As the deadly second wave of coronavirus ravages across the nation—leaving behind remnants of deep-rooted fear and anxiety—we are struggling to keep afloat, and hopeful.
While many of us have failed to escape the contagious disease, the remaining few are attempting to figure out ways in which they can boost their immunity to minimise the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the body. While a strong, well-built immune system isn’t a foolproof route to steer away from COVID-19, studies indicate that those with a better immune system are less likely to contract the virus, and are more likely to recover faster, even if they are suffering from an illness.
Karishma Shah, Integrative Health Nutritionist and Holistic Wellness Coach, urges you to adopt these easy-to-follow lifestyle hacks that are sure-shot ways to strengthen your immune system.
Incorporate Prebiotics and Probiotics In Your Daily Diet
Ensure that you add prebiotics and probiotics to your daily diet, in the form of quality whole foods. Prebiotic and probiotic foods—such as apples, artichokes, asparagus, bananas, yogurt, pickles, and berries—enhance your gut flora by improving digestion, propelling good bacteria, reducing inflammation, improving cholesterol levels, promoting hormonal balance, supporting immune function and lowering the risk of obesity and cardio vascular disease. Hence, they are often referred to as ‘good’ or ‘helpful bacteria’, since they help keep your gut healthy.
Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day
One of the simplest habits you can adopt is to drink an optimal amount of water, throughout the day. Sipping on warm water is believed to help stimulate proper digestion, clear out ama (an underlying cause of health issues), and boost metabolism. Besides, H20 flushes out the body’s toxins and bad bacteria, while helping you stay fuller for longer periods of time, and promoting digestive regularity. A healthy water intake will also help get rid of common beauty woes, providing your skin with a natural glow!
While you must’ve been told to ingest approximately eight glasses of water daily, bio-individuality is key when it comes to proper hydration. If you’re an agile teenager who engages in a range of activities, your water requirement should be entirely different as compared to a middle-aged individual who maintains a sedentary lifestyle. Nonetheless, the general recommendation of water consumption are 2.7 liters of per day for women, and 3.7 liters per day for men. Plus, don’t forget that nearly 20% of your daily water content needs to be met through solid foods. So ensure that you eat multiple hydrating foods—including celery, spinach, pineapple, and grapefruit—to keep fully hydrated.
Here’s a tip to incorporate more water into your diet:
FRUITS! While lemons give water the goodness of Vitamin C, you may choose to add berries, melon, or cucumber as well. Not only do these fruits act as a natural sweetener and add flavour to the water, but also provide your body with a hefty share of nutrients.
Consume Anti-Angiogenic Foods
Anti-angiogenic foods such as organic vegetables including sweet potatoes, carrots and seed sauce, in addition with berries, walnuts, tea and herbs, and allium vegetables such as garlic, white onions and shallots must be added to your meal plan. Angiogenesis refers to the development of new blood vessels in the body. And while in many respects this may be seen as a positive thing, the process can stimulate the development of destructive new cells—including cancer cells and those involved in heart diseases and strokes. Therefore, anti-angiogenic foods inhibit the growth of such cells.
The ‘anti-angiogenic diet’ is essentially the same as the ‘anti-cancer diet’ or the ‘anti-inflammatory diet.’ These diets are plant-based, suggesting that plants are the primary food source, with limited or no meat consumption.
A Sound Sleep For Gut Health
Make surethat you don’t skimp on sleep. According to Ayurveda, getting a good night’s rest is crucial to maintaining optimal gut health. When we sleep, we enter the ‘rest and digest state’, and the basis of good health is our ability to effectively digest food. Giving your body a few hours to relax will ensure that your digestive and nervous systems are fully recharged for the next day!
Let Go Of Unhealthy Habits and Adopt Healthier Ones Instead
To begin with, avoid drinking alcohol and indulging in excessive smoking, as they are known to suppress immune system functioning, and the body begins self-healing once these activities are halted. Besides that, engage in activities to de-stress, including meditation, practicing pranayama, following a daily exercise regime, taking a bath with essential oils, along with self-care activities such as facial massages, reading a book, or picking up a hobby you never found time for!