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Coronavirus: 10 Ways To Boost Your Immunity To Lower The Risk Of Infection

Till date, coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected 1,854,174 people and claimed 114,291 lives. And, while the whole world is grappling with dangers this virus poses to mankind, it is crucial to practice basic hygiene methods and also incorporate certain ways to boost your immune system to protect yourself.

People with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension and respiratory issues as well as older people are considered to be at an increased risk of contracting coronavirus due to weakened immunity.

So, it is essential to strengthen your immune system to combat the virus threat and not engage in activities that may worsen your immunity.

Read on to know the ways to boost your immune system against coronavirus.

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1. Have a healthy diet

The food you consume as a part of your daily diet plays a key role in determining your overall health. Eat a healthy balanced diet that includes foods such as bell peppers, mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts and spices to help build resilience in your body against infections as they are rich in vitamins and minerals. In addition, consuming low-carb diets will help control high blood sugar, high blood pressure and diabetes [1].

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2. Exercise daily

Engaging in physical activity is important to build immunity, improve metabolism and keep your mind and body fit. Try doing low-impact exercises indoors like skipping ropes, swimming, lifting weights for 30 to 45 minutes with available resources [2].

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3. Get more sleep

Sleep is necessary to strengthen the immune system. If you are sleep-deprived, it can suppress your immunity which means you will be more likely to contract the virus and less sleep will also impair your brain activity. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily at night [3].

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4. Drink plenty of water

Hydrating your body is important to help flush out the toxins from the body and increase your immunity. Dehydration causes the body to have low immunity because it lowers the overall volume of blood and lymphatic fluids that are necessary for a healthy immune system response. So, drink up to 8-10 glasses of water or you can go for healthy alternatives like fruit juices, vegetable juices and coconut water [4].

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5. Practice meditation

Stressing out too much or getting anxious about the ongoing situation can have a negative impact on your health. Too much stress can release the stress hormone cortisol, which impairs your body's immunity response towards fighting infections. So, if you are stressed or anxious, practice meditation [5].

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6. Maintain a healthy weight

Excess weight can turn the body's natural defence system against you and lead to chronic diseases linked to overweight and obesity. So, maintain a healthy weight in order to boost your immune system [6].

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7. Avoid drinking and smoking

Following unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, vaping and drinking will weaken your immunity. Smoking lowers the lung capacity and destroys the healthy cells that line your respiratory tract, these cells help to fight viruses that enter through the nose [7].

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8. Limit sugar intake

Decrease the intake of refined carbohydrates as they contain added sugars that may contribute to obesity and overweight. And it will also increase inflammation and the risk of other chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

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9. Eat probiotic-rich foods

Probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kimchi, kefir and sauerkraut are rich in beneficial bacteria, which upon consumption will keep your digestive tract healthy, thereby boosting your immune system [8].

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10. Get enough sunlight

Sunlight is a good source of vitamin D, an essential vitamin that helps regulate the immune system. The body naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. So, soak in some early morning sunlight daily [9].

Additional Tips For Improving Immunity

  • If you are dependent on smoking and drinking, moderation is the key as sudden withdrawal can be risky.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid consuming high doses of vitamin supplements to boost your immunity as they can cause various side effects.
  • Avoid reading or listening to incorrect information on coronavirus, not knowing the appropriate information can increase your stress levels.
Story first published: Monday, April 13, 2020, 16:35 [IST]
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