It’s simple: think over your diet, develop the habit of constantly taking care of your health and improving yourself
The statistics on the incidence of COVID-19 in Ukraine continues to grow, and for three days in a row we set a sad anti-record – on the morning of Friday, August 7, 1,453 people were confirmed to be infected. And while scientists are figuring out how long after an illness a person’s immunity remains, it is worth thinking about what directly depends on us – how to get our immune system in better shape before a possible meeting with COVID-19. In addition, epidemiologists say that the current autumn season will be very difficult: we will just have a “bunch” of infections – rhinovirus, adenovirus, influenza … And it seems that we have all heard more than once about the basics of a healthy lifestyle, but only a few implement them on practice. Perhaps now is the time to think more about your health and start developing new habits? And in the summer it is always more pleasant to do it.
Less sugar, the right fats, and more alkalizing foods
In order for the immune system to be strong, it is necessary to choose the right nutritional strategy. She must solve several problems at the same time, otherwise you will not be able to significantly increase the immune status, says nutritionist and founder of the school of healthy eating. movearis Maxim Pogorely… He emphasizes that, oddly enough, ordinary sugar affects the immune system harmful. “Eating something sweet, drinking packaged juice or even a plain white bun causes blood sugar to skyrocket. This blocks the functioning of the immune system and leads to a drop in the activity of the immune system by 1.5 times for a period of more than 5-6 hours. To maintain immunity in working order, you should exclude sweets, any bread, sugary drinks and even packaged juices and mainly consume foods with a low glycemic index and high fiber content (whole grains, vegetables, fruits, herbs, legumes, nuts and seeds) “, – dietitian recommends.
The second factor that significantly affects immunity, according to Maxim Pogorely, is the correct choice of fats. He advises:
1. Reduce to the optimum (but do not remove at all) the amount of foods containing omega-6 fatty acids. An excess of omega-6 increases the level of inflammatory processes in the gut and the body as a whole, and thus significantly reduces the ability of the immune system to resist infections and cancer.
Most vegetable oils: sunflower, corn, rapeseed, soybean, and others contain excessive amounts of omega-6. Instead, take olive oil, which is very low in omega-6.
2. Plant and marine omega-3 well reduce the level of inflammation in the body. You need to eat sea fish or – supplements of marine omega 3 and flaxseed oil or – walnuts, as a source of vegetable omega-3. Both of these types of omega-3 are necessary for the body, one cannot be replaced by another.
3. Reduce to optimum consumption of animal fats, since it is scientifically proven that it is the high level of their consumption in the modern diet that leads to a drop in local immunity and an increase in the level of inflammation in the lungs. This leads to a significantly more severe course of coronavirus infection.
There is one more thing to keep in mind. “The effectiveness of the immune system also depends on how quickly your lymphatic system” flushes “viruses from body tissues for” utilization “. Therefore, with COVID-19, maintaining the performance of the lymphatic system is especially important, since it is it that helps to remove excess fluid that can accumulate in the lungs during pneumonia. Your diet should increase the rate of lymph flow. The more your food acidifies the body, the thicker the lymph becomes, which means that the rate of natural “detox” decreases and the immune system works worse, ”says the nutritionist. Therefore, in order to properly combine oxidizing and alkalizing products, it is necessary that the weight of alkalizing products (vegetables, including potatoes, herbs and fruits) is 3-5 times higher than the weight of oxidizing products (meat, fish, milk and dairy products, all cereals and cereals , legumes, and nuts) all day.
The specialist adds that this, of course, is not all the steps that need to be taken in order to keep the immune system on full alert. But a properly structured, balanced diet and specially selected nutritional supplements can significantly improve immunity and reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease.
Immunity must be maintained constantly, not only in summer
Ukrinform asked a biologist and a journalist about how else it is possible to strengthen our immunity now and whether good sleep, a contrast shower, walking in the sun really contribute to it Daria Ozernoy, author of the book “You can do it! 7 components of a healthy lifestyle ”.
