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08/Jan/2022

A strong immune system keeps a person healthy. And for building a strong immune system, a well-balanced diet and nutrition are the foundation. The immune system is a complex of cells, organs, tissues, and proteins that perform bodily processes and fight off harmful viruses.

Fruits and vegetables high in nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, have been proven to improve immunological function. Many vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based foods that are rich in cancer prevention agents also reduce oxidative stress. Plan your meals accordingly and invest in a high diet immune-boosting nutritious food that would never go in vain. With that said, let’s move on to the list of the top foods you need to incorporate into your daily diet if you want to live a healthy life.

Turmeric

Turmeric is one of those spices that has been used in Indian cookery for hundreds of years. Though the benefits of this wonder spice have only been learned lately by the western world, Indian chefs have relied on turmeric, or haldi, for centuries. It goes into every curry and savoury meal prepared in our kitchens as it helps in the process of cooking and adds nutritional value. It is well-known for its anti-inflammatory actions that help in healing inflammation of the muscles and bones. Curcumin, a Phyto-derivative with healing effects, makes up nearly 3-5 percent of turmeric’s key life-saving ingredient.

Ginger

Ginger is a delicious spice with powerful anti-inflammatory qualities. It helps in lessening inflammation-related troubles and even treatment of sore throats. Many health issues can be discarded and the immune system strengthened by drinking ginger tea or a medical ginger combination first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Ginger has antiviral effects, which is why it improves digestion and intestinal health. Apart from that, ginger is widely used in a variety of Ayurvedic treatments to improve hair and skin texture. Ginger as a root flavour is stacked with supplement nutrients like vitamin B6 and dietary minerals like magnesium and manganese. In fact, raw ginger contains roughly 79% water, 18% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat. Indeed, the most ideal way to utilize ginger is by adding raw ginger to your food varieties and beverages.

Garlic

Garlic is used in nearly every cuisine on the planet. It adds a little zest to food and is beneficial to your health. Garlic has antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Consuming garlic extract reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms to a greater extent. It has been shown to help with stress and exhaustion. Garlic has the ability to influence how your adrenal glands respond to stress. When you eat garlic, your adrenals create fewer stress chemicals, which reduces fatigue. It also has a range of health benefits, notably improved heart health and reduced cancer risk.

Spinach

Spinach is rich in vitamin C and also high in antioxidants and beta carotene, both of which may boost our immune systems’ ability to fight infection. The best way to keep the nutrients in spinach is to cook it as little as possible. Light cooking, on the other hand, facilitates vitamin A absorption. It is stated that if you eat spinach on a daily basis, you won’t need to take any special drinks or supplements to boost your immunity. A healthy dose of spinach can benefit in the long run by lowering the risk of fractures and degeneration. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels and improves the metabolism as well as the digestive system. It’s low in calories and high in proteins and fibres, making it ideal for weight loss.

Almonds

Almonds are a great source of zinc, which helps with growth, development, and immune function maintenance. Especially important for those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity. Almonds also contain iron and protein, both of which are beneficial for disease resistance. Almonds can be consumed as a snack in between meals or added to a variety of dishes. Trust me, it is only going to make the food tastier and healthier.

Green Tea

Green tea is often regarded as one of the world’s healthiest beverages. It’s high in antioxidants, which have a variety of health benefits, including cancer prevention, a lower risk of cardiac disease, and enhanced mental performance. Green tea is more than just a drink that keeps you hydrated. It is enriched in polyphenols, which are natural substances with health advantages such as inflammation control and cancer prevention. Green tea can be consumed for detoxifying your body, boosting your metabolism, improving your overall health and more.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a vitamin and mineral powerhouse. It is one of the healthiest veggies you can eat, with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fibre and many other antioxidants. Also, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron are all abundant in the vegetable. Broccoli helps maintain a healthy neurological system and good brain function. It also enables regular muscle growth. It is enriched in calcium and vitamin K, which are both helpful for bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. This miracle vegetable also supports the repair of skin damage due to the presence of glucoraphanin, which benefits the cleansing and rejuvenation of the skin.

