COVID -19 has been one of the most significant disease outbreaks in history. It has been advised to people to strengthen their immunity to defeat this disease. Due to many social media updates, continuous information being delivered through television, newspapers, magazines, stay at home for months, and lack of money has amplified stress and anxiety levels. This pressure on our mind and body has led to several adverse effects on our immune system.
Anxiety aggravates our body’s flight and fight response, further increasing the need for hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to protect our body’s system. Additionally, the effect of these hormones increases the blood supply to the brain and other organs while maintaining adequate oxygen supply. Furthermore, chronic stress and anxiety initiates an inflammatory response, weakens the immune system, makes the body vulnerable to different infections, increases the frequency of illnesses, and damages the overall health status of an individual. Moreover, it decreases the count of white blood cells and lymphocytes and takes away the body’s ability to fight against different environmental toxins. All these factors increase the risk of cardiac diseases, diabetes, and early ageing.
Due to the increasing stress and anxiety levels, it has become essential to deal with this problem and boost the body’s immunity by using different natural agents.
Practising certain activities regularly can help in decreasing stress levels and will also strengthen the internal body systems.
- Meditation: This practice will decrease the increased cortisol levels, inflammatory response and maintain the health of your vital organs, such as the brain and heart. This should be practised after waking up, before sleeping, or anytime during the day. Meditation should be done for 10 minutes at least three to four times a day.
- Deep breathing exercises: These exercises are mainly performed while doing yoga. Yoga helps activate the pumping of blood. The oxygen-rich blood drains out the toxins and calms the stressed-out system. These exercises help relax the mind, boost energy levels, improve digestion, and enhance lung capacity.
- Keep away from social media and the digital world: It is essential to take a 3-hour break from phone, television, and laptops every day. This will help to reduce social anxiety levels.
- Music: Stress levels can be reduced by listening to music. Music will relax the mind and reduce the production of stress hormones.
In the time of Corona and with increasing mental health issues, the immune system has to be kept strong. Your lifestyle and few modifications can be beneficial and should be indulged in.
Warm water with lemon: Consuming warm water once in the morning and throughout the day. When consumed in the morning, lemon should be added to it, and it should be consumed empty stomach. Water consumption helps in keeping the body hydrated, washing the toxins away, and dilutes the hormones.
When water is mixed with vitamin C (lemon), it reduces the chances of hypertension and early ageing by releasing antioxidants and heart diseases. This water also helps in cleansing the liver by improving the body’s metabolism and reducing excessive wear and tear of the body.
Exposure to small amounts of sunlight: Sunlight helps increase vitamin D level in the body, which produces antibodies and boosts immunity.
Food and spices: The use of certain foods and spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and garlic helps in detoxifying the body, increases the number of immune cells, and also provides antioxidants to the body. Spices also increase the speed of digestion and also provide micronutrients to the body. The medical uses of some spices are as follows:
Turmeric contains curcumin, and it has strong anti-inflammatory properties that prevent stress-induced inflammatory responses, boost heart health, and soothe a sore throat.
Black pepper contains piperine that is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and also removes harmful toxins.
Allicin is a sulfur compound present in garlic and onion and has many antiseptic and antioxidant properties.
Clove is used in oil form in dentistry; it works as a sedative and improves gum health.
Green chillies contain capsaicin and help in preventing cold and sinusitis.
Chawanprash: It contains amla, which increases white blood cells and haemoglobin. Chawanprash helps detoxify the body and cleanses vital organs like the liver, lungs, spleen, lymphatics, and blood. It also improves muscle mass and promotes youthfulness.
Herbal tea: It is an essential part of our lives, and it also has a lot of medicated uses. Teas contain basil (tulsi), black pepper, cinnamon, dry ginger, fennel, jaggery or honey, and lemon. There are some uses of all the components of tea, and they are as follows:
Tulsi or basil is an antibiotic that is also antiviral and antibacterial. This helps reduce throat and respiratory infections, and it also helps lower down a fever. Ginger works as anti-inflammatory medicine and is used for cancer chemotherapy patients as natural immune boosters, and it also helps reduce nausea and vomiting.
Cinnamon is an aromatic and flavourful spice that can be used to reduce blood sugar level increase in prediabetic patients. It also helps in preventing blood coagulation by reducing inflammatory fatty acids.
Mulethi, if used with warm water then it can help in treating cough and cold. It helps in cleaning the respiratory tract by producing phlegm. It also eases the gut from inflammation as it is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric milk: This contains antioxidants and reduces harmful free radicals which occur as a result of inflammation. It also prevents ageing, joint pains, lowers blood sugar levels, reduces cancer risk, and helps fight against infections.
Ashwagandha: It acts as a rejuvenating herb. It helps in boosting energy and stamina and also helps in fighting cancer. It increases the white blood cell count and antioxidants superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase expanding lifespan, which helps in boosting immunity.
Eat immune-boosting food: Vegetables and fruits like mustard, spinach, papaya, apple, pomegranate, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, quinoa, amaranth and barley help provide requisite fibres and essential nutrients.
Take Probiotics: Fermented foods like yoghurt, kimchi, Yakult are sources of probiotics or good bacteria and help improve digestion and gut health and boost immunity.