Lifestyle January 17, 2022
Whether it’s the Covid-19 virus or just a seasonal flu, we rely on our bodies to ward off against viral infections. Your immune system is the one fighting the battle on an almost daily basis.
This is why, it’s critical to keep your immune system in tip-top shape by constantly supplying your body with the proper nutrients, rest and other necessary armaments it needs to fight off pesky invaders that would want to harm your body.
We compiled 5 surefire ways to supercharge your immune system amidst these trying times.
Make sure you get your daily doses of vitamins and nutrients through various over-the-counter vitamin supplements. During the cold and flu season, load up on Vitamin C and Zinc.
There are a lot of options in the market currently but try to get non-acidic variants as Vitamin C in its most common form, ascorbic acid, could be a bit hard on the stomach (especially when you take it without food). Sodium ascorbate helps temper this further. Vitamin C, aside from being a potent antioxidant, contributes to an overall better immune system by making sure your organs that houses cells to produce an immune response functions properly.
Vitamin C affects a wide range of functions in the body, including ensuring good skin health. Zinc on the otherhand helps prevent the multiplication of the rhinovirus (the common virus that causes colds) by stopping it from attaching itself to the mucus membranes of your throat and nose (the place where cold viruses replicate the most).
If your diet isn’t as varied as it should be, get some b-complex vitamins as well. Vitamin D3 or getting exposure to sunlight should help improve your immune response, too, so load up on those. B-vitamins help your body regulate energy, metabolism and prevent nerve damage while Vitamin D3 helps with bone strength and may even help prevent one from getting the (seasonal) flu according to the American Journal of Medical Nutrition.
Ultimately don’t skip out on your daily vitamins – but don’t over do it. There is such a thing as Vitamin overdose and while the effects to the body aren’t deadly, it can lead to upset stomachs and gastric discomfort. According to doctors, the Upper Intake Levels (UL) of an individual should not exceed 2000mg per day. In fact, going at 1000mg per day is already considered very high as the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of Vitamin C for healthy adults is anywhere from 70mg-90mg (up to 120mg for smokers).
As always, when you do take vitamins make sure you’re well-hydrated so don’t forget to drink your water throughout the day especially during these colder months.
While taking supplements are the easier way to get around getting your daily dose of vitamins, the more natural method of doing so is loading up on a well-balanced meal and increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is recommended to have 1 1/2 – to 2 cups of fruits and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. And while not everyone is into salads, there are ways to prepare vegetables that would even surprise vegetable-haters themselves like a scrumptious Cauliflower Steak.
The main point is to stop feeding your body junk and start giving yourself the much-deserved nutrients you need. You could also look at food as medicine – by taking in a lot of the good stuff, you’re giving your body the necessary armaments to not only boost your immune system but to help alleviate inflammation and keep your body functioning at optimal levels.
Ginger and Turmeric are known to help ease inflammation while improving blood circulation, honey is a wonder food on its own with antibacterial and antifungal properties, and Moringa has 7x the amount of Vitamin C found on Oranges.
Yes, we’re in lockdown, but if you devote at least 15-20 mins per day on just getting enough light to moderate exercise, it will do wonders to your immune system. Even if you just step outside (with mask on) for a couple of minutes and walk around and about under the sun, not only will you have done some cardio but you would have gotten some Vitamin D as well.
According to an article by the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, moderate physical exercise is enough to stimulate cellular immunity. If you do it consistently enough it should keep your immune system in tip-top shape – plus you may actually enjoy working out which may lead to a more well-rounded healthy lifestyle.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your immune system isn’t compromised is by getting a good amount of consistent quality sleep. According to experts, when we sleep our bodies produce a host of immune-response cells that patrol and keep ourselves in defense mode against unwanted bacteria and viruses.
Cytokines and T-cells target areas of inflammation and infection and fight off invading cells and virus while growth hormones trigger tissue repairs, these are just some of the amazing things that happen when we fall asleep.
To get a good amount of sleep, researchers suggest the following:
Lastly, one sure-fire way to ensure that you have the fighting chance to withstand an onslaught of viral diseases (including COVID-19) is to get yourself and your loved ones vaccinated. Vaccines prepare your immune system to fight off the virus once before it actually gets in your body.
And while some vaccines last for a lifetime, there are some that (may) need to be updated every now and then – like the annual flu vaccine. For COVID-19, while getting the vaccine won’t make you immune to the virus, it will decrease your chance of getting hospitalized because of it. If you’re eligible for a booster and you’re able to secure a schedule, we highly encourage you to take it.
With stricter lockdowns being implemented across the Metro, an easy way to get fresh produce, vitamins, exercise equipment and medicine is to utilize various online shopping portals as to limit unnecessary exposure to the virus.