Boosting your immunity

It's more crucial than ever to have a robust immune system to ward off this deadly virus as we see it spread like wildfire across the globe. Our immune system is our only defense against any infection. The germs look for a breach in our defense mechanism to invade our bodies. They are like bloodthirsty mongers looking for a human body to prey on. Just like a nation maintains its military, borders, contingency plans, and its resources, we need to maintain a healthy body and mind to fight these invisible intruders.

Immunity Boosters :

1. Fruits - Citrus fruits like lemon, lime, orange have Vitamin C that increases the production of white blood cells to fight infections. Papaya, kiwi, and berries are the other good sources of Vitamin C. 

2. Vegetables - Red bell pepper has three times Vitamin C as an orange. Also, broccoli, spinach, garlic, and ginger have nutrients to boost immunity. 

3. Spices - Tumeric is a magic spice from Asia that has specific anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral/anti-bacterial properties. You can use Turmeric powder as a flavoring and coloring agent to your curries or consume it as a supplement. 

4. Vitamin D - Six medical societies around the world have come with an evidence-based recommendation of getting the daily dose of Vitamin D. That means getting out in the sun at least 15-30 minutes/day with appropriate sun protection to avoid sunburns. Researches suggest that Vitamin D may play a role in boosting the immune response.

5. Sleep - During sleep body releases cytokines that are required to fight infection. Lack of sleep may lead to a low level of protective cytokines, thereby making a person susceptible to infection. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep/night. 

6. Exercise - Regular exercise promotes healthy living by making one's immune system work more efficiently. 

7. Supplements - There is some evidence that micronutrients like Zinc, Copper, Folic acid may alter immune function. Taking a Multivitamin with minerals daily is sufficient if you consume a balanced meal with all the micronutrients mentioned above if not adding Zinc and Vitamin C supplements daily will be beneficial. Taking mega doses of OTC Vitamins/herbal supplements can be detrimental.

Steps to strengthen immunity

Be healthy and stay safe.

Dr.Chandra

 

Author
Dr. Chandrasekaran Aparna Chandrasekaran, MD, is board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. Her primary area of care is centered around screening, preventing and management of overweight/ obesity. She offers a comprehensive medically supervised weight loss program at Jersey Medical Weight Loss Center, Somerset,NJ. She is a member of Obesity Medicine Association and is actively involved in spreading awareness about Obesity through her blogs, radio show, and presentations. Her article " Body Mass Index-Is It Reliable Indicator of Obesity" got published in the Journal of Nutrition & Weight Loss in February 2018.

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