Since the outbreak of deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) grows across the world, people are searching for various ways to boost their immunity. As the doctors say, strong immune system can help you to fight off the pathogens which cause illness.
What Does Immune System Mean?
The immune system in our body is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that work tunefully to defend the body against microorganisms like bacteria, parasites, or fungi that can cause infection. The immune system works to these microbes out of the body and if they manage to enter your body, it can find and destroy them.
How Immune System Works?
The immune system works exactly like a sophisticated communications system. When such microbes enter the body, the immune system is alerted. At that point, the immune system cells are activated and start to produce powerful chemicals to communicate directly by physical contact or by releasing chemical messengers.
Watch Video: How Immune System Works in Human Body
So, before such harmful bacteria or deadly virus like COVID-19 attack make your immune system strong and live a healthy life. Actually our lifestyle and various other factors like eating habits, sleeping patterns, diet and physical activities play a major role in strength of our immune system. Hence, we brought here best ways to boost your immunity.
Five Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System Fight Coronavirus
#1 Minimize Your Stress Levels
Worries about various things happening in your life increase stress levels making your body susceptible to various types of common infections and respiratory illness. As per the research and studies, stress causes a release of the hormone cortisol, causing inflammation that leads to different types of contagious diseases in your body.
And chronic stress may also restrict with the infection-fighting ability of your white blood cells, making you more vulnerable to contracting illnesses. As per the experts, stress is one of the major contributors to an unbalanced immune system and vulnerability to infections that causes various other diseases like graying of hair or acidity problems.
#2 Get Adequate and Quality Sleep
A sleep-deprived person has weak immune system making them incapable of fighting off infection as it would normally be.
As per the research and studies, people sleeping regularly less than six hours have 4.2 times more chances to catch the cold or flu compare to people getting seven hours of sleep. So, get quality sleep regularly to boost your immunity.
#3 Maintain the Vitamin-D Levels
Vitamin-D is very important for smooth functioning of immune system in your body. So, checking the Vitamin D level is suggested by the experts. And research says taking vitamin D supplements could help your body to fight of respiratory illness.
Actually, vitamin D helps stimulate the production of peptide – substances in the body that are able to fight off bacteria, fungi and viruses. So eat eggs, fatty fish, spinach and other vitamin rich foods or keep taking supplements from time-to-time.
#4 Avoid Excessive Alcohol & Smoking
As per the alcohol research, it has been found that consumption of excessive alcohol has adverse immune-related health effects like susceptibility to pneumonia. And people drink alcohol excessively takes time to recover from infections.
Actually, alcohol alters the number of microbes in the gut microbiome – a community of microorganisms that affect the immune system. And excessive alcohol consumption can damage the lungs and impair the mucosal immune system which is very important in helping our body to recognize the pathogens and fight the common infections.
Similarly, smoking weakens the function of the lungs and could leave people more susceptible to the deadly infection. And as per the scientists, smokers may face an increased risk of coronavirus and suffer worse symptoms.
Smoking for long years is harmful for your lungs, and any kind of previous lung damage increases that risk of coronavirus like infection.
#5 Have a Balanced and Nutritious Diet
A balanced and healthy diet is very important to make your immune system stronger. If you stick with only few types of food and vegetables as per your taste, change this bad habit now and add different types of nutritious food in your diet.
Have mix of all types of foods, vegetables and fruits that can provide your body all essential minerals and vitamins to improves your immunity. Ginger, garlic, citrus fruits, turmeric and oregano oil and bone broth have immune-boosting properties.
And vegetables like as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beetroot and carrots are rich in beta-carotene which our bodies convert to vitamin A that keeps the mucosal linings in our nose and lungs robust enough to defend against infection.
And also make sure never skip breakfast, as many working class people avoid meals in the morning having adverse effect on the body.
If you improve immunity of your body, not only coronavirus like deadly infection, but your body will be stay protected from various types of other viruses and diseases. And apart from boosting your immunity system to stay protected from coronavirus, also get prepared with precautions and preventive measures recommended by health authorities.
Watch Video: How To Boost Your Immune System Against Coronavirus
How Vitamin C Helps in Fighting with COVID-19 & Other Viruses?
Millions of people died and suffering from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and many are at risk of getting infected with such deadly virus. Till now what we have learnt that keeping our immune system can help us to keep safe from such virus.
And Vitamin C plays a major role in keeping our immunity system strong. Vitamin C discovered by Albert Szent-Gyorgi in the early twentieth century when he was searching for a substance, the deficiency of which can cause various health problems.
