Boost Immune System – Check 20 Immune Booster amidst COVID-19
If you have landed on this page with the search word “Boost Immune System”, it is no wonder due to the global pandemic. Uncertainty over what will happen next is dizzying, to the people you know, love or have seen every other day and about whom you listen helplessly in media, knowing that lives of everyone is hanging by thread.
What all could you do?
First of all, whatever you could do, it should not include ‘worrying’ in anyway because some wise saint is quoted often that worrying is like a rocking chair which keeps you in motion but takes you nowhere. It means that worrying would exhaust you to no end leaving you more susceptible to viral/bacterial attacks!
Second, pay attention to what keeps you happy and going, internally. A happy “you” would be in much better shape to take on the world, COVID or otherwise.
Next, you can work on yourself so much that it boost your immune system. Here is a list of 20 items that either science or people themselves have attested to have given them something to hang on and keep up fighting a little more with the current sombre global mood.
No wonder this category tops the list. Hear out any nutritionists, food scientists or spiritual leaders around the world. Food is what our body is made up of. It is equal to saying:
Food=Body+Mind which roughly translates into the quote “you are what you eat”. So here are some foods you can allow your body to be in charge of its healing process, and say to F*** with COVID.
The best way to inculcate herbs in your diet to strengthen your immune system is either to take in a medicine form (powder-dried, capsule/tablet form or as extract) with lukewarm milk or water or concoct a kadha in addition to spices.
Common ones: Giloy (heart-leaved moonseed), Neem (as in apna pyaaraa Eveywhere Neem), Tulsi (Holy Basil), Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng), Sehjan or Drumsticks (Moringa), Triphala (combination of 3 prime herbs: Amla, Haritaki, Bibhitaki)
Lesser-known ones: Astragalus root, angelica root in recipe taken from here.
Indians have a way to includes various spices in their diet, inbuilt in our food culture. Since a tropical climate facilitate growth of bacteria and virus, our food has traditionally acted as a shield. However, crisis demands ‘some’ more remedies to boost the immune system. So here is for that more.
Turmeric, Dried Ginger, Black Pepper, cloves, cinnamon and many others from our spice cabinet. Boil with a glass of water and reduce it half for a kadha.
You can add honey when lukewarm or jaggery if taste is an issue.
Fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and Caraway seeds can also be added in the concoction. Each one of these is high on anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants. Anything to tell Namaste for a Goodbye to COVID from a distance!
3. Fruits & Vegetables
Indulging in any fruit or vegetable brings along much needed set of vitamins and minerals. Yet if you want to be specific, we have here some of these that are known to toppers in their category. Munching on seasonal and local fresh stuff would always be the best option however, instead of being a picky fruit / vegetable eater.
Fruits: Citrus fruits, berries, Indian Blackberry (Jamun), kiwi fruit, red bell pepper, watermelon
Vegetables: broccoli, sweet potato, spinach, kale
Cereals and pulses: barley, wheat germ, sprouted grains
4. Nuts, Seeds and Dry fruits (as it is or in protein bar or with milk)
The storehouse of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids along with several other antioxidants and immunity booster ingredients make them ideal for intake during these times. Have some handful of these daily, will you?
Almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, dry grapes (munnakka), date (khajur), hazelnuts, walnuts
All the mineral and vitamins needed by the body in very small amount but essential for healthy functioning (when not directly received by food sources), can be taken as health supplements. However, it would be best to take these only after the consulting with your doctor.
6. Warm water / herbal teas
One of the most visible symptoms of COVID-19 is sore throat and cough. This could be readily prevented by consuming lukewarm to bearably hot water. Gargling with such water when mixed with salt is also said to have calming effect for the throat preventing infections when done regularly.
Herbal teas including ginger-lemon, tulsi-lemon, lemon-honey, camomile, lavender, lemongrass, etc. can do your throat and body a great favour. These preventive gestures are a way to tell bad microbes to stay away from you.
