COVID-19, the unseen danger
Due to the risk of COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world, with major big cities being a favourable target for the virus to spread, It’s a natural for many of us to start getting more anxious, this has become more evident subsequent to climbing of figures of infected individuals within certain regions and countries, many are trying to map the location of the last cases recorded in an attempt to estimate how many days are they away from red zones areas.
However, and despite the steep incline in the number of cases recorded, it’s important to highlight two important facts which became evident through the statistics of the affected countries, which will help provide a better understanding of COVD-19, these facts include first: rates of mortality is about 2.3%, this number increases to 8.0% in elderly and immunocompromised patients. And Second: about 80% of the healthy infected individuals will recover spontaneously without needing any medication intervention.
More and more of the affected countries starting to realize that impact of personal co-morbids, general health condition, immunity and hygiene practice as important factors in facing this issue. As cruel as it sounds, asking healthy and young individuals to self quarantine and allow patients with more critical conditions to be admitted seems like the right thing to be done knowing that the health system may not be able to support the large numbers of cases projected to be affected in the near future.
To prevent or to cure
At this point of time where medical systems are having their hands tied. It’s up to society to apply strict safety measures to minimize the spread of the virus, including avoiding gatherings, regular hand wash and using alcohol based hand sanitizers. But what else can we do at times like this to have stronger defense against the unknown?
It’s well known that there are certain habits, food and nutrients that are known to improve the individual immunity and we will help to shine the light on some of them in this article.
Also read: COVID-19
Immunity boosting food
- Probiotics containing meals: like yogurt, kombucha, pickles, kimchi and miso soup. Consuming certain flora and bacteria has shown to improve certain gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, allergies, it also prevent and treat some reproductive and urinary tracts infections and eczemas well.
- Antioxidant and antimicrobial: Meals, which are high in antioxidants and antimicrobial characteristics such as beta-glucan containing fibres such as oat and barely. Other products such as garlic due to allicin has been proven to contain antimicrobial properties, and ginger.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C containing diet and supplements, such as citrus fruits, beet root, bell pepper and many more. Taking vitamin C supplements during time of crisis has shown to improve the immune system responsiveness to possible threats and pathogens, it does so by fastening the signalling process of the immune cells and
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A containing meals such as carrots and sweet potatoes help to support the immune system. Vitamin A, besides playing an important role in maintaining vision and promoting connective tissue growth, is also a well known anti-inflammatory agent. Individuals with vitamin A deficiency have shown a slower white blood cells immune response not to mention antibody immune response as well. It was also shown that it’s needed to promote healthy immune tissue growth.
- Zinc containing meals: meals like red meat; cereals are essentials for promoting good health and immune response. Patients who had severe zinc deficiency were found to have impaired immune response. This is due to the effect of zinc on promoting white blood cells maturation and function as well. Not to mention, zinc is a natural occurring antioxidant and reduces the incidence of free-radical induced injury during anti-inflammatory processes.
- Vitamin D: Meals such as eggs, red meat, cereals, milk and fish are high in vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential in calcium absorption and bone formation. Vitamin D is also known to improve immunity. Patients with respiratory infections including tuberculosis have shown significant improvements after being exposed to sunlight. This is due to its effect on the natural immune system.
Immunity boosting habits
On the other hand, a well balanced active lifestyle with considerable amounts of regular exercise against resting hours, sun exposure, healthy and balanced meals, not to mention mental and psychologically challenging tasks help to strengthen individual immunity.
Exercising on a regular basis helps to regulate the systemic circulation and reduce risk for cardiovascular related illnesses. It’s believed that working out will improve the immune system responsiveness to any invading microorganism (either by reducing the white blood cells circulation cycle).
It’s well known that individuals who are undertaking a regular exercise regime have lesser chances of acquiring a communicable diseases in comparison with their less active peers, this includes viral and bacterial infections. Add to this, mechanical defensive measures that we possess are usually more vigorous during the exercise time, which result in more effective any efficient trapping and reacting to certain pathogens that invade our body.
Sharing our thoughts with you
In the end and as the human race facing yet another challenge, some might say that we are living another “survival of the fittest” episode for national geographic, where the healthiest, most determined and disciplined come on top. And as we witness the world attention and awareness directed towards a common enemy. Some might fail to notice that the pandemic is affecting everyone without discrimination, thus, follow few simple rules to stay safe and those who you love safe, avoid gatherings, maintain good hygiene at all times, and self quarantine if you developed signs and symptoms of COVID-19, eat healthy and stay active.
Next read: KNOW YOUR MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT COVID-19!