Role of Vitamin C in Fighting with COVID-19
Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body and requires daily intake to maintain adequate levels. This combined with smoking, poor lifestyle, not consuming enough nutritious foods leads to a majority of the population being sub-clinically Vitamin C deficient.
In the 1970s, Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling popularised the use of high doses of Vitamin C for the treatment of common cold. As per the research and studies Vitamin C deficiency and Pneumonia and found that patients with a low Vitamin C intake required hospitalisation much longer than those who had adequate amounts.
How Much Vitamin C Per Day?
For the prevention and treatment of viral respiratory tract infections, it is recommended to take 4-6 grams of Vitamin C per day. In a clinical study conducted with 500 subjects, 4-6g of Vitamin C per day showed an 85 percent reduction in cold and flu symptoms.
To those who think they can get adequate Vitamin C from citrus fruits, you have to understand that you need to consume as many as 20 oranges to get 1g of Vitamin C which is impossible. While consuming excessive Vitamin C has a side effect on your body.
How Does Vitamin C Work?
In case of coronavirus infected patient, the main reason for the extensive lung injury is the excessive free radicals and oxidative stress mounted by the dysfunctional immune system in an effort to kill the virus but end up harming the patient instead.
Vitamin C, a water soluble powerful anti-oxidant, can neutralise these free radicals and reduce oxidative damage to the lungs. When the balance between oxidants and anti-oxidants is lost, that’s when the damage happens and patients progress to severe disease. By administering adequate Vitamin C, we can increase the anti-oxidant status of our body.
Vitamin C levels in white blood cells (immune cells) are ten times higher than in plasma, which indicates functional role of the vitamin in these immune cells. Vitamin C has been shown to affect the functions of phagocytes, production of interferon, replication of viruses, and maturation of T-lymphocytes.
Vitamin C Prevents from Many Diseases
Vitamin C also protects these immune cells from oxidative damage when they try to clear out bacteria, viruses, etc. Hundreds of clinical studies have shown that Vitamin C has a positive impact on many infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.
Vitamin C at doses of 4-6g is absolutely safe and causes no side effects whatsoever. It is especially useful for the elderly and for those with pre-existing conditions to strengthen their immunity. However, you can also increase intake of other foods to boost your immunity.
Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water to Boost Immunity with Vitamin C
Lemon water not only makes a delicious drink to keep your stomach cool in summers but also gives immunity to your body. Yes, lemon contains an ample amount of Vitamin C that helps to boost the immune system naturally, which is very important nowadays to keep your body resistant from COVID-19 like deadly viruses.
As we all know there is no vaccine or specific medicine developed to cure this disease, the only way to keep your body immune enough to remain safe from such deadly viruses. So right here we discussed how lemon water boosts immunity against COVID-19 and what are the health benefits of lemon water and how you can enjoy lemon water.
How Does Lemon Boost Immune System?
As you know Lemons are high with vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that can improve your immune system, helping your body ward off infections and diseases. The citrus fruit can also help the body absorb iron from foods and contribute to wound healing due to its high vitamin C content in it.
As per the research foods that contain high amounts of vitamin C and other antioxidants may help improve immunity against germs and viruses that cause the flu and common cold. Vitamin C can help support the health of your intestines and respiratory system.
As per the international health reports consuming at least 200 mg of vitamin C every day did appear to reduce the duration of cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults and 14% in children. This vitamin may also help strengthen immunity in individuals undergoing extreme physical activity.
Other Health Benefits of Lemon
Lemons not only enrich with Vitamin C but also have multiple other benefits to your health. Yes, it will not only boost your immunity against COVID-19 but also provides various other amazing benefits to your body that are listed below.
Lemon Health Benefits:
- Strengthening the immune system.
- Provides relief or prevents nausea.
- Helps to prevent asthma.
- Lower the risk of ischemic stroke and high blood pressure.
- The high vitamin C content in lemons can help prevent free radicals from causing cell damage, leading to cancer.
- Boost metabolism and aid in weight loss.
- It improves the digestion system & Prevents kidney stones.
- It helps with iron absorption, thereby reducing the risk of Anemia.
- It assists in the formation of collagen, which helps maintain a healthy complexion.
- Lemons also contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help keep your eyes healthy.
Apart from the above said, Lemon has multiple benefits, but make sure to keep consuming on a regular basis. And there are multiple ways to consume lemon as beverages or add into your daily food to make your body strong and immune. Further, below you can also find the various ways to consume lemon for maximum health benefits.
How To Make Lemon Water for Immunity?
- The best way to enjoy lemon is to make Shikanji with water, lemon, sugar and black salt.