As the name suggests, this line of preventive measures works with nature’s elements. Sun, water, mud, etc. are used as medium to assist healing. Sunbathing is one, which not only nourishes body with Vitamin D but also strengthens body’s ability to take on disease causing microbes. Some other methods are Jal-Neti, Nasal application and oil-pulling.
7. Nasal-application and Jal-neti
Putting few drops of sesame oil or coconut oil in each nostril and massaging lightly helps to keep infectious and allergic particles from entering the system.
Another preventive method is to practice Jal-neti at least once in a day, best would be the morning. The process involves sucking water from one nostril and letting out from the other through a specifically designed kettle-like apparatus ideally made of copper. This video can help you with the process. The process has reported to have cured severe conditions of nasal congestion and even acute sinus. Regular practice prevents nasal clogging which is among the major symptoms of COVID-19.
Swishing around a little cold-pressed oil like coconut or sesame in mouth for around 10-20 minutes after brushing at night prevents infection in and through mouth. It is also said to have cured several dental and oral conditions.
And you thought only what you put into your body is going to save you from COVID-19 or helps to boost your immune system? Your body needs to be so ready to deal with any infection and that cannot happen without knowing how to gear it up in addition to taking the right food.
Following are some must-do activities that assist body in fighting any battle with deadly virus and bacteria.
9. Maintaining hygiene
Not ideally the activity you must be thinking about, it’s the most important in this CORONA Pandemic. Discarding the used clothes as soon as you enter the house, taking a warm bath from head to toe, washing hands often, especially before touching eyes, nose and lips, using hand sanitizer when soap couldn’t be readily used and maintaining a social distance of 2 meters have sort of became a norm. (Putting a mask might seem missing but you readers are already living that!) Becoming a hygiene fanatic is not a choice anymore but a necessity.
10. Meditation / mindfulness
Books and books have been written about this experiential-only activity. Some individuals were focused enough to be able to reach that state others have been said to be struggling to even begin with. However, whosoever has started practicing (alone or under the guidance of great spiritual beings and leaders of yogic traditions) has experienced enough to continue to try it till their last breath.
Meditation seems to loosen energy blocks in the body to allow healing it on its own. The miraculous self-healing is explained by scientists like Dr Bruce Lipton (author of ‘Biology of Belief’) and Dr Joe Dispenza (author of ‘You are the Placebo’). The body equips itself with strong immune system and creation of more white blood cells that assist in fighting tough with the intruders like Coronavirus.
Guided meditations, mobile applications for mindfulness and living moment-to-moment, are some of the easily-followed activities to begin with. Once you start feeling good about these techniques, many books, CDs and Audio program as well as workshops can assist you further on this track.
But giving mindfulness a try is a must in these times of distress when immunity boosting through meditation is immensely valued.
Yoga means union, oneness with the universe and with the rhythms of the nature. As the seasons come and go, so the body must behave to be in sync with what the nature is undergoing. Yoga provides a certain technique to be in harmony with the nature that also supports immunity in a big way, including but is not limited to Yogasanas and breathing practices called Pranayams.
i) Breathing Practices
In this connected world, there are more than required things-to-do. So take a pause and set aside some time in early morning when you can be on your own and do sets of different Pranayamas. If you are new to this, take help from Google and Youtube to be a beginner and then as you fall into a routine and in love with these practices, dive deeper, exploring more!
Body postures as directed by Patanjali, can open a whole new world if you fall in love with them. Start with simplest of the poses and work along on your flexibility for more complex poses. You won’t know what good you have done to your body, all the while your immunity is dancing at a new height.
12. Exercising or Running/Jogging
The physical activities that can rev up your engines instantly has running and jogging at the top. Doing these activities that are a part of moderate to high intensity workouts have shown to be boosting your immune system and over the long term, these are known to reduce the effects of aging. So basically, you live to age well and this means you lived a great life.
13. Gratitude practice
Times are no doubt challenging for most of the people and difficult for the people living hand-to-mouth. So this is the perfect time to be grateful to what you have, anything and everything. Food, shelter, health, kids, family, enough savings to sustain these tough times, amenities to work from home, electricity, helping hands and whatever that comes to your mind that is assisting you to live life as usual, even if managing it might be some difficult.