These are a few must-have foods among a lot to boost your immunity against diseases. Consistency is the key. Consume these on a regular basis to develop a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. Make every effort to avoid consuming unprocessed food every day and eat fresh foods. Also avoid refined items and say “no” to baked goods. We know it is not as easy and practical as it sounds. Still continue to make an effort to keep this under control. Have a healthy life, peeps!


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05/Jan/2022

Five Things You Need to Know About the New Omicron Variant

The Coronavirus pandemic disrupted lives in every corner of the world. As the world reopened after 18-20 months of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns and things started resuming, a new variant of the coronavirus was identified in South Africa that left the scientific community worried. The new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 is known as ‘Omicron’ by World Health Organization (WHO) on 26 November. The WHO also classified the new variant as the “Variant of concern”.

Here are five things we know about the new omicron variant: 

  1.   Why is Omicron a variant of concern? What are its symptoms?

Not just the COVID-19 virus, but all viruses mutate over time. This is a natural phenomenon. During this process, some mutations or combinations of mutations may change the way the virus behaves. Omicron is of concern because it has different mutations, some of which have been associated with the risk of increased transmission and possible immune damage. Thus, there is a chance that people may be infected by the Omicron variant even if they have developed some natural immunity from previous COVID-19 infection or vaccination.

According to CDC, the Omicron symptoms looked similar to other coronavirus variants, like cough, cold, sore throat, and fever. Apart from the common COVID-19 symptoms, patients infected with the Omicron variant also complained of a scratchy throat, nasal congestion, dry cough, muscle pain, and lower back pain.

It was also noted that most of the patients infected with Omicron did not lose their sense of taste or smell, which is a common symptom of other variants of COVID-19. Doctors also reported that most of the patients who were infected recovered with hospitalizations.

  1.   Is it more transmissible, more deadly?

According to scientists, the Omicron variant is 4.2 times more transmissible than the delta variant in its early stage. The CDC also states that anyone with omicron can easily transmit the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or do not show any symptoms.

However, this variant is just a cause for concern and not a cause for panic.

Experts believe that more research is required to know if omicron infections in COVID-19 survivors and people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death when compared to other variants of COVID-19.

  1.   Will the current vaccines work?

With other variants, like delta, the CDC announced that vaccines remained effective at preventing severe illness and death. 

In the same way, current COVID -19 vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths from omicron.

However, even people who are fully vaccinated are becoming victims of Omicron. Thus, scientists are considering a booster or third dose of COVID-19 vaccines for those who are fully vaccinated with the first two jabs. Companies like Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are expected to release their booster doses that could fortify protection against the Omicron variant.

Pfizer recently announced that they would be able to develop and produce a “tailor-made vaccine” to fight omicron in about 100 days.

  1.   Is a prior COVID-19 infection effective against the Omicron variant?

Studies have reported that people who have recovered from a coronavirus infection are still vulnerable to getting reinfected with the Omicron variant. Due to its large number of mutations, the Omicron variant evades immunity from past infection or vaccination according to the latest reports.

However, studies have also reported that people previously infected with Covid-19 and those vaccinated will have some ‘stronger than basic’ defense against the Omicron strain of coronavirus.

Therefore, you should get vaccinated even if you’ve been formerly infected with COVID-19. While people who recover from COVID-19 may grow some natural immunity to the virus, there is no evidence of how long it lasts or how well you are protected. Vaccines are the only way to offer you more reliable protection.

  1.   What can we do as individuals to stop the spread of the Omicron variant?

As of now, the most important thing as an individual you can do to reduce transmission and protect yourselves and your family against the variant is to get vaccinated.

As we wait for more information about how effective the current vaccines are in protecting against the new variant, all the WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines have proven effective in preventing severe illness and death from the virus.

Not only does vaccination protect you and your family from COVID-19 infection, but it also protects your neighbors and communities by preventing the spread and mutation of the virus.

Additionally, you should also continue to follow all the COVID-19 protocols such as wearing masks, using sanitizer, social distancing, and avoiding large crowds.

Looking Ahead

Concerns are swirling globally and people are already worried about what Omicron will do over the next few months. Scientists can already see that Omicron is highly transmissible and is adept at evading immunity. Thus, researchers are racing to know more about the new variant and figure out what will be the impact in the months to come.