- Or you can add a dash of organic cayenne pepper, a few springs of mint, a slice of fresh ginger, a teaspoon of raw honey, etc, to boost your metabolism as well as enhance the taste.
- You can also add a few slices of other fresh citrus fruits such as lime, oranges, or cucumber.
- You can take lemon water added with honey in the morning to control your weight.
- Or you can add lemon water on the salad to make it more tasty and healthy.
But don’t forget to enjoy warm lemon water every morning to boost your immunity against coronavirus infection, and enjoy the immense health benefits listed above. However, people having common cold problems should avoid lemon water after evening, especially other than the summer season otherwise they will keep sneezing and coughing.
How Much Vitamin C is Too Much: Side Effects of Excess Vitamin C
We all know, Vitamins are the most essential nutrients for our body. Vitamins are broadly classified as water-soluble and fat-soluble Vitamins. There are 13 Vitamins in all and each one carries out critical functions keeping us to stay alive and Vitamin C is one of them that helps in performing the various functions in our body.
Actually, Vitamin C is involved in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. The most important function of Vitamin C is that it acts as an antioxidant and boosts the immune system to fight from various diseases.
To avoid getting infected with COVID-19 like viruses, people increased the intake of Vitamin C into their diet. But do you know taking too much Vitamin C has side effects? Yes excessive intake of Vitamin C is not good for your health.
Symptoms of Too Much Vitamin C in the Body
When you take any supplement usually the full amount is not absorbed into your body. And it is believed that in lower doses about 70-90% absorption occurs while in mega doses of 1g and above only 50% is absorbed. And the excessive amount leftover in the GI tract may irritate the system leading to symptoms like:
Symptoms of Excess Vitamin C:
- Abdominal cramps
- Heartburn or Acid Reflux
Overdose on Vitamin C symptoms can help you to control the cut the intake of this nutrition. If you not control the same it will negatively affect your body. Hence, you also need to know the side effects of too much vitamin C discussed below.
Side Effects of Taking Too Much Vitamin C
Absorption of Other Nutrients
Excessive Vitamin C may interfere with the absorption of other essential nutrients like Vitamin B12. However, if you need both, it is advised that if you are taking both these vitamin supplements, you should keep about 2 hours of gap between them. Vitamin C has also found to decrease the uptake of Copper in the body.
Affecting the Health of Bones
Vitamin C is important for collagen formation, which is essential to keep your bones healthy, and several research and studies have shown it beneficial for keeping bone and joint diseases away.
While high levels of Vitamin C in our body may lead to the activation of a protein that causes painful bone spurs (bony projections that develop along bone edges especially at the joints). High intakes of Vitamin C over long periods of time may lead to the acceleration of painful osteoarthritis.
Chances of Kidney Stones
Excessive Vitamin C leads to excretion as oxalate from our body through your urine. And sometimes this oxalate binds to other minerals forming crystals that may lead to stones in the kidneys.
As Vitamin C is responsible for increasing the oxalate formation, excessive intake has been found to be linked to kidney stones. And few studies have shown high Vitamin C intakes to be linked to kidney failure, though in very rare cases only.
May Rust Your Body
As per the research and studies carried out by the scholars of the University of Florida, if you had an injury, sprain or inflammation, and were taking more than 100 mg of Vitamin C/day, you may be rusting your body from the inside.
And the assumption was that all these conditions lead to free iron within the body which reacts negatively with Vitamin C causing a reaction like the rusting of an iron rod when exposed to water and oxygen. So even though Vitamin C helps lower inflammation and hasten to heal, taking the right amount is recommended.
Recommended Daily Dose of Vitamin C (ICMR/NIN)
To avoid such complications due to overdose of Vitamin C, you need to control the intake of Vitamin supplements. And as per the different genders and ages, the upper limit of Vitamin C is recommended according to the Office of Dietary Supplements – the USA.
- Infants: 400mg/day
- Children 4-8 Years: 650mg
- 9-13 Years: 1200mg
- 14-17 Years: 1800mg
- Adults: 2000mg/day
- Pregnant and Lactating mothers: 1800mg/day
Recommended Daily Intake Of Vitamin C (ICMR/NIN) for The Indian Population:
- Adult Man: 40mg/day
- Adult woman: 40mg /day
- Children: 0-1 year: 25mg & 1-17 years: 40mg
- Pregnant and lactating mothers: 60-80mg/day
If you are regularly taking citrus fruits, peppers, tomato, papaya, green chutney, amla and green leafy vegetables your body will get adequate Vitamin C. Supplementation should be done only when you are under doctor’s medication supervision.
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