Boosting Your Immune System During Quarantine

Doctorsae Team

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Before painters paint their paintings, they sit and enjoy the view, they pause and look and observe the scene. They sat home or in nature to paint their artwork.

Before a media reporter is able to talk to the camera on the worlds’ breaking news, he has to sit and watch and observe what is going on.

Before cooking a meal, you sit and read and prepare the recipe, no task in the world was ever carried without setting and observing the scene.

The world now is in a chaotic state, and what do we do in chaos? If we have no part to play in fixing everything; then we set at home, watch and observe. And while we do that, we are bound to take care of ourselves, since it is well-known that sitting at home isn’t exactly great for one’s immune system. However, it does enable you to sit and observe yourself and monitor your health.


Are you familiar with the phrase that says: “you only got you”?

Well, that doesn’t necessarily need to be regarded as a negative statement. It could also mean that during this chaos you are your only shelter, and since this chaos is a biological one, then you need to take care of your immune system.

How to know whether your immune system is weakened or not?

Here are 6 signs that your immune system is weakened:

1- You’re always Stressed:

It’s not a coincidence that you tend to get sick after a big project at work or following an emotional situation at home.

According to a report by the American Psychological Association, long-term stress weakens the responses of your immune system.

“That’s because stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte levels, the more you’re at risk for viruses like the common cold,” explains Nadia Hasan, DO, a physician at Delancey Internal Medicine.


2-Having cold more often:

if you’re constantly catching colds or have a cold that’s won’t run its course then that’s a clear sign your immune system is struggling to keep up.


3-Frequent problems in your digestion system:

If you have frequent diarrhea, gas or constipation, it could be a sign that your immune system is compromised.


4-Slow Healing Process Noticed In Wounds:

The healing process depends on healthy immune cells. But if your immune system is sluggish, your skin can’t regenerate. Instead, your wounds linger and have a hard time healing.

5-You are frequently infected:

If you seem to battle frequent infections, your immune system might be sending you red flags.


6-Low energy levels or constantly feeling tired

if you’re getting enough sleep and still suffering from exhaustion, it’s worth considering if your immune system is trying to tell you something.

When your immune system struggles, so will your energy level.

“That's because your body is trying to conserve energy to fuel your immune system so it can fight off germs,” explains Dr. Hasan.

 Set and observe your symptoms, should you feel the aforesaid symptoms this means you need to boost your immunity system!


So how does one boost their immune system during quarantine?

We took the extra mile and did some research and here are our tips for you to boosting your immune system while being at home.

The Do’s and Don’ts’ to boosting your immune system?

• Don't smoke.

• Include fruits and vegetables in your diet.

• Exercise 4-5 times a week.

• Maintain a healthy weight.

• If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.

• Get adequate sleep.

• Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.

• Try to minimize stress.


During quarantines where people have more time at home, it is hard to fight the urge not to order in a large pizza with soda or a dozen pack of donuts, but these foods won’t actually help your immune system. To help yourself

Include foods that are rich in vitamins in your diet, this strengthens your immune system. 


 what you should be eating to boost your immune system

Unlike what you might be thinking there isn’t one specific food that will magically boost your immune system because your body relies on so many minerals and nutrients to help support it.

The concept is to eat a wide range of foods that contain the following vitamins:

 A, B, C, D, E, minerals, iron, zinc, and selenium.

Where can these vitamins be found?

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat, and fish


Here is exactly where you can find each of the needed vitamins:

Vitamin A: oily fish, egg yolks, cheese, tofu, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes

Vitamin B6 (riboflavin): cereals, legumes, green leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish, chicken, and meat

Vitamin B9 (folate): green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and commercial bread-making flour

B12: animal products, including eggs, meat and dairy, and also in fortified soy milk (check the nutrition information panel)


Vitamin C: oranges, lemons, limes, berries, kiwifruit, broccoli, tomatoes, and capsicum

Vitamin D: mainly sunlight, but since we can’t get out and get enough sun then we must revert to other sources for this is also found in some foods such as eggs, fish, while some kinds of milk and margarine brands may be fortified with it.

Vitamin E: nuts, green leafy vegetables, and vegetables' oils.


Iron: meat, chicken, and fish. Vegetarian sources include legumes, whole grains, and iron-fortified breakfast cereals

Zinc: oysters and other seafood, meat, chicken, dried beans and nuts

Selenium: nuts, especially Brazil nuts and meat, cereals and mushrooms.


These micronutrients play important roles in both the innate and adaptive immune systems in the production of different types of cells.

In addition to this, vitamin A and zinc helps to maintain the integrity of the skin and lining of vital organs and the respiratory system (which are part of the innate immune system).

Vitamin B12 and iron are also essential to produce hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood.

Vitamin C, E, and selenium help to control inflammation by mopping up the impact of oxidative stress produced by free radicals that pierce cell walls causing the contents to leak.


How do working-out and exercising benefits your immune system?

There is an idiom in Arabic that says: “Healthy body means a healthy mind”. It looks like what our ancestors had always been preaching is correct! And here is how a study conducted in 2018 by Laurel M Wentz and David C Nieman “ The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system” has found the following:

• Regular exercise training has an overall anti-inflammatory influence mediated through multiple pathways. Epidemiologic studies consistently show decreased levels of inflammatory biomarkers in adults with higher levels of physical activity and fitness, even after adjustment for potential confounders such as BMI.

• Acute exercise is an immune system adjuvant that improves defense activity and metabolic health.

• Data support a clear inverse relationship between moderate exercise training and illness risk.


• Exercise training has an anti-inflammatory influence mediated through multiple pathways.

• Illness risk is increased in athletes during periods of intensified training and competition.

• Increased carbohydrate and polyphenol intake is an effective nutritional strategy for immune support.

• Habitual exercise improves immune regulation, delaying the onset of age-related dysfunction.


Your immunity system is your first line defense during the outbreak of COVID-19.

For your own safety, we recommend you stay home. We understand that this outbreak can be stressful, you can read more in our blog on how to protect your mental health during the quarantine.

To book an appointment to check your symptoms you can click here.

References:

https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2020/march/weakened-immune-system

https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-03-25/can-you-boost-your-immune-system-to-help-fight-coronavirus/12085036

https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-03-25/can-you-boost-your-immune-system-to-help-fight-coronavirus/12085036

Link of the study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254618301005


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