Posted on March 31 2020
Unlike a lot of people, I am actually enjoying this month long quarantine because of the novel Corona Virus. It is giving me enough time to work on some high- protein vegan recipes and diet plans. I am also getting in a lot of education and research in. Today’s topic is for lifestyle and nutrition tips to boost your immunity naturally.
If you are not following already, I am doing a 21 day immunity booster challenge on my instagram and facebook page with one easy lifestyle modification tip uploaded everyday for you to follow. Make sure to check the same out and follow along.
Though I was initially under the assumption that it takes years to build you immunity, a lot of the research I am currently doing point otherwise. I will link the articles I am referring to as we go along for the curious minds to keep you occupied during this lockdown.
- Add turmeric energy balls to your evening snack.
Without our knowledge, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals and pesticides sprayed on our food and water we drink. One such heavy metal, which also is extremely carcinogenic to our body is Arsenic. “Arsenic was a very rarely heard term in the water sector till a few decades back. However, in recent years, the number of areas reporting arsenic contamination have gone up drastically with over 20 countries from different parts of the world reporting arsenic contamination of groundwater (Bordoloi, 2012).”
According to the WHO, The maximum level of contamination for arsenic allowed in groundwater is 10 ppb. However, in developing countries like India, this level exceed up to 50 ppb. In fact, some bottled water could also have more than 10 ppb of arsenic. Unless you have a water cooler with a carbon filer and an in- build reverse osmosis process. You could be exposed to high levels of arsenic.
The curcumin, a major component of turmeric, helps with clearing the body of heavy metals. In fact, “Curcumin exhibits a variety of pharmacological effects including antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-infectious activities and is currently in clinical trials for AIDS patients. The effects of curcumin have been determined on purified human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) integrase. (James 1995)”.
There is definitely an easy way to add turmeric to your daily diet and that is through these super delicious turmeric energy balls. I suggest having 1-2 of these with your evening herbal tea/ coffee.
- Get some sunshine.
Most studies done on the benefits of Vitamin D supplements are observations studies vs studies with a control group. In observational studies, participants tested for having higher Vitamin D in their system seem to be healthier, have a higher mortality rate and better immune system. But if you think about this, it is like the chicken and egg story. Higher levels of vitamin D in the blood may just be a cause of healthy lifestyle, like, literally running in the sun. So the people with better immune function may just be people who are more active.
It is uncertain if Vit D supplements, incidentally a little over half a million dollar supplemental industry, have positive effects on the body without physical activity. Use this quarantine time to work on getting both besides supplemental form of Vit D. See if you can get 30- 40 minutes of physical activity in the actual sun. Use your terrace, balcony or simply soak yourself in sweat under the sunlight falling in your living room.
Though the effects of exercise on building a strong immunity are quite popular, you might want to tone down your intensity for the current moment to avoid inflammation and injuries. Get enough exercise to soak some sunlight and keep the joints mobile. I would suggest going in for full body strength training instead of focusing on individual muscle groups. Maybe add in a couple of Vinyasa yoga flows per week. I use the app alomoves to do my yoga and highly suggest the same.
Either way’s, do not go more than 2 days without getting sunlight or doing a light workout. Get your parents, kids and partner to join you for this and find creative ways to make it fun.
- Switch your dinner for mushroom soup:
This was one of the tips from my Instagram/ Facebook series, but so important that I had to add this again here.
Though there is an entire sector dedicated for immunomodulator supplements that boost your immune function, you might be better of sticking with plant based sources, especially since they work just as good, if not better and are much cheaper.
To understand the importance of mushrooms, we need to first understand what is IgA and the role it plays in our bodies. Immunoglobulin A is a type of blood protein that helps fight of diseases and protect you by building a stronger immune system. Patients with gastric tumor, metabolic diseases and compromised immunity such as older adults and younger kids tend to have lower amount of IgA. If your IgA levels are too high on the other end, it may cause allergies, infections and even arthritis.
Mushrooms are natural IgA boosters but without triggering the immune system to go overactive. Research suggest that mushrooms also have an anti inflammatory phytonutrient called pyrogallol which gives it this unique feature, making it a fantastic immunity booster.
Since a lot of the countries are under lockdown and we are not moving as much as we are used to, have mushroom soup for dinner instead of a heavier calories loaded meal will also help us keep our waistline and weight under check. Mushroom soups are hearty, filling and extremely healthy. I suggest combining this with some homemade garlic bread sticks or crotons. Since we do have a lot of time in hand, try your baking skills.
If you are in a mood for a late night snack, check these options out:
- Take active steps to de stress:
This point could be a separate blog post of its own because most people are ignorant of the effects stress might have on your immune system. It is also easier said that done to ‘not take stress’ and ‘think positive’ blah blah. Especially since we are going through an uncertain time when the financial market is at it’s lowest and there is nothing we can do since we are all under house arrest. A lot of us are away from our loved once, leading to more anxiety and maybe depression.
Because the situation is beyond our control, I have found that the best way to control stress is by taking small steps of whatever is under your control.
The most important thing that has helped me is making a routine. Because you are suddenly forced to get out of your old routine, it is vital to pen down your new routine to avoid sleeping in late and waking up at noon. Not maintaining a circadian cycle leads to hormonal imbalance in the body affecting mental health. Simple getting back to the sleep and wake up routine you have been used to will control added stress.
Because we are talking about a diet- plan here, adding chamomile tea two times a day has also scientifically shown to reduce stress and anxiety. This is also a better option when compared to having milk tea/ coffee. Especially when trying to build your immunity, it is best you stick as close to whole foods and drop dairy and meat from your diet, even if it temporarily. Below is a simple diet plan for you to try.
The above are small lifestyle changes and each one of them can go a long way to protect you against virus and diseases. If you have specific questions, feel free to comment below and I will be glad to help you through them.
Make sure to checkout my customised meal and fitness plans by clicking here.