Your immune system is made up of a complex collection of cells, chemicals and processes, that constantly defend your body against invading pathogens, including toxins, viruses, and bacteria.
With age the potential of your immune system to fight against infections or diseases start to decline and you may get easily prone to disease if not taken necessary steps to keep your immune system healthy year-round. Healthy lifestyle choices like getting enough sleep, consuming nutritious food, and exercise are important ways to boost up your immunity.
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In addition, research shows that supplementing with certain minerals, vitamins, herbs, and other substances can make immune response. Here’s a list of 5 such supplements that could help our seniors fight against Corona by bolstering their immune system –
1). Vitamin – D
A fat-soluble nutrient that is essential for health and functioning of your immune system. Healthy levels of vitamin – D may help lower your risk of respiratory infections, thus lowering the risk of COVID-19 as well. Depending on blood levels, anywhere between 1,000 to 4,000 IU of supplemental vitamin D per day is sufficient for most people.
Sunlight is another very vital source of Vit-D. Amid the lazy hours of the 21- Day lockdown, how hard could it be to take at least 15-20 minutes sun bath every day?
2). Vitamin – C
One of the most popular vitamins to fight against infections due to its effective role in immune health. Supplementing with this nutrient can reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, including common cold. The upper limit for vitamin C should be 2,000 mg. Supplemental doses usually range between 250 and 1,000 mg per day.
Citrus fruits have abundant amount of Vit-C. So, when its hard to step out of your house these days to buy supplements, just switch to oranges and lime juice.
Zinc is a mineral that’s commonly added to supplements and other healthcare products that are meant to boost your immune system. It is necessary for immune cell development and communication. Also the mineral plays an important role in inflammatory response. The daily dose should be under the set upper limit of 40 mg of elemental zinc.
Milk and dairy products, mushroom and chocolate are rich sources of zinc. These can be added in daily diet at a moderate amount to help keep up with your immunity and they’ll assure to satisfy your taste buds simultaneously.
It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Garlic has been shown to enhance immune health by restoring protective white blood cells. Garlic has a compound named, Allicin which proven to be cold-fighting due to its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. To maximize the amount of allicin, fresh garlic should be crushed or chopped, and it should be consumed raw with water. 3-4 pieces of garlic a day can make your immune system healthy and never- tiring.
It is the main active compound in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and studies indicate that it may help improve immune function. Turmeric is the best Indian medicine to most the deadly diseases, so not only curcumin but intake of turmeric can prove to be beneficial for your health otherwise as well.
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P.S. – Some of the above mentioned may not be appropriate for people with certain health conditions. Be sure to confirm with your healthcare provider before starting any supplements.
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Content Approved by – Dr. Harpreet Singh, Senior Emergency Medical Officer, BLK Hospital