Immunity prevents infections like a virus, bacteria from entering our body, but only a healthy immune system can protect you from diseases. Viral infections are rapidly on the rise, first being coronavirus. In such a situation, it is essential to strengthen our immune system to avoid any infection. In a report released by Harvard Health Publishing, it has been claimed that if we pay special attention to some things in our routine, we can enhance our immune system and not become vulnerable to many types of infectious diseases. To strengthen the immune system, you must first adopt a healthy lifestyle. Dr K K Aggarwal, President Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania, HCFI and Past National President IMA, explains various ways to enhance immunity with the help of modern medicine.
Tips For Relaxation and Mindfulness
- Learn Progressive muscular relaxation and mindfulness meditation.
- Avoid sympathetic and deep nasal and chest exhalation exercises during the COVID era.
- Most breathing techniques are designed to prolong exhalation and decrease minute ventilation.
- Pranayama, or yoga breathing exercises, emphasizes deep respiration with slow exhalation.
- Do Yoga. It is a practice of breathing, mindfulness, spirituality, body, and the connection among these factors. Through its three main components (postures, breathing, and meditation), as well as nonspecific events, yoga appears to be safe and to improve multiple parameters of health and quality of life.
- Mindfulness is defined as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”
- Essential elements include self-regulation of attention and taking a non-judgmental stance towards one’s experience
- Lockdown is the best time to stop smoking, tobacco consumption and stop of limit alcohol intake.
Diet plays a significant role in ascertaining the immunity and hence what you should be indeed mapped. Following essential tips can help bring a remarkable difference in your overall health and immunity. Low sodium intake is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular events, including death. One should take:
- 2000 units of vitamin D daily
- Vegetarians take B12
- Patients with allergies take Vitamin C
- High-risk individuals take pneumonia, flu vaccines.
- Consume five or more servings of fruits and/or vegetables daily. They are a rich source of fibre, and fruit/vegetable consumption is inversely associated with risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and mortality.
- Replace refined grains (white bread, white rice, refined and sweetened cereals) with whole grains (e.g., whole-wheat bread, brown rice, whole-grain cereals or oatmeal), which have a higher content of fibre and other nutrients
- Trans fatty acid consumption should be kept as low as possible by limiting foods such as partially hydrogenated oils, which are found in stick margarine and in many store-bought, processed, and fast foods.
- Moderate intake of red and processed meats and to eat a variety of healthy protein-rich foods, including seafood, lean meat (such as poultry), eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds. Consumption of red and processed meats is associated with a moderate increase in mortality compared with consumption of white meat.
- A low-fat diet, vegetarian diets can be helpful, and these diets can be associated with health benefits. However, it is not known which type of diet is optimal for the general population. The decision to choose one of these diets is generally based on individual risk factors, personal preference, and the ability to adhere to a given diet.
- Take a mix of all seven colours and six tastes in the diet. All six tastes are present in kitchen spices. Herbal teas, black coffee, green tea, black tea are antioxidants. Limit white sugar and instead add Jaggery, honey or stevia.
Alternative Advice For Immunity
Keep nose, eyes, and mouth moist with saline water to avoid any irritation. Use tear eye drops for dry eyes due to computer use. After every 20 minutes of computer do eye exercise for 20 seconds. Also, one could take povidone-iodine or warm saline or turmeric hot saline gargles.
Suppression of cough is essential. Stop smoking. Anti-allergic and non-opioid dextromethorphan. Benzonatate can be added if the cough persists despite dextromethorphan. For patients who have a cough due to an unrelenting cause or a persistent cough despite both specific therapy and nonspecific therapy with non-opioid agents, give a trial of opioid antitussive Codeine.
Gabapentin and pregabalin are alternatives, symptomatic treatments for patients whose cough is refractory to the above measures. In cough of more than 3-8 weeks, further evaluation needs to be done for postnasal discharge, TB, acid reflux, asthma, anti-BP drugs like ACE inhibitors etc.
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