Clarens, Switzerland, April 2020: Boosting our immune system has rarely felt more urgent, especially with the current pandemic swept across the world. Maintaining a healthy immune system can help protect your body from foreign invaders and is paramount for your body in becoming and staying strong.
Dr. Adrian Heini, Deputy Medical Director (Specialist in Internal & Preventative Medicine) and medical expert at world-renowned, Clinique La Prairie, the Swiss health clinic and award-winning medical clinic shares his essential tips for helping every age group fight off viruses and bacteria naturally:
GET SUFFICIENT SLEEP
Resting your body and mind is very essential to keeping your immune system working efficiently. These days our mind is occupied with anxious thoughts which may not always lead to a calm and uninterrupted sleep. This can make you more susceptible to infections since sleep is when your body works its hardest to combat infections and inflammations.
Once Ramadan begins, try to take shorter naps during the day, not longer than 20 minutes ideally, and avoid eating heavy meals just before bedtime. If you do end up consuming a heavy meal later in the evening, it is best advised to wait for one to two hours before going to bed.
Keeping your body hydrated is very important, whether it is through water intake or homemade drinks that can boost your daily dose of Vitamin C. Increase your intake of fresh fruit juices or green tea, which contain specific antioxidants which can act as anti-inflammatory. Try and stick to seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables in your juices or smoothies since they contain maximum of Vitamin C, which can enhance immune cell functions. Oranges, carrots, kiwis, strawberries are recommended.
Soups made with fresh vegetables supply water to nourish your body also help in eliminating toxins.
FOLLOW A BALANCED DIET
It is significant to have a balanced diet rich in proteins and starches. Proteins not only counteract lean muscle loss but also help in the production of white blood cells and enzymes which fight against aggressive microbes and infections. Include Omega-3 rich foods such as fish or canola (rapseed) oil which play an important anti-inflammatory role.
Avoid food high in salt and spices such as canned food, ready-made sauces and ready-to-eat meals. As spicy food weakens digestive strength, rather opt for mint, infusions of fennel, basil, chamomile and cardamom which are easier to digest or plant-based proteins like legumes which keep you full for longer.
Nutrition is your primary protector in the battle against infection. There are several vitamins that help your immune system prevent, treat and suppress viral activity.
Apart from Vitamin C which is the most important for strengthening the immune system, Vitamin E and beta-carotene are also essential as an antioxidant vitamin. It is also recommended to add Zinc for a couple of months as well as Iron to your diet. Some foods rich in vitamins are carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, almonds, avocados, salmon, oysters, tuna, lean chicken breast and beef.
Vitamin D is another key supplement which helps our immune systems stay balanced during the cold and flu season, and low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with worsening autoimmune diseases. If you are not able to get enough sunlight due to lockdown, make sure you increase your D3 dosage.
EXERCISES TO BOOST IMMUNITY
Keeping physically active is a very vital factor in boosting your immunity. Working out is one of the best ways to remain healthy and has a multitude of benefits including decreasing inflammation and improving immune regulation as well as reducing the risk of illnesses. That’s why exercising is also recommended during the Holy Month as it allows your body to stay in shape and keeps you rejuvenated.
Avoid high intensity exercises as it could be detrimental to your immune system. Rather focus on regular, sustained exercise which not only work on the elasticity of your body as well as have a calming effect on your mind.
USE YOUR GLOVES CORRECTLY
Gloves are only recommended if you care for an infected person or if you handle potentially contaminated items, otherwise it can also lead to cross-contamination and can expose you to germs if not used correctly.
They can protect your hands but everything you touch while at the store with those same pair of gloves on can also spread germs so removing them the right way is key. Avoid touching your face or phone while wearing gloves. Take them off and trash them safely and use your hand sanitizer right after it.
Rue du Lac 142, 1815 Clarens, Montreux, Switzerland
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