Best Foods And Supplements To Boost Your Immune System And Ways To Minimize The Risk Of Infection



Can we boost our immune system to fight coronavirus?

This is the most common question in everyone’s mind, as the world is facing this dangerous disease. And we don't know yet how to fully prevent or manage the damage caused by the novel coronavirus.

Almost, 6 million people are infected and 365 thousand people are dead world-wide from the novel coronavirus.

On the whole, your immune system is not one thing that we can easily measure. It’s an intricate and delicate system with many different components, which do a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms.


But, old age peoples with an underlying health condition (including diabetes and high blood pressure), are at high risk of severe symptoms, and potentially, loss of life from COVID-19. The best recommendation for old peoples is to take every precaution to avoid disease.


And, if you are young and otherwise healthy, then you are at low risk of getting infected. If you do contract with the virus, then you will probably have mild symptoms and get fully recovered within a couple of weeks.

However, it’s also possible that you may get infected with the virus without showing any types of symptoms. So the best way to avoid the risk of spreading is to maintaining excellent hygiene and practising social distancing.

And I've also made a list of foods and supplements that you can take to improve your immunity.


Best Foods To Boost Your Immune System 

These are some fruits, veggies and seeds which will help you to boost your  Immune System


Almond


Almonds contain very high concentrations of vitamin E that plays an important role in keeping your immune system healthy.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble compound with distinctive antioxidant activities that requires fat to be absorbed properly.

It also contains healthy fats that ease down the process of absorption. Vitamin E also aids the production of red blood cells (RBCs) that boosts the blood flow to all parts of our body.

Intake of almonds keeps your immune system stronger. You can take 4-6 almonds daily, also you can eat it soaked in water or add some crushed almonds in your milk for a tasty milkshake.

Yogurt



Yogurt is considered a probiotic that is very essential for your immune system’s health.

It directly affects your gut, helping the good bacteria to thrive. Your gut health is directly associated with your immune system, So a healthy gut means your immune system will also be healthy.

While there are many flavored yogurts available in the market, but plain yogurts are free of any sugars, additives, and artificial flavors, so you are advised to consume plane yogurt.

The best way to consume yogurt is plain or with rice, or you can add some honey or your favorite fruits to it. 

Papaya




Papaya is full of necessary nutrients and minerals like folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium that is needed to boost your Immune System.

Potassium helps to keep your heart healthy, while vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that boosts the production of white blood cells that helps in fighting infections and diseases.

 Kiwi




Kiwi is also full of necessary nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folate in abundance. 

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that boosts the production of white blood cells that helps in fighting with free radicals and also prevent cell damage.

You can consume kiwi daily. The tiny seeds present inside the fruit are edible and full of nutrients as well. You can simply eat it alone, or put it in fruit salad, or make a smoothie out of it, or as you like, options are endless. 

Citrus Fruits


Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit, and tangerines, among others, are full of vitamin C that helps in boosting the production of white blood cells in the body. 

And as we all know that (WBC) are essential in fighting diseases and infections, It also helps to remove free radical from our body and prevent cell damage.

Spinach




Spinach is full of iron and vitamin C, and they are essential for fresh blood production and keeping blood impurities at bay.

Also, spinach is packed with nutrients like beta-carotene and antioxidants that help in improving your body’s disease-fighting ability.

You can add spinach to several meals in a day, that will also help in improving your immune system health. However, make sure that the leaves of spinach are cooked properly, as raw spinach can be hard to digest for some people. 

You should provide spinach in your kids’ diet mandatorily as it provides them with essential nutrients to grow and secure a healthy immune system. 

Sunflower Seeds







Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients and minerals, including vitamin E, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and phosphorus.

We know that Vitamin E is considered a potent antioxidant that is beneficial for the improvement of your immune system’s health.

And the best part about sunflower seeds is that it also enhances the flavour of the food that you are preparing, due to its spicy punch.

You can add sunflower seeds to your salads, soups, seasoning of certain foods like chicken, for sautéing, and more. 

Supplements To Boost Your Immune System


Could taking vitamins, minerals, or other supplements help protect you from coronavirus?

This is a question that can’t be answered definitively. But here’s what we do know about certain supplements that reportedly have immune-boosting properties.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is very useful to help prevent the common cold and can help maintain healthy skin that provides a barrier to germs and other harmful invaders.

It is a strong antioxidant that helps to boost your antioxidant levels of blood. This may help you to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease.

Studies have shown that vitamin C supplements may help lower blood pressure in both healthy people and those with high blood pressure.

And it may boost immunity by helping WBC function more effectively, strengthening your skin’s defence system, and help in healing wounds faster.

However, it’s unclear that consuming Vitamin C supplements is beneficial for COVID-19, for most people there’s no harm in taking up to 2,000 mg per day (this limit is set by the National Academy of Medicine).


Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays several important roles in a healthy life. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, but it is naturally present in very few foods.

You can intake vitamin D from sun exposure, food, and supplements. In recent years, people have taken very high doses of Vitamin D to boost immunity.

Your body can make Vitamin D on its own when you expose your skin to sunlight, so try to get some sun every morning.

A good starting point is 15 minutes of exposure to your body part, just remember to avoid sunburns.

Zinc

Zinc is a nutrient that plays a vital role in immune system response, wound healing, synthesizing proteins and DNA, and many other bodily functions. 

