The atmosphere of gloom and uncertainty that surrounds us today is primarily because a largely self-sufficient, hardworking, and sweating-to-make-ends-meet kind of population is rendered immobile with little to no ways of changing the unprecedented events of COVID-19 that have hit us since the beginning of the year. While we don’t have the power to control the strange events that are in play outside our close spheres, it all the more becomes our responsibility to take care of ourselves, as responsible citizens of the nation and the world.
The pharmaceutical industry is currently putting its best foot forwards to come up with a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. More than one fifty vaccines are in stage two of testing their product but as per WHO and other medical provisions these vaccines can at the most reduce the pain of the patient and that such diseases can never be prevented or cured through medicine.
The only strategy currently in practice is avoidance. Avoidance can be practiced in two methods. Firstly and more commonly practiced method is physical distancing and the second method is by making six lifestyle changes.
The six-step precautionary tale is as follows
1. Increase Vitamin C intake.
Vitamin C, in layman terms, helps nourish white blood cells, the kind that fights against pathogens and any negative entrant in general. It also helps in the building of skin, which is nothing but an exterior wall that keeps our internal organs safe from the negatively affecting organisms. As per research reports from China and Italy, high doses of vitamin C helped in reducing the inflammation of lungs in COVID-19 patients.
Items that contain Vitamin C are easily accessible, most fresh fruits and vegetables are full of it. On average, every healthy person should consume at least 500mg of Vitamin C every day. Basic signs that appear in a person who has a deficiency include bleeding of gums, easy bruising, slow healing wounds, etc.
2. Sleep for eight hours every night.
Sleep sufficiently because the lack of it has a negative impact on our system. Concerning studies that were conducted on animals, it was concluded that lack of sleep activates genes that result in cell death and stress. Moreover, sleep deprivation leads to decreased pain tolerance, heightens emotional instability, and increases the chances of obesity. Hence, teenagers and adults alike need to get a good 8-10 hrs of sleep.
3. Consumption of whole foods and less calorie empty snacks.
COVID-19 not only causes inflammation in the chest but also in the gut. According to Dr.Dhar and A.Mohanty’s research on the virus points out that inflammation subsided when the microbes feed on fiber and hence an effective nutritional strategy is the need of the hour. This research raises red flags for most of us who have devoured on carbs and sugar and allowed the purge to happen in the name of stress. Better alternatives need to be sought, this time, not only for a better diet but for survival.
4. Boost Zinc Intake
Zinc has a vital role to play when it comes to boosting our immunity. Primarily, Zinc releases enzymes that help in breaking down these viruses and bacteria from multiplying further. Zinc becomes an indispensable part of a diet and if not consumed through daily meals, one can easily start taking supplements for it. Consumption of Supplements is a common practice in vegetarian, vegan and Jain households as zinc is found in plenty proportions mostly in meat.
5. Exercise daily.
As cliché as it sounds, exercise has its benefits. It helps us flush out microbes from our lungs and airways, reduces depression and anxiety, and even produces hormones that reduce stress.
In the words of John Golster, a well-known physiotherapist, movement is medicine, and sports, in any form, helps one achieve a mentally and physically fit body.
6. Vitamin D intake
Vitamin D regulates the immune function, it generates antimicrobial peptides that protect lungs and consumption of it is important for protection against COVID-19 as it reduces levels of respiratory problems. Vitamin D is available very easily in foods like cheese, milk, egg yolk, or fifteen minutes of sunlight.
These precautionary measures were recommended by Dr.Kelly Dorfman of John Hopkins University in a webinar, Nutrition and Wellness during COVID-19 and beyond, that was hosted by Gateway school of Mumbai.