Updated: May 17, 2021
Having a strong immunity is important during COVID pandemic. But why?
In a global pandemic its really important that we do everything we can to keep our bodies as fit as possible.
Individuals who have pre-existing illnesses like Diabetes, Cardiovascular conditions, Hypertension, or Respiratory disorders are more prone to the complications of COVID symptoms. It is very important to have a strong immune system in order to fight against the virus. For individuals without any pre-existing illnesses, immunity plays a vital role as it prevents you from acquiring the disease and also helps to recover faster in case of mild symptoms.
We have compiled Must have Habits in order to build up a strong immunity. This not only includes modification in eating habits but also modification of few lifestyle habits.
Let us now read on what are these steps to build strong immunity for a strong mind and strong body.
1. PREFER WHOLE GRAIN AND NATURAL FOODS AND AVOID PROCESSED / PACKAGED FOOD STUFFS
One advantage to eating whole grains is that you’re likely to use them to replace refined grains, such as white rice and white bread. The refining process not only washes away fiber but also removes up to 70% of many vitamins, minerals, and other healthful plant-based nutrients. Those compounds remain intact in whole-grain foods. Refined grains also tend to raise blood sugar and have other harmful metabolic effects.
Source: Harvard Heart Letter, May 2019.
Thus if we consume high fibre foods, we are ensured that we are not missing out on certain vitamins and minerals and also keeping our blood sugar / cholesterol in control.
Fibre rich foods like whole grains are rich in nutrients like B vitamins including niacin, thiamine and folate as well minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese.
Sources of Fibre rich foods are barley, oatmeal, whole wheat, Bajra, Jowar, Nachni, Whole pulses, beans, vegetables, fruits and nuts.
In general, the more natural and unprocessed food you consume the higher will be the fiber content.
2. HAVE COLOURFUL VARIETIES OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients boosts our immune system, controls inflammation as well as balances metabolic activities. It also prevents our body cells from free radical damage.
Some examples of Colourful fruits and vegetables are as follows:
3. HAVE SMALL FREQUENT MEALS
HAVE SMALL FREQUENT MEALS
The biggest result of eating small frequent meals is that it helps to regulate and stabilize your blood sugar levels.
When your body’s blood sugar levels are stable, it results in your energy levels increasing and is more a result of a balanced diet. You will feel less cravings for foods that are high in sugar, sodium, and fats). One study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed that people who had a diet consisting of small, frequent meals, consumed fewer calories, and had lower BMIs.
When you eat smaller meals, it is also easier to eat healthily. One can consume nutrient dense foods that are perfect for small meals, like nuts, beans, salads, fruits etc.
4. HAVE A BALANCED MEAL AND AVOID FOLLOWING FAD DIETS
Indian meals are the most balanced meal which includes foods from all nutrient groups like Carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins and minerals. Include variety of vegetables and pulses in your meal and you can ensure a good sure of vitamins and minerals in your diet which eventually boosts your immunity.
Fad diets on the hand ask you to eliminate a certain food group (Carbohydrates or fats) for a given period of time. This leads to deficiency of essential fats and lack of blood glucose control, which eventually leads to risk of developing Insulin resistance or deficiency disorders.
In order to assess your nutritional status and get a customized Diet plan you can click here to schedule an appointment with our expert Dietician.
5. HAVE A REGULAR ROUTINE OF SLEEP AND WORK
Most of us know that we should aim at getting 7 hours of sleep daily. Sleep Doctors recommend a variety of measures to help adults and children achieve adequate sleep like maintaining a regular time to sleep, maintain a calm atmosphere during sleep time, avoid using gadgets , avoid working on your laptop or ipad late at night when its time for you to go off to sleep. Avoid alcohol or caffeine before bedtime and others.
Apart from the duration of sleep its vital to have good quality of sleep as during healthy sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines which help promote good sleep.
Sleep helps your body to rest and gives your body the time to fight against infections and disease. Sleep strengthens the immune system. Sleep is also important for your mental health.
6. RECITE POSITIVE THOUGHTS:
Statements like “My family and me are safe and strong”
It is true that your mental health influences your physical health.
We have the power to change negative thoughts and feelings into positive, rational, motivating thoughts creating a healthy mind in a healthy body.
A positive attitude can improve your immune system and also help you to live longer, according to a University of Queensland study.
It also helps you to stay happy and thus have a good mental health.
Studies have also found that negative emotions can weaken immune system. A simple way to stay positive and happy is to smile more and recite positive thoughts like “ My family and me are safe and strong.”
7. PRACTISE BREATHING EXERCISES LIKE KAPAALBHARTI PRANAYAM AND ANULOMA VINULOMA
Studies have shown that slow, deep breathing techniques increases parasympathetic nervous system activity. This system helps us to control digestion, improves arterial blood flow, lowers blood pressure and stress hormone (Cortisol ) levels. Thus breathing exercises like Pranayam which includes Kapaalbharti and Anuloma Vinuloma helps our body to fight against flu, cold and other inflammatory diseases.
During COVID pandemic while you are staying safe and staying home, spend 30 minutes to do deep breathing exercises like above.
If you are a person you may not have patience to do breathing exercises then we recommend you to engage in aerobic physical activity that helps to strengthen your lungs and heart, and thus improve your stamina.
With the above Must have habits, one can be sure that they have a healthy mind and healthy body to fight off the COVID pandemic or any other diseases for that matter.
For any queries or concerns please feel free to write to us.