Published : Tuesday, 21 April, 2020 at 12:18 AM, Update: 23.04.2020 7:37:36 PM
A weak immune system is more susceptible to infections, but there are a few things you can do to keep your immune system healthy and better able to cope with an infection.
Doctors around the world and in our country are giving suggestions on developing an immune system that can create antibodies to neutralize pathogens amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Since no vaccine has been discovered for coronavirus yet, remaining aware and following health guidelines can help prevent coronavirus, said Dr Mujibur Rahman, head of Medicine Department at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
Food that boost the immune system in the body should be eaten more to beat back any virus, including coronavirus, he added.
Dr Tasnuva Mim, nutrition and dietetics specialist at Labaid Specialized Hospital, said a healthy person who takes care of the body and improves the ability to combat infections can expect to recover from coronavirus easily.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can improve your immune system.
Eating Fresh Food
Nutritionists have recommended taking proper fresh food which are essential for fighting off infections in your body.
Dr Md Aminul Haque Bhuyan at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science of Dhaka University, said: “We have to put emphasis on food which contain vitamin C. Lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, spices, and olive oil along with some oily fish, cheese, and full-fat curd needs to be eaten.”
Vitamin C improves the immunity system
Vitamin C aids the formation of collagen, aids healing and is an antioxidant, which means it scavenges free particles that can damage cells, tissues and genetic material, affecting our immunity.
Daily intake of food rich in vitamin C, including oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, green chili, broccoli, and such other items can help the body to produce antibodies more and more and help maintain good health overall.
Experts also believe that as Vitamin C is prevalent in so many food, there is no need to take Vitamin C separately.
Meals to boost gut microbiome
There are trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms that live in our intestines and are a threat to health.
Organic, plant-based diets with prebiotic-rich food, such as asparagus, garlic, onions, and leeks or Fermented food rich in probiotics, notably sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt can be great in boosting gut microbiome.
Eating food consisting of high fiber
A proper fiber diet feeds your body’s gut microbes to help them increase in number and kind which boosts your immunity system.
Dr Khaleda Islam, professor at Institute of Nutrition and Food Science of Dhaka University, said: “Food containing high fiber are also a key element in boosting antibodies in your body. Besides, eating nourishing food rich in certain vitamins can produce antibodies to fight any kind of illness.”
Oats, lentils, green peas, broccoli, carrots, sweet corn, and various nuts and seeds are food with high fiber, according to the British Nutrition Foundation.
Drinking lots of water
Water helps the body to produce lymph that carries white blood cells and other immune system cells.
So drinking lots of water can boost our immune system. However, we should avoid drinking beverages like coffee that can cause dehydration.
We need to try eating more hydrating food, such as cucumbers or watermelons, suggested Prof Khaleda Islam.
Notes for older people
Experts have suggested that older people, who are more vulnerable to coronavirus, should take vitamins and supplements alongside food to boost their immunity.
They also suggest that older people eat more colourful fruits and vegetables to boost vitamins and nutritions in the body.