Covid-19: How to keep yourself healthy, boost immunity

According to a Harvard report, we should follow a healthy lifestyle as it boosts the immune system and comes with other proven health benefits. The first thing we must do to strengthen the immune system is making healthy life choices.
We must get vaccinated for diseases as vaccines prime our immune system to fight off infections before they take hold in our bodies.(AFP)
We must get vaccinated for diseases as vaccines prime our immune system to fight off infections before they take hold in our bodies.(AFP)
Updated on May 22, 2021 12:14 PM IST
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Written by Prashasti Singh | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

One of the weapons that help most in the fight against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is our immunity. A strong immune system will fight off any disease with more ease as compared to a weak one which is more prone to falling prey to it.

According to a Harvard report, we should follow a healthy lifestyle as it boosts the immune system and comes with other proven health benefits. The first thing we must do to strengthen the immune system is making healthy life choices.

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Not smoking, inculcating healthy eating habits and ensuring our diet includes fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, getting adequate sleep, avoiding stress, keeping alcohol intake in check and washing our hands frequently and thoroughly are a few things we can do to reduce our chances of falling sick and better equip our bodies to handle diseases.

We must also get vaccinated for diseases in addition to all this, as vaccines prime our immune system to fight off infections before they take hold in our bodies.

It is also important to keep in mind that our immune response capability is inversely proportional to our age. As we grow older, our chance of contracting infectious diseases and even succumbing to them rises.

According to some scientists, the risk factor increases in the later stages of life as with age, T cells in our bodies decrease, possibly due to the withering of the thymus, the Harvard report says. Other scientists believe that the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells that give rise to the cells of the immune system. But regular nourishment and dietary supplements (after consulting with doctors) will help older people maintain a healthier immune system.

There is also evidence that micronutrient deficiencies, for example, deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E, alter immune responses in animals, the report says.

However, the effect of these deficiencies on the human immune response has not been studied yet, the report added, and a possible precautionary measure in case we have micronutrient deficiencies could be taking a daily dose of multivitamin and mineral supplement.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022