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How to boost your immune system DURING SELF-ISOLATION

The virus COVID-19 or coronavirus is a virus that attacks a person, causing cold and progressing to pneumonia. People who have contracted the virus have severe cough, fever and breathing difficulties. Antibiotics have not worked in the cases of this virus. The antiviral drugs are administered but for most people it does not work. A key thing to point out is the IMMUNITY of individuals is key to battling this virus.

This period of self isolation has been difficult in so many ways, and I know that it's not a vacation by any means or a time that I should be touting my diet and routine.

However, I've realized that I really let the first few days go to waste because I was sulking, and it started showing on me-- I was snacking incessantly which led me to feel out of shape (in addition to not being able to do my previous workouts) and gaining 6 pounds, and my skin was definitely taking a hit.

SO! I re-calibrated to make sure that I wasn't letting these times get under my skin (literally)-- and am trying to truly focus on the things I CAN do for my health, and my sanity— and I can’t expect to be the only one who feels this way, so I wanted to take the time to share with you. We don’t have to be helpless in every aspect of our lives!

Before I start, I'd like to check my privilege and say that I am grateful that I am not immunocompromised, so I would like to caveat my advice here by saying that this is for those, like me, who don't struggle with underlying health issues. And I would like to also say that I'd love to be there for those who are affected by this, in any way-- so please reach out to me if I can be of help. 

So I'll get going!

One of the things I'm doing for myself, (which I'll focus on this post), is my diet. I've started doing everything I can do strengthen my immune system so that I could be the most prepared to withstand what could possibly come my way.

For me, that means drinking a quarter of water daily, and a lot of supplements.

The supplements I'm taking are...

I've started taking the turmeric crushes daily, as turmeric is proven to strengthen your immune system. If you look up turmeric, it's actually one of the few supplements that's getting a lot of spotlight right now to combat the symptoms of virus (and I have a friend who has been ill with covid for a bit and she said she's been taking it a ton as well). 

I'm also taking airborne vitamin c tablets (though these are harder for me to drink, so I could be better about them).

A part of me believes I might have had coronavirus in the beginning of the month before all of the craze when I got really sick. I had a few of the symptoms, but not all, and because I went on overdrive as usual whenever I get sick (two turmeric crushes a day, so much tea and water, and not leaving my bed), I was able to get past it quickly (maybe 2-3 days).

Because we didn't know so much about the virus then, I thought that it was something else. Now that I look back on it though, I feel that it could have been mild COVID, which my immune system was prepped enough to fight. I'd also like to highlight here that I now rarely get sick. I used to, a lot; but ever since founding Crushed Tonic ~2/3 years ago, I've gotten sick maybe 2 times? I credit that to the probiotics in Crushed Tonic for really shaping up my immune system!

Some other supplements are:

  1. Calcirol 60,000IU or Vitamin D3 60,000IU. 1 Sachet per week for 4 weeks. Consult your doctor with your vit D blood test for best dosages. It’s always advisable to supplement with a doctor’s advice.

  2. Health Aid – Vitamin C – 1 effervescent tablet a day or Limcee 500mg once a day.

  3. Zincolak – 1 Capsule at bedtime or Zinc Gluconate 50mg at bedtime.

  4. Muscle pharm Glutamine 5 grams in orange juice every day. If you already have a cold take 10 grams in juice three times a day. Do not cross 40 grams per day. If you have medication or kidney or liver issues please check with your doctor on consumption of this amino acid. 

  5. Haldi or turmeric can be added to your dals, rasam or even rice. I normally don’t advise tea to athletes but this viral flu season, I say, have 2-3 cups of masala tea which has turmeric, ginger cardamom, cinnamon and pepper added to it. Black is best. Limit your sugar. A haldi capsule or curcumin extract is advisable. I recommend Dailydefence from cure garden or Himalayas haridra.

  6. Add guava, amla, orange or kiwi to your diet every day. These days I am drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. It has five oranges in it. This is more Vitamin C than a capsule.

  7. Add tulasi/tulsi leaves to your tea. Every morning I eat 4-5 tulasi leaves from my potted plants. You can also use any capsule of tulasi/tulsi.

  8. Add ginger and garlic to your curries. 2-pods of garlic can be soaked overnight and had next morning. Crush the garlic. Keep it for 2 mins. Let it oxidise. Then consume the garlic. Allicin is a very powerful antioxidant and has anti-viral properties. The only issue is your sweat begins to smell over 3 weeks. I’d rather have a smelly athlete than a sickly athlete!