14. Helping people in need
Having expressed gratitude, it’s time to share with those who don’t have. This is being human. Show kindness to people in need. Doing something like that could be a great lesson to your kid and a sense of satisfaction to you. This sure has no connection to immune booster, but sure to moral boost and everyone on the planet need to have at least some sliver of hope to bear the hardships of life!
c. Keeping up the happiness quotient amidst crisis
Happiness has much to do with happy hormones scientifically called as dopamine. It’s been a studied fact that when the levels of dopamine are high our immune system response towards pathogen is more pronounced than in absence of it. So you have all the more reasons to stay happy (do whatever you want to do over and over again) and give your helping hand to improve immune system. Some of the things (including but not limited to this list alone) you can do for that elusive emotion (apart from doing what gives you a ‘kick’!):
15. Staying away from negative news playing whole day on repeat)
First thing first, stay away from negativity. It’s so addictive, taking you in a downward spiral if you hold on to nothing. News especially the negative ones make you think that everything around you is negative. No good exist. Everything is bad. Humanity is dying, etc., etc.
No catastrophe on current times is bigger than COVID 19 and humans are trying to deal with as they can. So there is always a sliver of hope in the darkest of nights. You need to hold on to that too!
16. Playing with the kids / pets more
Kids, especially between 1-4 years, can sure be tiring but not when you are ready for a laugh or two. Let them be creative and run wild amok. Play with them; share your time with them and help them play constructively. Set apart some time just for that else you won’t be able to do that.
The same thing could be said for a cuddly pet. Give her more treats, more hugs and slightly more of your ‘me’ time. You will surely come to love it!
Those with elder kids, spend more time with them playing games (like board games, video games, chess, book reading sessions, etc.) that they like and sharing with them memories of your childhood. They would sure look forward to spending time like this with you.
Unless you do that you don’t know what blessing you have!
17. Gardening / Kitchen Garden
Green colour is said to have therapeutic effects (which is why the regular hospitals seem to be showcasing liberally). That seems to do the job of mimicking trees.
What you can do is giving time to your long lost love Gardening. Vibrant tropical plants of bright colours not limiting to green but others as well can make your home a lively place. You can also think of growing herbs like lavender, lemongrass, coriander, fennel seed, etc. for your calming teas or salads. You can also grow potted plants, like lemons, chillies, eggplants, tomatoes, capsicums, okra, etc.
18. Reading books & Writing
Among the stress-buster and happiness-inducing things, these two activities can top the list of activities that can increase your levels of dopamine that helps to increase the immune system, more for people with introvert nature. Reading books can take you places even when you are not there physically and sometimes that’s more potently refreshing because our mind has the power of visualization which can elevate any experience manifold. Thus your happiness becomes more profound.
Writing also finds itself in this category because it can become an efficient tool to vent your anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness and any other emotion associated with negativity, leaving you empty. This emptiness will make place for happiness and peace, maybe even bliss. Who knows!
19. Keeping it organized
Chaos fosters negativity and we don’t want that around us because there’s already enough. So start taking charge of one room, one cabinet at a time, one shelf at a time, or say one area at a time. Shake off the things that are not used from a long time, like used clothes and shoes, toys in the kids cupboards, left over art and craft supplies that your kid is not going to use anymore, spices that have gone bad or stale, gadgets that are no longer used or needed and whatever that crosses your mind.
Minimalistic approach can make you so much happy while saving you from so much future drama. And do not indulge in the thought of putting things off for later use. Let someone be beneficiary of the things that do not mean much to you. A perfect way to bring some sense of finality!
20. Stay entertained
And we cannot leave behind entertainment in this list of happiness causing factors, now can we? You do not need to be a solitary bird or a family person to stay entertained. Just see what keeps your mind engage in a good way; here also try to stay away from too much negative or dark content because these also have a certain level of impact on the state of our mind.
Best would be to indulge in music, comedy, drama, brain games, card games, and whatever that excites you and makes you smile for no reason. That might also include setting up conference video call with your school and college friends!