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COVID-19: Best Strategies To Boost Immune System

Medical Daily logo Medical Daily 22/3/2020 Seema Prasad

People with compromised immunity are more vulnerable to succumbing to the COVID-19 infection. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that older people and those with preexisting medical conditions are more vulnerable to being fatally infected with the virus. 

In the United States, there are 19,102 cases and 244 deaths, but no vaccines are available and the global contingency plans are sketchy at best. Hence, people have to boost their immunity on an individual level by taking care of themselves if they are battling the virus. 

While the milder cases recover within one or two weeks, the complicated cases take about six or more weeks to recover. However, researchers suggest that people could remain contagious weeks after they reported feeling well again. Since reports indicate that coronavirus could be transmitted via air particles and surfaces where they survive for hours, it is time we train our immune system to defend us against harmful viruses and bacteria. 

There are ways to naturally build an effective immune response in such a situation. Here is what you need to do, according to a recent article on mindbodygreen.com.

(Note: These are tips to only build immunity in general and are in no way suggesting a cure for coronavirus or a definite prevention method since there is currently no such evidence.)

Gut Health

Since 80 percent of our immune system resides in the gut, it is important to strengthen it to improve our immunity. If you have a mild cold and you have been prescribed antibiotics, then you can also take a double dose of probiotics, especially ones with 30 billion colonies of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families of bacteria. 

Yogurt, kefir, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha and sauerkraut are some of the fermented foods that can be incorporated into the daily routine since consuming these foods could increase good gut bacteria. 

 Three Most Important Supplements 

People without enough vitamin C are more prone to getting colds that last longer than usual. Having sufficient vitamin C could improve the immunity manifold since it kills free radicals and protects the body from severe infections. Dr. Heather Moday, allergist and immunologist, recommends taking 1,500 mg daily in powder form. 

It is also important to take supplements rich in zinc, an important antioxidant fighting free radicals. About 15 to 30 mg a day is recommended. In times of sickness, taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily can help regulate the immune system and otherwise prevent autoimmune diseases. 

Mushrooms Have Antiviral Properties

Mushrooms are more powerful than they are made out to be. Some of them have antiviral and anti-cancer properties. While Reishi mushrooms cannot be cooked or eaten raw, they can be consumed in dried capsule or tincture forms. Shiitake mushrooms, on the other hand, have beta-glucans that improve white blood cell strength, which tend to increase during an infection. 

Maitake mushrooms help the immune system wash out bacteria. Capsules and tinctures of mushroom extracts can be found online or at certain stores. 

Take These Natural Superfoods

Raw garlic or concentrated allicin extract with antimicrobial and antiviral properties help kill yeast infections and bacterial growth in the small intestine. Incorporating this superfood in your daily, with just one garlic, could help build immunity. However, the WHO recently debunked the myth that eating garlic could prevent COVID-19 infection altogether, all it does is aid general immunity, provided you have a balanced diet and exercise well. 

Manuka honey works alongside antibiotics and aids their performance, either when applied topically or ingested. Oregano oil with  antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties can help beat yeast infections. 

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