However, she immediately notes: do not deceive yourself that it is enough to strain in the summer so that later you will not have health problems for the whole year. “Our body is a dynamic system, and if we stop doing something good for it, the problems will return. If we now lie under the sun and eat currants in buckets, then we will not feel better so that in winter we can eat dumplings and not leave the house. We must constantly lead more or less the same healthy lifestyle, ”says the biologist.
About the benefits of being under the sun for our immunity. Mrs. Ozernaya notes that for the formation of vitamin D, ultraviolet light is, of course, necessary, but in limited doses (vitamin D is synthesized by the body during exposure to the sun and provides resistance to viruses and infections – Ed.). But tanning is already a protective reaction of the body, which is formed to stop the penetration of ultraviolet radiation deep into the skin. And sunburn generally damages the immune system. Therefore, walking in the hot sun should be treated with caution – wear clothes made from natural fabrics, hats, stock up on creams, glasses and water.
How about a contrast shower? “It is also good for health, our vessels must quickly respond to changes in temperature, and this is a quick way of self-regulation of the body. Due to the contrast with the body, the same happens as in athletes who sweat a lot, say, overcoming long distances. Thus, the peripheral nervous system of a person has the opportunity to “exercise” in the performance of its function, stimulating the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscles. But it should be understood: if we catch an infection such as flu or COVID-19, then neither exposure to the sun nor a contrast shower will help us. There are different parts of the immune system, and each is responsible for its own. Only the presence of appropriate antibodies can reliably protect against the virus, ”says Daria Ozernaya.
At the same time, let’s say, one should not forget that an adult should sleep for 7-10 hours, and moreover qualitatively – that is, not waking up in the middle of the night, not suffering from anxiety that makes you wake up early. “If such problems arise, you need to see a doctor. Indeed, in this case, the human immune system starts to work worse, ”explains the biologist.
In conclusion, she adds that since this summer is not typical, and many of us, due to the spread of coronavirus infection, will not go anywhere on vacation, staying in cities, it is worth using this time with health benefits. Namely, to visit a family doctor, to do the necessary tests and examinations, for example, to check the blood, the state of the thyroid gland, to monitor the pressure. And also go to the dentist, gynecologist and other specialists. That is, to take care of your health to the maximum.
Having goals is the path to health
Media trainer and author of 6 books on professional and personal effectiveness Vitaly Golubev reminds that one should not forget about “mental immunity”.
“To maintain it at the proper level, you must always set goals for yourself. Own, conscious. Such, the achievement of which motivates you from within, without requiring external stimulation in return. It is well known that each task takes all the time allotted for it. Thus, if your time is filled with motivating activities to achieve your own goals, you will not have the time and energy to go through global problems, the solution of which you do not influence. After all, the fear of the coronavirus is worse than the coronavirus – it paralyzes and launches a destructive psychological program, ”explains Vitaly Golubev.
The specialist advises not only to have enough motivating goals, but also to constantly “place beacons on the time line” – to tie the implementation of this or that item to specific dates, and with a fairly wide planning range – a month, quarter, six months, a year … life comes out saturated, dense – there is no place for anxiety, fear, apathy.
“The August lull is a great time to plan your active autumn and enter it not only with the summer sun and vitamins, but also in a cheerful psychological form. Someone needs outside help for this – then it’s worth working with a psychologist. And for someone it is quite enough just to increase attention to their own life – say, with the help of reflections during an evening walk or through written practices (keeping a diary or simply making a list of goals, a list of what pleases most of all in life, motivates you). In any case, a stronger psychological immunity will be in a person whose priority is the “I” project. I always say that personal self-improvement, constant work on the “I” project is a truly ambitious project for life. When you feel like the master of your own life, you have no time to worry, and, therefore, there is less chance of getting sick, ”the expert on personal effectiveness is convinced.
We cannot but agree with him.
Julia Gorban, Kiev