The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed our lives drastically, and none of us can indeed say that we are protected from getting infected. The usual guidelines of maintaining a healthy lifestyle – eating healthy food, regular but non-exhaustive exercise, managing stress, and adequate sleep are not scientifically proven to boost immunity. Instead, we need overall supportive nutrition strategies, proper hygiene measures, social distancing, and quarantine rules.
Vitamin C is a crucial component of prescribed drugs for COVID-positive patients. It has been regularly used in the population since it was deemed to strengthen immunity against the virus. In addition, vitamin C combats the cough and cold symptoms of the patient. Such kinds of ‘superfoods’ or supplements reduce the chances of the individual developing adverse symptoms of COVID but do not shield the body from a COVID infection.
The immune system has to guard against a Pandemic; therefore, good nutrition is necessary. Following the healthy food pyramid goes as follows:
- WHO suggests having a healthy plate of fresh and unprocessed food every day to get a good mix of dietary nutrients into your body.
- A moderate amount of fat, oil, salt, and sugar will keep obesity and other health problems at bay. Unfortunately, during this time, pre-existing health problems just make you more vulnerable to the Pandemic.
- Vitamin D is another micronutrient that gained popularity in helping combat severe symptoms of COVID. Dairy products are rich in Vitamin D, and fishes like mackerel and Sardine are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D.
- Seeds, nuts, and legumes have high zinc content, which is proven to support the immune system.
Additionally, managing stress, giving up alcohol and smoking, and following COVID protocols will be a good step in the right direction to avoid getting sick in this Pandemic.
Let’s revise the COVID protocols once more:
- Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds frequently
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Covering your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the bend of your elbow
- Staying home unless you can do without going out
- If you have a fever, cough, or cold, call your doctor or the COVID helpline in your city before going out to seek medical care.
- Maintain a human distance of at least 1 meter when in public.
- Wash your clothes well and dispose of any protective gear (face masks, gloves, etc.) after coming back home from a public place.
How do we strengthen our immune system?
It is advisable not to start self-medication if you suspect the symptoms you have to be that of COVID, since unnecessary use of antibiotics and steroids make the body immunity weaker, thus paving the way for the epidemic mucormycosis (Black fungus) to creep in. The primary cause of this epidemic is unharmful fungal spores in the soil and air, which gain strength in an environment of lowered immunity. Self-imposed quarantine and a healthy diet will be the way to go while the individual waits for the COVID test results to confirm. The provision of home Rapid Test Kits called ‘Coviself’ will make things easier by discouraging wrong self-medication and preventing exposure of the COVID patient to others on the way to the testing center.