  9. Eat purple grapes and purple cabbage. Nature has made these purple pigments to contain high anthocyanins which again have potent anti-viral and immune boosting properties.

  10. Ayurveda for centuries have given us some potent elixirs. Chyawanprash is my favourite. Amla or kesar choices are in my hit list to battle any cold. A tablespoon twice a day never hurt anyone.

  11. Luteolin is found in celery, thyme, green peppers, and chamomile tea. Luteolin inhibits, to a greater or lesser extent, an enzyme known as TBK1’s ability to activate a specific biochemical signal. If unimpeded, the signal would lead to formation of gene products known to trigger inflammation. All athletes have inflammation due to training. The immune system and inflammation are finely tuned in terms of protecting the body against damage from exercise or trauma and damage from an invading virus.

  12. Haldi or turmeric can be added to your dals, rasam or even rice. I normally don’t advise tea to athletes but this viral flu season, I say, have 2-3 cups of masala tea which has turmeric, ginger cardamom, cinnamon and pepper added to it. Black is best. Limit your sugar. A haldi capsule or curcumin extract is advisable. I recommend Dailydefence from cure garden or Himalayas haridra.

  13. Add guava, amla, orange or kiwi to your diet every day. These days I am drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. It has five oranges in it. This is more Vitamin C than a capsule.

  14. Add tulasi/tulsi leaves to your tea. Every morning I eat 4-5 tulasi leaves from my potted plants. You can also use any capsule of tulasi/tulsi.

  15. Add ginger and garlic to your curries. 2-pods of garlic can be soaked overnight and had next morning. Crush the garlic. Keep it for 2 mins. Let it oxidise. Then consume the garlic. Allicin is a very powerful antioxidant and has anti-viral properties. The only issue is your sweat begins to smell over 3 weeks. I’d rather have a smelly athlete than a sickly athlete!

  16. Eat purple grapes and purple cabbage. Nature has made these purple pigments to contain high anthocyanins which again have potent anti-viral and immune boosting properties.

  17. Ayurveda for centuries have given us some potent elixirs. Chyawanprash is my favourite. Amla or kesar choices are in my hit list to battle any cold. A tablespoon twice a day never hurt anyone.

  18. Luteolin is found in celery, thyme, green peppers, and chamomile tea. Luteolin inhibits, to a greater or lesser extent, an enzyme known as TBK1’s ability to activate a specific biochemical signal. If unimpeded, the signal would lead to formation of gene products known to trigger inflammation. All athletes have inflammation due to training. The immune system and inflammation are finely tuned in terms of protecting the body against damage from exercise or trauma and damage from an invading virus.

In addition to diet, some healthy practices to boost the immune system:

  1. Improve the calories and not be in calorie deficit.

  2. Improve the protein content and quality.

  3. Improve Vitamin D levels.

  4. Improve Vitamin C levels.

  5. Improve Vitamin B12 levels.

  6. Improve Vitamin E levels.

  7. Improve calcium, magnesium levels.

  8. Consume high anti-oxidant or highly colourful fruits and vegetables.

  9. Incorporate pepper, ginger, garlic and turmeric in your diet as they are immune boosters.

And lastly-- make sure you are sleeping a lot. 

While you're asleep, your body uses that time to do critical recovery and repair of essential functions, including your immune system. Just one night of poor sleep can reduce your immune cells by as much as 70%, research shows

If you struggle with sleep, take melatonin! It's helped me so much. I also take 5htp, GABA, magnesium to help with my sleep and mental state, as when I have too much anxiety, I can't sleep.

Lastly, there is a lot more one can do to boost the immune system in addition to foods and supplements.

  • Getting natural sunlight boosts your immune system.

  • Light exercise boosts your immune system.

  • Practicing hygiene and good manners of wearing a mask when you have a cold.

  • Do not shake people’s hands. Namaste is the best way.

  • Sanitise your hands regularly.

  • Keep a confident spirit. Research shows people with upbeat minds and heart rates are less prone to illness.

Source: 

The author is Chief Sports Nutritionist at the QUA NUTRITION CLINICS. To get an immune boosting diet or a list of supplements under a guided program email ryan@quanutrition.com.

 

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