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04/Jan/2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in ways we least anticipated, which have become the new normal. The pandemic took a toll on most of us, having affected the entire food systems, public health, work culture, and the list goes on. It has led to the dramatic crash of the domestic and international food supply chains causing disrupted access to healthy, safe, and diverse diets.

We still tend not to go out often to have minimum exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Nevertheless, there are certain ways to keep yourself fit during this pandemic.

      Mask up

This is the first and foremost step to be taken care of. Never forget to put on a mask when leaving your house. Also, when living with unvaccinated persons, it is strongly advised to wear a mask even inside. Masks are designed to keep the wearer safe from contact with droplets or spray that may contain germs.

      Get vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines are significantly effective and notably lower the risk of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. It also protects people from becoming extremely unwell if they are infected with the virus.

      Adequate sleep

Good sleep can benefit your immune system. Hence, reduces the risk of being infected. Sleep deprivation weakens the body’s defense system, making people more susceptible to virus infection.

      Meditation

It might not come easily to everyone. It takes some time and practice to develop concentration and inner peace. You can prevent stress hormones like cortisol by making them a part of your daily life.

      Stay physically active

Regular physical activity will boost your immune system. During the day, take short activity breaks. It could be dancing to your favorite music, playing with kids/pets, doing yoga, sports, performing domestic chores, gardening, or any other means that keep you active at home. Walk or jog whenever, wherever possible, even in small places. Stand or walk around while you speak over the phone, instead of sitting down. Interrupt sitting and reclining time every thirty minutes, if possible. Maintain 1 – meter distance from other people if going out for a walk or exercise. Follow online exercise classes as well. Many of these videos may be found for free on YouTube. Make good use of it and consider exercising as a way to stay healthy during this trying time.  

      Diet & nutrition

Make it a habit to eat more whole nutritious and healthy food instead of processed snacks and fast food. Fresh ingredients, as well as those with a shorter shelf life, should be used. Practice a well-balanced, low-fat diet rich in vitamins, fiber, and minerals by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, fresh fruit juices, herbal drinks, and turmeric milk, to stay hydrated. Make a healthy choice of diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, moderate in sugar and salt. And most importantly, restrict alcohol consumption, and smoking.

      Self-care

Set aside some time to pamper yourself. Indulge in activities that make you happy and feel good about yourself. Your mental well-being is equally important as your physical well-being. So, give yourself a little love. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first and showering some personal care. Learning to balance your life with some time for yourself can pay you handsomely in the form of a positive attitude and improved health.

      Stress and anxiety management

Having maintained a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, reading only reliable sources of information on the pandemic, and minimizing news consumption, stress, and anxiety issues can be brought under control. Also, learn new skills to lift happiness, build confidence and self-esteem to alleviate the depressive symptoms. The thoughts of fear and stress are quite natural, especially during this pandemic, but do not allow them to control you.

      Healthcare upkeep

If you have been taking any drugs, make sure to take them as prescribed. Hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and other chronic illnesses should be monitored on a regular basis. Reach out to your health care practitioner and seek medical advice whenever necessary. Never self-medicate. Many of them have put off checkups in the fear of covid exposure, which could lead to another sickness.

      Stay connected

You are spending a lot of time at home these days. Make the most of this time with your family by spending quality time with them. Because you have never really had a chance to be at home all this time. Eat and cook meals with your family, watch movies with them, take a break from social media for a while and make memories. Utilize the multitude of technologies to keep in touch with your friends and dear ones as well. Consider this pandemic as an opportunity to reconnect with your loved ones with whom you may have lost connection owing to a hectic lifestyle prior to the outbreak. Exploit these modern capabilities to foster fellowship, companionship, and camaraderie.

Take a deep breath and remind yourself that this too shall pass. When all required safeguards for physical, mental, and social well-being are implemented, an individuals’ well-being and quality of life are ensured. We are much stronger than we know. We have already accomplished a great deal in our lives. Likewise, we shall get through this as well, one day at a time with the right mindset and meticulous planning. Hoping for us all! A healthy way of life can help us thrive for the rest of our lives. 


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