Nutrition and Immunity – During Covid times

Updated: Jul 19


Corona virus OR Covid-19 - has finally become part of our lives and its evident that we have to live with it, for a while at least. Whether we accept it or not, that’s the harsh truth. I guess by now everyone is starting to realise that our chances of catching Corona virus are high, whether it is symptomatic or asymptomatic. Many might already be the carriers of corona virus without even knowing or showing any symptoms.

Some folks are saying this is just a beginning and the worst is yet to come. They call it community transmission, a second wave etc etc. Meanwhile there seems to be an increase in the risk of new virus outbreaks in the future. Every other day there is a news on new virus found in some part of the world

With all the health risks around, one big question is 'how do we save ourselves now? And for rest of our lives?


1. Prevention:


Our first safety net is to avoid contracting Covid-19 by preventive measures such as washing hands, sanitising, wearing a mask, social distancing, staying home and maintaining hygiene.


2. Fight disease by strengthening our Immune system:

"Immunity" has been the buzzword from the time we are hit by the pandemic Covid-19. Never in the history immunity was talked about so much. We can find loads of content on the internet, and anyone you speak with will have a suggestion or two on how to boost immunity. Recommendations are like - Vitamin supplements, Immunity boosting foods and drinks, Physical fitness, Enough sleep, reduce stress, enough sunlight – certainly all these are useful.


Nutrition and Immunity - whats the connection ?


Lets talk Immunity -

Immunity by definition is a balanced state of multicellular organisms having adequate biological defences to fight an infection or a disease. It is a defensive mechanism in the body built naturally as well as acquired over a period of time with exposure to diseases or infections.


Immune system performs at its best when all the cellular organisms are performing at an optimal condition. And for the cellular organisms to perform optimal a balanced nutrition is essential. Hence a healthy immune system needs a good and regular nourishment. This is the clear connection between immunity and nutrition.


We must understand that building a strong immune system is a process and not possible to acquire overnight. Expecting better immunity with not enough nutrition or nourishment is simply not possible.


Our body needs a bunch of Macro nutrients – Carbohydrates, Protein, healthy fats and Micro nutrients – Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and Minerals - Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium etc . These are the basic building blocks of our body. Nutrient deficiency in other words malnourishment (Not having enough ‘nutritious’ food) will have a direct impact on our body functioning and makes us more vulnerable to infectious diseases. So it all boils down to the basic language of "Nutrition". In the current lifestyle many are facing this micronutrient malnourishment without even them knowing about it.

"Healthy immune system needs a good regular nourishment. We can say immunity is a by-product of balanced nutrition."

We must eat right or eat enough nutritious foods as part of our daily lives. We should not eat any thing thats not good for us or our body. Anything we eat or drink will have a direct impact on our body either positively or negatively. There is no getting away. Foods with negative impact will make us vulnerable or less immune to a disease.


Role of Immunity Boosters:


There is so much of buzz around immunity boosters as well. There are a list of foods, supplements, drinks/teas etc being advised. Individually these may be really good but our body can only absorb the goodness in the presence of other essential micronutrients. So it’s very important to eat variety of nutrient rich foods and maintain a balanced nourishment.


Sometimes we definitely need certain immunity boosters in the form of supplements or foods to improve some micronutrient levels in the body. For example many of us might need a Vitamin-D supplement because we do not have enough exposure to the sunlight. We need to keep a watch on our micronutrient levels on regular basis.

"Taking immunity boosters without proper nourishment is like racing on steroids with a weaker body. Just not enough and can’t fight against the likes of Covid-19."

Cautionary Advice:


Don’t get onto any extreme diet schedules by suppressing few essential nutrient requirements of your body. This is not the time for taking such chances. It may really hamper our immune system and harm us. All we need is a balanced nutrition and a stable metabolism.

Also, don’t be too harsh on your body and mind. Physical and mental wellbeing is essential for good health.

To be able to fight Covid-19 - All we need is to eat enough nutritious food, a little workout, and a proper rest.


Stay Healthy. Stay Safe.

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