Listen to article
It is apparent that the most critical part of protecting yourself against the COVID-19 is adhering to appropriate preventative measures, particularly hand hygiene and appropriate social distancing.
Many people are gripped with fear and anxiety. However, instead of wallowing in fear and worry, this is a good time to enhance your physical and emotional pliability, for the most part, immune resilience.
Like any virus, SARS-CoV / COVID-19 attacks people with low immune systems and people who get ill easily due to weak immunity responses.
The Immune system is built on helpful live bacteria that live in the gut which protect the human body from disease. When the immune system response is low, weak, or damaged it becomes an open invitation for infectious microbes including coronavirus.
Protecting ourselves from diseases goes beyond washing hands and wearing a mask. It requires providing the body with the appropriate defence mechanism to allow it to stay strong even during times of disease outbreak like the COVID-19 pandemic we currently battling. How do you achieve this?
1. Eat more healthy foods– Plant-based foods increase and help the intestinal flora, the intestinal “good” bacteria, and the overall gut microbiome health which makes up to 85% of the body's immune system.
Eating organic whole plant foods with good amounts of leafy greens such as kontomire, spinach, bokoboko and aleefi amongst others and fiber-rich foods like legumes, whole grains, beans and vegetables whiles avoiding junk foods and adding a lactobacillus probiotic to the everyday routine are key factors.
Micronutrients such as vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, C, D, and E, iron, selenium, copper, and zinc are very essential in building a strong immune system. According to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), globally, almost two billion people are micronutrient deficient.
This makes it very important to add a few ingredients such as turkey berries (abeduru), grapes, oranges, broccoli, garlic, ginger, probiotics(milk and yoghurt), honey, eggs, cheese, salmon, mushrooms, beans, and turmeric to your diet to correct any micronutrient deficiency.
2. Get adequate sleep: About 50 percent of us aren't getting adequate sleep. Prioritize getting at least good seven hours, particularly during these times when you need a tough immune response to protect you.
3. Do moderate physical activity: For your immunity, physical activity in moderation is better than a sedentary lifestyle or perhaps very vigorous exercise. Do something, however little, and remain lively during the day.
4. Manage your stress better: Excessive stress is a pro-inflammatory state and weakens your immune system. Remember to take small breaks whiles working in order not to stress your system. It is very vital to keep your stress level down.
5. Practice meditation or another mind-body practice: Several studies have demonstrated that practicing meditation lowers inflammatory molecules and enhances your body's cell activity that helps with the anti-viral response. Devote at least 10 minutes a day practicing deep breathing or another form of meditation.
6. Nurture hope – Hope has an extensive effect on your wellbeing, including on your immune system. The more you feel connected to others, think about the beautiful past, focus on your life's purpose, and invest in self-care, the more hopeful you will feel.
7. Laugh more: Laughter is a great mini workout for the body and improves your immunity and decreases your inflammatory response.
8. Include music in your life: Music can reverse the hurtful effects of stress on your immune system. Add music to your day as a background, and if you have the time, spend some committed time listening to your favorite music.
9. Stop smoking: Smoking wreaks havoc on your immune system, predisposing you to pneumonia and other infections. Avoid smoking if possible.
10. Avoid excessive alcohol intake: While mild to moderate alcohol intake may not hurt your immune system, heavy alcohol intake is definitely harmful. It is very important to minimize alcohol consumption during these times especially when it has become extremely necessary to build a resilient immune system in order to face COVID-19.
Remember to stay hydrated at all times through the day
Abigail Mireku Ansong | Assistant Research Scientist/Microbiologist
Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research institute
Ghana Atomic Energy Commission
Email: [email protected]