As COVID -19 pandemic continues, more and more people around the world are looking for ways to boost the immune system. One of the reasons behind it is the number of patients recovering from covid-19. This could mean that our immune system has the ability to successfully fight this virus. The scientists in Australia have claimed that they have identified how the body’s immune system fights COVID-19, determining which immune cells can help with vaccine development. So that’s how the coronavirus crisis has revived everyone’s interest in immunity. From garlic to ginger, people are lapping up all kind of information on bolstering immunity – the body’s natural defense system. But can immunity be built overnight?
The immune system is basically a complex network of cells, organs, and tissue that work in tandem to protect the body from a pathogen such as bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that cause disease. It is the system that helps your body resist, fight, and conquer the disease. However, it doesn’t have the power to stop a disease from attacking the body. And it certainly doesn’t work as a ‘bulletproof’ protective gear against coronavirus or any kind of illness for that matter. While immunity can’t be built in one day, you can definitely boost it with a healthy diet and lifestyle. On average, a few weeks are required to build up immunity. Here are a few immune-boosting foods that can give your immune system the best possible chance of functioning at its optimum level:
Vitamin E: A strong and powerful anti-oxidant, Vitamin E helps protect your cells from damage. It fights with an infection and builds immunity. You can meet your daily requirements of Vitamin E with a fistful of nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Vitamin C: It is a water-soluble vitamin, which is easily found in foods such as amla, lemon, bell peppers, and oranges, etc. it is well known for being a potent antioxidant and having positive effects on immune function. Since it is water-soluble, which means the body does not store it, it is important to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin C with a daily intake of food that contains it. Try to include five to six servings of fruits and vegetables in a day.
Zinc: You can call it your immune system’s BFF s it helps the immune system fight infection efficiently. Even mild zinc deficiency, which is more common in contrast to severe zinc deficiency, depresses the immunity of humans.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to sunlight and is often lauded for its health benefits. Researchers have also found that it affects key cells of the immune system. It modulates the immune response in a way that it doesn’t harm your body but at the same time attacks the virus as well. As the Vitamin D receptor is expressed on immune cells (B cells, T cells, and antigen-presenting), it can modulate innate and adaptive immune responses. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity and increased susceptibility to infection.
Turmeric: It is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties too. Its most active compound is the yellow-orange component called Curcumin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and for modulating the immune system. Always add black pepper to it for the better absorption of turmeric. You can replace your caffeine-based hot beverage with Turmeric Tea. Take a cup of water, add an inch of raw turmeric, and let it boil for a few minutes. Add a pinch of black pepper, a teaspoon of coconut sugar and have it hot.
Herbs (Ashwagandha and Milk Thistle): These herbs contain compounds, which help boost the body’s defense against diseases by improving the cell-mediated immunity. Ashwagandha helps in fighting inflammation by building resilience for stress, both mental and physical.
However, pregnant ladies, lactating mothers, and children should strictly avoid these herbs. These should be taken after consulting a nutritionist or your doctor.