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#Monsoon2020 Boosting Immunity - A Holistic Approach in times of approaching # Monsoon 2020 and the prevailing times of COVID-19

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Keeping in mind the approaching #Monsoon 2020 and also the prevailing pandemic of Corona Virus Disease, 2019 (COVID 19) we had a specific discussion with Aparna Kuna, MFPI Quality Control Laboratory and Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, India and Prabhat Kumar Mandal Department of Livestock Products Technology, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Pondicherry, Hyderabad, India. They had recently listed a few suggestions for reducing the chances of infection or to reduce the severity if infected:

The Immune system within us is critical to fight the disease pathogens entering our system and so the role of nutrients (micro and macro) vitamins and minerals are important for the gut microbiome in mediating immunological effects.

Their Review paper based on Research reports suggests us to take

  1. Protein-rich foods (Meat chicken, fish, eggs, milk and milk products any kind of pulses, beans and nuts)

  2. Any Available citrus fruits like gooseberry, lemon, sweet lime, orange, pineapple or apple, pomegranate, banana.

  3. Herbs and spices which are very easily available in the kitchen like turmeric, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, tulsi especially black jeera (Kalonji),

  4. Raw vegetables like tomato, cucumber, capsicum, carrot, radish, onion and Honey are recommended because they have more fiber content.

  5. Daily Exercise, Yoga, Pranayam (Bhrastika, Anulom-Vilom, Kapalbhati) Meditation, Chanting (Mahamrityunjay Mantra) will improve immunity.

  6. Walking in sunlight and taking in fresh air is absolutely necessary .During lockdown we could walk in the Terrace or Balcony daily morning and evening.

  7. Tea is good and has been reported to have a very good effect of tea on the corona patients.

  8. Warm water is absolutely necessary and we could also drink enough coconut water and citrus juice if infected.

Energy and proteinsare received from consuming whole cereals, millets and proteins (plant or animal proteins) and they are very much essential for ensuring successful proliferative response within the immune system. Reports and Studies indicate that Foods rich in proteins, especially amino acids like arginine and glutamine is essential for the generation of immune cells including neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes. To ensure the required amount of Vitamin D exposure to sunlight at least for an hour or two daily is very important. Studies also show that few living micro-organisms like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria consumed through foods like yoghurt, fermented vegetables or meats, when ingested in certain amounts, have a positive impact on our health, which goes beyond conventional nutritional effects. Studies also report that Consumption of Synbiotics (a mixture of prebiotics and probiotics) also have beneficial effects on the immune system. Prebiotic rich foods are onions, garlic, whole cereals, millets and legume. Micronutrients are rich in natural foods like green leafy vegetables, fruits, other vegetables and whole grains and millets, apart from few fortified processed foods like breakfast cereals, juices, dairy products, etc. Consumption of these nutrients definitely will have an important role in the prevention of disease and promotion of health. Single nutrients such as vitamin B6, zinc and low-dose vitamin E also have an important effect on health indicators through improved immune response. Tea leaves are a source of polyphenols with high antioxidative potential, as well as fibre; thus introducing numerous health benefits for the consumer.

Apart from what we eat we also need to spend atleast 30 minutes per day for mind and body therapies because they are very essential for having a positive effect on the immune system Human immune system and sleep both are associated and influenced by each other so we need to also have a good 8 hour sleep to make immune system efficient for a healthy life. Lessen your Fear and Anxiety so that it helps maintain the immunity. We also need to take our time away from social media and news to lessen our anxiety and be mentally strong and positive. Smoking and Alcohol if we could avoid should be done too.

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