from 2020epidemicSince the outbreak, life has not returned to normal in parts of the world. The disaster has reportedly killed nearly 6 million people globally. Although an effective vaccine has been developed, the new coronavirus is still causing panic through a new variant of Omicron, which is more likely to cause infection than the original virus. In February 2022, Hong Kong experienced the fifth wave of the epidemic, resulting in the continuous influx of many critically ill patients into major medical institutions. In just one day, Hong Kong had 25,150 infections and 280 deaths. In recent days, many Hong Kongers have been forced to binge-buy at supermarkets and pharmacies as the city undergoes the strictest series of epidemic prevention restrictions since 2020.
We can learn from the recent Hong Kong outbreak to be "READY" for the virus at all times. This involves getting vaccinated, observing all safety precautions and most of all, boosting our immunity. This article explains how we can stay protected and improve our immunity against coronavirus infections and their symptoms.
The importance of improving immunity to the epidemic
Most viruses are highly contagious, which means they can spread quickly from person to person, especially in close contact. So stable immunity is an important factor in protecting yourself from viruses. Studies have shown that immunocompromised people are at higher risk of contracting viruses because whenever we are challenged by a virus, our body uses a network of cells to clear the virus and prevent disease from occurring. What's more, the virus is usually weak and difficult to detect during the first few days of infection. But if we have a strong immune system, it makes it easier for the body to stop the disease from progressing to the symptomatic stage.
How to enhance the immunity
1.BY EATING ANTIVIRAL FOODS.
Some foods, especially herbs, can boost immune system and protect our bodies against infectious diseases. Most times, these foods contain powerful anti-disease compounds, which help enhance our immunity. You may include these foods in your diet for rapid immune fortification or use them as a cooking spice, especially during isolation. These foods/herbs include:
Garlic is a popular culinary spice in China and much of the world, and its aroma adds a delicious flavor to food. However, garlic has high medicinal value. For example, it contains allicin and several known antibiotic and antifungal compounds. Eating garlic is believed to protect the cardiovascular system. Adding enough of the garlic spice to our diets can slowly but effectively prevent infection during a pandemic.
Turmeric is a rich medicinal herb that is also a great food preservative. The compounds that give turmeric its orange-like color contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. The Chinese use this spice as a surefire remedy for skin problems and chest pains. Consuming turmeric gives you an energy boost and gives you extra protection from infections.
Ginger contains many bioactive compounds that enhance our protection against infectionImmune health. For example, "gingerol" found in ginger can relieve symptoms such as colds, nausea, and headaches.
2.BY EATING SOME VITAMIN-RICH FOODS
Some vitamins are natural immune boosters. Experts advise that eating healthy foods rich in those vitamins helps to reduce COVID symptoms and shorten recovery time from coronavirus infection. These vitamins include:
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. This water-soluble nutrient promotes wound healing and help to protect our cells from free radical damage caused by oxidation. Apart from activating immune cells, you may need more vitamin C to promote iron absorption and ensure adequate oxygen transport in your body. Some vitamin C rich food to take during the COVID-19 pandemic include fresh vegetables and citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi and cauliflower.
We get vitamin D when sunlight hits our skin. But alas, lockdown restrictions have prevented people from getting enough sunshine during the pandemic. Vitamin D helps immune cells surround and kill a viral or bacterial attack. Some studies suggest that vitamins C and D may play a positive role in protecting the airways. Also, if you are in quarantine, make sure you consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement to boost your immune system. Some foods rich in vitamin D include meat, eggs, fish and cheese.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient with strong antioxidant properties. Numerous studies have shown that vitamin E can enhance the resistance of the respiratory tract, especially in the elderly. This makes it an essential nutrient to consider during a pandemic. Some sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
3.BY TAKING COVID VACCINES
One of the reasons for the outbreak in Hong Kong is the large population of elderly people who have not been vaccinated. Vaccinations boost immunity and there are several benefits of getting vaccinated:
- Protect you from getting seriously ill from the viral infection.
- Protects you from contacting or spreading the disease.
- Reduce your exposure to new variants.
These vaccines include:
- Moderna vaccine
- Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
- Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
- Janssen vaccine
It is recommended that everyone 5 years and older should get vaccinated for the sake of their health and those of the people around them.
4. BY PRACTICING EXERCISE
Keeping fit can also improve immunity. It is believed that regular exercise stimulates the response of highly active immune cells in our body to keep us free from infection and disease. For this reason, exercise could be vital for elderly adults because of ageing-related immune decline, which makes them vulnerable to infections.
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