The Pandemic Making Us Bolster Our Immune System, But How?

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - 15:01
coronavirus

The pandemic have been making us to bolster our immune system, the cells, tissues and organs to better fight COVID-19.

According to an ISCA report, as a powerful medicine, consuming the right amount of nutrients, food, antioxidants, is crucial for health, particularly in times when the immune system might need to fight back.

Considering immune-boosting diet, there are a number of nutrients found in dietary sources that support the human immune system and lowers the risk of infections. These include vitamins (A, B6, B12, folate, C, D, and E) and trace elements, such as zinc, copper, selenium, and iron.

During periods of pandemic and stress, people tend to eat more and show a greater preference for higher calorie foods. Limited access to fresh foods may compromise opportunities to continue eating a healthy and varied diet. It can also potentially lead to an increased consumption of highly processed foods, which tend to be high in fats, sugars and salt.

There is a direct relationship between your diet, physical activity, and health. For optimal health, it is also important to remain physically active. Following general healthy living advice such as eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, being physically active, getting enough sleep, and managing stress are the best recommendation for staying healthy during quarantine or self-isolation.

Plant-based health expert Dr T. Colin Campbell has said switching to a whole food plant-based diet could “produce a faster, safer, more comprehensive long-term solution for coping with viral diseases like COVID-19”.

In the study, published by the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies, Dr Campbell referenced research he had previously done as part of the China Project.

"We collected data on the prevalence of people having antibodies and antigens, multiple disease mortality rates, and many nutritional risk factors," the plant-based advocate wrote. "Relying only on statistically significant findings, HBV antibody prevalence was highly correlated with vegetable consumption, dietary fiber, and plant protein. In short, more plant food consumption was associated with more antibodies."

He continued, saying that while each virus creates its own unique symptoms, they also have something in common: “They invade hosts like us, and our immune system, which adapts for each virus strain, mounts a defense, most commonly by custom-making antibodies for each virus strain.”

Dr. Campbell said the “consistent interplay of nutrition, virus activity, and disease” should theoretically apply to COVID-19, stating that “switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet should lessen the severity of disease symptoms while simultaneously increasing COVID-19 antibodies, a win-win effect.”

According to many healthcare professionals, foods rich in antioxidants include berries, garlic and onion. These foods contain Vitamins C, B and E. They are essential for building up the immune system. This in turn can reduce the risk of diseases and at the same time help to fight off infections. Foods like eggplant, pumpkin and carrot are all high in antioxidants and should be eaten at least once a day.

Some types of foods have anti-inflammatory values. Consuming foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory values is essential when one wants to boost the immune system. Vegetables and fruits are such foods with high anti-inflammatory value. Eating such foods on a daily basis will ensure that one will get optimal anti-inflammatory food intake. Eating at least five types of vegetables each day can help fight inflammation.

Another common anti-inflammatory ingredient with additional benefits is turmeric which contains a natural compound called curcumin, known as a type of superfood. Superfoods, such as dark-colored grapes and berries, tomatoes, olive oil, nuts, dark green vegetables, tea (especially green tea), whole grains, honey and fish, are types of foods that have outsize health benefits resulting from an exceptional nutrient density.

In times of uncertainty, it is normal to feel anxious, sad, stressed and scared. Maintaining a normal daily routine can help manage some of this stress. One way we can do this is by sticking to regular mealtimes and planning meals in advance. This can help us better control hunger levels, meet our nutrient requirements and allow us to get the most out of the food we have, reducing food waste.

Our mental health would be kept while in isolation or quarantine (COVID-19) with eating essential nutrition and being active which will lead to the stress and anxiety relief, immune support, weight management, reduces health risks and prevents diseases, and for children, physical activities can lessen behavioral issues and help with concentration during schoolwork which is important now that they are at home all the time.

As a conclusion, it is important to stay informed on the best practices to stay safe during this time. When dealing with a devious disease like Covid 19, it is best to take nutrients involved such as anti-inflammatory and supper foods in promoting healthy immune system function and try to prevent having processed food, to decrease the risk of getting COVID-19.

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