Covid19 outbreak cases are on the rise and many of us are either working from home or are waiting for the lockdown to get over to get back to work or meet family and friends. But what challenges us at this time of the pandemic is our ability to protect ourselves.
Prevention is the key to any health outbreak and along with that building, our immune system strong to fight the enemy of our health is equally important and is need of the hour. If you want to build your immunity reduce your toxic load- stress, worry, anxiety and improve your quality of diet all you gave to do is increase exposure to fresh air, sunlight, soil and clean water. Mother nature has it all.
Here are five simple lifestyle hacks to keep you healthy amid coronavirus pandemic:
1. Natural Sunscreen
Most of us are low on the super vitamin, especially Vitamin D. People often ask me what is a super vitamin and Vitamin D tops my list.
From building immunity, reducing insulin resistance, mood, bone health, reducing inflammation, vitamin D plays a very important role. The easiest way to get Vitamin D is soaking up in the sun for 20 minutes a day.
Soaking up in the sun doesn't mean get yourself sunburnt or suntanned. All you need to do is sit in your balcony or garden or room where there is sunlight for 20 mins to 30 mins a day. This is one vitamin which is absolutely Free!
Staying at home during lockdown gives us an opportunity to sit in the sun as many of us miss this opportunity when we are in our offices. This is an opportunity for your body to make its own natural sunscreen.
2. Exercise - move!
Think of a stationary tree where its leaves and branches are still and doesn't move, eventually the leaves will wither and die. Similarly, if you do not move, you will not flourish. The movement doesn't mean running a marathon, it simply involves setting up small realistic goals for yourself.
Like walking within your house, doing household chores, pranayama, yoga, dancing on your favourite tunes or doing Zumba or something similar. Movement or exercise will help in building your immunity.
3. Food for Immunity
Fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices are rich sources of vitamin c, polyphenols and flavonoids which keeps our immune system strong. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, lime, kiwi fruits, other fruits like green apples, guavas are rich sources of vitamin c.
In our cuisine, we use various spices and herbs and most of them are anti-inflammatory. Use ginger tea early morning or black tea or black coffee. When you add milk to tea or coffee it reduces the absorption of polyphenols, so next cup of tea and coffee, try without milk.
As simple as it gets! Use turmeric once a day (2 gms in powder or grated form) in water or food. Turmeric should always be combined with black pepper, compound pepper in black pepper helps in absorption of curcumin in turmeric.
4. Kitchen garden
What about growing herbs and making use of a balcony or small kitchen spaces by growing coriander leaves, mint leaves, wheatgrass, rosemary, thyme, basil or any herbs of your choice. They are rich in vitamin c and flavonoids which provide protection.
5. Keep your gut strong
Your gut bacteria play a key role in building immunity. Use buttermilk with curry leaves, try fermented foods like pickled vegetables, kimchi salad, kanji drink (this is my favourite probiotic drink, simple and easy), appams, idli's, curd rice, dhokla, lassi. It is interesting to see that every region in India has its own special gut friendly food or drink. We must try and consume once a day.
It can sometimes be hard to follow each and every health hack, so I suggest setting your realistic goals and make them achievable and applicable. Small successful strategies are key to improved health and wellbeing.
(About the author: This is a guest article by Swati Bathwal, an accredited practising Dietitian Nutritionist and Public Health Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, an accredited Anthropometrist and a registered Yoga Teacher.)