People who are deficient in zinc are more susceptible to cold, flu, and other viruses. 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends the following daily intake of zinc:
  • males aged 14 and older: 11 milligrams (mg)
  • females aged 14 and older: 9 mg
  • pregnant women: 11 mg
  • women who are lactating: 12 mg
Also, it may be a good strategy for older people to take zinc supplementary zinc.

Turmeric


Turmeric is a spice, which is commonly used in Indian and Asian cuisine.

It contains curcumin which is a bright-yellow compound, and the emerging research suggests that it might enhance immune function.

However, there isn’t any convincing evidence showing that it helps fight viral infections yet.

By adding turmeric to your food adds flavour and makes your food more delicious. In India, turmeric is almost used in every kitchen.

Elderberry




Elderberries very good for health, they are full of nutrients including minerals like phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, and vitamins like vitamins A, B, and C, proteins, and dietary fibre.

They have also antibacterial and antiviral qualities that help fight cold and influenza.

Garlic


Garlic is a popular and pungent herb with a characteristic aroma. It has antibacterial and antiviral effects, including helping to fight the common cold.

A 2014 randomized controlled trial did find that people who took a garlic supplement had fewer colds and also they recover more quickly from colds than people who didn’t take garlic.

Although this is encouraging, this is just one study. Other high-quality trials are needed to confirm whether garlic is truly beneficial for the common cold or other upper-respiratory infections.

For now, enjoy that zesty flavour of garlic and unmistakable aroma rather than counting on it to boost your immunity during the coronavirus pandemic.





Ways To Minimize The Risk Of Infection

These things that you can do to minimize the Risk of infection. These basic steps will help you to protect and improve your health — and potentially your immune system.

While these things are always important for maintaining good health, they may be crucial during times of increased risk, like now.


Proper Handwashing: 



Washing your hand is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick from the infection. The coronavirus is killed by proper handwashing for 20 seconds with soap or using hand sanitizer that contains more than 60% alcohol.

You must wash your hands:

  • Before eating food
  • After touching garbage
  • After coming from outside
  • After touching any animal or animal waste
  • After using the toilet

And also, wash your hands frequently to stay away from germs and viruses.


Don’t smoke: 



The risk of catching infections and suffering severe complications from those infections is much higher in Smokers.

We shouldn’t need more reasons not to smoke, but a time like this highlights the importance even more to quit smoking.


Get Sufficient sleep:




Sufficient sleep is very important for a healthy lifestyle and as a plus point, it may also benefit the immune system function.

People with short sleep duration is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity.

Also, they found that those who slept less than seven hours were three times more likely to develop symptoms than those who slept more than eight hours.

A good sleep of 8 hours can also improve concentration and productivity.

Sufficient exercise: 




Studies show that those who exercise regularly tend to suffer fewer infections than those who do not. And also people who exercise regularly get significantly fewer upper respiratory tract infections per year than less-active people.

Exercise regularly doesn’t suppress immunity – instead, it may help the immune system function better.

At a basic level, our immune system has three main lines of defence, and exercise helps to maintain the normal function of each of these.

Those three lines of defence are:
    1. Physical and Chemical Barriers (Innate Immunity), like our skin
    2. Nonspecific Resistance (Innate Immunity or natural immunity)
    3. Specific Resistance (Acquired Immunity or memory immunity)

But, for the past four decades, it’s been thought that strenuous exercise such as marathon running, hiking, singles tennis, or jumping rope can temporarily suppress immune function which can increase the risk of infection.  

We looked at the strengths and weaknesses of the “open-window” theory- there’s not much evidence to support it, and the general consensus is that exercise overall is likely beneficial. Our advice is to stay active and fit.

Maintain a healthy weight.




Maintaining healthy body weight is very important to stay fit. A healthy weight can help you to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and also many different types of cancers.

You can calculate (BMI) Body Mass Index, to determine either you are overweight, normal, or underweight.

Even though BMI is not perfect because it doesn't directly assess body fat, but it is still considered as a reasonable method for calculating people's overweight, since measuring body fat directly is a costly process. 

Stress management:





Stress is the biggest enemy of humans, if you’re living with high levels of stress, you’re putting your entire well-being at risk.

It affects your physical health and narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. 

Your stress can modulate the immune system through various pathways
like the sympathetic nervous system (SNS; adrenergic activation), and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. 

We can’t make our stressful situation disappear. But all we can take is a measure to control our response to stress and learn how to manage it.

We can do these activities to control or stress:-

  • Dancing 
  • Meditation 
  • Mindfulness exercises
  • Walk or cycle to the grocery store
  • Getting outside and going for walks
  • Use the stairs rather than an elevator


If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation: 





In times of stress, some people often start drinking alcohol. While meditation, nature walks, and mindfulness exercises are likely healthier ways of getting out of stress.

If you consume alcohol almost every day, then you might notice that you catch colds, flu, or other illnesses more frequently than people who don't drink.

This is because alcohol can make your immune system weak and then the body will be more susceptible to infections. But, if you want to drink alcohol then consume it moderately.

A moderate amount of alcohol means:

  • Up to one drink in a day for women
  • Up to two drinks in a day for men

There are the side effects of alcohol:

  • shrinking brain 
  • blackout brain memory
  • immune system
  • liver damage
  • cancer
  • lung infection
  • fatigue
  • heart diseases

And many more...


Our suggestion is to quit drinking and live a happy and disease-free life because as you know it can cause almost every dangerous disease.