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As we take out our raincoats and umbrellas to protect ourselves from the monsoon winds, we are equally doing everything we can to protect our health as well! Since the start of the year, we have heard about anew virus. It has now become our reality. We have adapted to a new way of living that includes staying at home as much as we can, working from home, and wearing a mask as and when and maintaining a 6 feet distance or more from others. We have been actively listening to all the tips and precautionary measures from various news sources about how to stay healthy or get better during the pandemic. Along with that, monsoon is also upon us, which is also a season of common cold and cough. It is quite apparent that one should take the utmost care of their health now more than ever.
No matter what you have tried during the lockdown, be it the kinds of experiments in the kitchen to the various workout routines and regimes, you should highly focus on your immune system now. The immune system works as a protective barrier against unwanted bacteria, fungus, diseases, and infections. The monsoon season can expose us to various infections. High moisture content in the air leads to the growth of harmful bacteria. Therefore,it is necessary to eat healthy so that your immune system does not falter this season.
Here are a few ways you can have stronger immunity all through the monsoon season:
1. Eat more plant-based food
Plant-based foods are rich in nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals. The antioxidants present in these foods can help reduce inflammation. Fibers that are present in these foods feed the good bacteria in your stomach. Yes, bacteria can be right for your body as well, and these good bacteria help maintain your immune system. A list of vegetables you should add to your diet if you haven’t already:
Broccoli – Rich in vitamin A, and E, also rich in fiber.
Garlic – adds flavor to all your dishes and is also rich in allicin that fights cold and flu
2. Eat more healthy fats
You might think that anything containing fats is not beneficial for your health. But that is untrue. Healthy fats are required for your body to produce energy, absorb vitamins, and prevent heart-related issues too. Healthy fats boost your body’s immune response to pathogens as well. Avoid foods containing artificial trans fats and saturated fats. You should include monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats to your diet. These fats are anti-inflammatory and good for your heart as well. It can also promote weightloss.
Sources of Monounsaturated fats:
Nuts – Almonds, peanuts, cashews,etc.
Sources of Polyunsaturated fats include:
Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
3. Eat fermented foods
Believe it or not, fermented foods can help the good bacteria in your gut to function, thereby enabling your digestive system to function rightly as well. Fermented foods are rich in probiotics that aid your immune system as well. Add a small cup of your favorite flavor of yogurt to your daily diet, and you are good to go!
4. Control on artificial sugars intake
Added sugars and its excessive consumption is the leading cause of unnecessary weight gain and obesity. One should be mindful of how much sugar they consume daily. Keep a check on the type of sugars you consume. Do not exceed more than two tablespoons of sugar in a day if you are on a 2,000 calories diet. Reducing your sugar intake can enable weight loss that can be beneficial for you in the future as it reduces inflammation as well and promotes a healthy heart. If you need sugar, you can switch to honey! It is tastier and healthier too!
5. Exercise daily
If you haven’t already started, now is the right time to exercise! Moderate exercise can also boost your immune system by regenerating your immune cells regularly. You can start small and that too, from the comfort of your own home. Start with brisk walking or light jogging or skipping to get your body running. Don’t forget to warm up beforehand with some stretch exercises, so your body doesn’t feel sore. Read up on how to start exercising if you are a beginner and try and test what exercise routines suit your body.
Regular exercise reduces blood pressure, keeps your weight in check, and also improves your cardiovascular health. It further promotes healthier immunity against an array of diseases and infections.
One of the biggest perks of exercise is that it allows you to check off your fitness goals, but it also releases endorphins, which is the happy hormone in your brain, thus making you feel lighter and happy internally.Given the current situation, a little bit of exercise can elevate your moods.One should exercise for 150 minutes per week.
6. Keep yourself hydrated
It may sound unimportant in case of building a stronger immunity, but dehydration can be the root cause of indigestion, headache,heart, and kidney issues. It does not allow you to stay focused on your day-to-day activities. Water is the best source to flush out the toxins in your body. Not to mention, it is also the healthiest alternative out there as it doesn’t have any calories or sugars.
Your health should be your number one priority at this point. Ensure you don’t take a lot of stress, manage your stress levels.Relieving stress and anxiety can cause an imbalance in your immune cell function. Try to meditate or practice yoga to keep your mind and body stress-free. Make sure you get enough sleep. Choosing a healthy lifestyle does not take a lot of effort. It is as easy as eating fruit instead of a bar of chocolate when you are craving for sugar. After all well-rested and well-fed body is healthy.
Immunity or Immune system is that innate defense mechanism which shields your body from a majority of infections and illnesses. This mechanism can be nourished and maintained with healthy food and good exercise.