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Coronavirus vs. Immune System – How You Can Support Your Immunity

May 08 2020
How You Can Support Your Immunity .

Eating garlic to ward off coronavirus? Popping vitamin supplements to help boost your immunity? We've got some news for you – both good and bad. Let's get the bad news out first; there's no magic pill or potion that can help you totally avert a possible coronavirus infection. The good news? You can strengthen your immune system in the fight against disease, by making a few essential lifestyle modifications.

Before we begin, we'd like to emphasise the fact that the only sure shot protection from COVID-19 is maintaining good hygiene and practising social distancing. While the steps we've shared below will help you support your immunity, they won't act as a barrier against coronavirus or other contagious infections.

How does the immune system work?

To strengthen your immunity, you need to understand how it works thoroughly. The immune system is not a single organ or entity, but an interconnected network that works in harmony to fight infection. There are several different components to it, starting from the skin, mucus membranes and airways, which act as the first line of defence against pathogens. If COVID-19 or other virus/bacteria enters the body, getting past the physical barrier, then our immune system starts producing specialised proteins called antibodies to fight the pathogen.

How can I support my immune system?

To strengthen your immunity, you need to understand how it works thoroughly. The immune system is not a single organ or entity, but an interconnected network that works in harmony to fight infection. There are several different components to it, starting from the skin, mucus membranes and airways, which act as the first line of defence against pathogens. If COVID-19 or other virus/bacteria enters the body, getting past the physical barrier, then our immune system starts producing specialised proteins called antibodies to fight the pathogen.

Sleep at least 6 hours each night

Early to bed or late to bed, be sure to get your beauty sleep. According to a study on 164 healthy adults, those sleeping less than 6 hours per night had higher chances of catching a cold than their counterparts. While adults need a minimum of 6 hours of shuteye, teenagers need 8 to 10 hours, and young children need up to 14 hours every night.

Make healthy food choices

A balanced diet strengthens immunity, unlike unprescribed vitamins and supplements. While most of us know the importance of eating fresh veggies, seasonal fruits and whole grains, most try to avoid fats to keep weight in check. However, healthy fats present in salmon and olive oil have shown to decrease inflammation, boosting our body's immune response to disease-causing microorganisms.

Exercise, exercise, exercise!

If you think you can't exercise when you’re not in the gym or when you’re in home quarantine, think again. Being indoors all day doesn't necessitate inactivity. There are plenty of moderate-intensity exercises that you can try in self-isolation, including spot jogging, rope skipping, yoga and more. You can take a look at a few more indoor activity ideas for the whole family here.

Is there anything specific I can do to protect myself from coronavirus?

As we explained earlier, you can't boost your immunity toward a specific virus through natural means. Vaccination is the only means to build resistance against particular pathogens. So until a vaccine for COVID-19 is rolled out to the masses, what you can do is wash your hands regularly and maintain social distancing. Be sure to insure your health, if you haven't already. In case all else fails and you do get infected, health insurance will help pay for your diagnostic costs and hospital bills. After all, medical expenses should be the last thing you need to worry if you're diagnosed with COVID-19.

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