. “Get outside for fresh air and sunshine, but I also recommend taking a daily supplement of 1,000 to 2,000 IUs of vitamin D.”
  • Essential oils: Eucalyptus and tea tree oils have antiviral properties that may protect you against infection from viruses. Use in an oil diffuser to inhale them or make a hand sanitizer using tea tree oil mixed with aloe vera gel and isopropyl alcohol. Studies also show that lavender essential oil has a calming effect, so it can help ease anxiety and improve sleep. Add a few drops to a warm bath or use the oil in a diffuser while you work or sleep.
And sometimes, even with lots of sleep and vitamin C, superheroes get sick. It’s OK! The key is to take time off to recharge (and avoid getting others sick). In no time, you’ll be donning your cape again. But for your health and the health of those around you, make sure you’re fully supercharged before you do.

What is an immunity system?

Our immune system is essential for our survival. Without an immune system, our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. It is our immune system that keeps us healthy as we drift through a sea of pathogens.

This vast network of cells and tissues is constantly on the lookout for invaders, and once an enemy is spotted, a complex attack is mounted.

The immune system is spread throughout the body and involves many types of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues. Crucially, it can distinguish our tissue from foreign tissue — self from non-self. Dead and faulty cells are also recognized and cleared away by the immune system.

If the immune system encounters a pathogen, for instance, a bacterium, virus, or parasite, it mounts a so-called immune response. Later, we will explain how this works, but first, we will introduce some of the main characters in the immune system.

What role does the immunity system play in Covid-19 fight?

How to increase immunity?

A syringe sticking into an oversized coronavirus.

The coronavirus is — like any other virus — not much more than a shell around genetic material and a few proteins. To replicate, it needs a host in the form of a living cell. Once infected, this cell does what the virus commands it to do: copy information, assemble it, release it, DW cited a science report as saying.

But this does not go unnoticed. Within a few minutes, the body's immune defense system intervenes with its innate response: Granulocytes, scavenger cells and killer cells from the blood and lymphatic system stream in to fight the virus. They are supported by numerous plasma proteins that either act as messengers or help to destroy the virus.

Researchers have been trying to understand why some people get sick from COVID-19 while others do not. Looking at how the immune system responds to the virus can give us some idea, and it can possibly help us try to predict the course of the disease in people who have been infected, according to Goodrx.

Under normal circumstances, the innate immune response kicks in first to attack and clear out the virus, followed by the adaptive immune response to remove any remaining virus and create a memory for future infections. For people with asymptomatic or mild cases of COVID-19, everything tends to work together as it should, or at least it does not progress to severe disease that requires hospitalization.

But in severe cases, especially with older people, research has suggested that sometimes the different arms of the immune response can be out of sync. This can create a perfect storm, leading to some of the complications that we’ve seen in severe COVID-19 cases that become critical.

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