With the global Covid-19 situation looming large, now is the time to boost your immunity, change your lifestyle, and strengthen your body’s defence mechanism, experts have revealed.
Hospitals and pharmacies are witnessing a sharp rise in the number of people buying vitamins to strengthen their immune system. However, doctors and experts have warned against the unguided and excessive consumption of such supplements and, instead, encouraged the daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dr Rakesh Kumar Gupta, a pulmonology specialist at Lifecare Hospital Musaffah, said simple lifestyle changes can help people build immunity.
“First, one should have good food habits and include those foods with antioxidants. For example, you should increase your intake of berries, ginger, garlic, carrots, eggplant, spinach, green vegetables, pumpkin. All these have some or other components that can boost your immunity,” Dr Gupta said.
“Also, food must be taken at the right time, such as morning, afternoon and evening, and should be a balanced meal. Increase intake of food with good bacteria such as yoghurt.”
He added that one must avoid canned food and snacks, including biscuits and juices, as processed food could weaken the body’s immunity.
“Regular exercise also plays an important role in helping your body fight infections, so try to include some walking sessions for a few kilometres at least thrice a week. One should have enough sleep and maybe practise meditation to beat the stress, weakens your immune system,” the specialist said.
Dr Feruza Gafarova, general practitioner at CosmeSurge clinic, said they have also seen a surge in demand for immunity-focused concoctions that they prepare and customise for individuals after running a small skin test.
“Out of the 10 patients I see a day, around seven patients are now coming to boost their immunity,” she said.
Dr Baiju Faizal Puthenkote, an internal medicine specialist at Lifecare Hospital, Musaffah, said a number of people who are following weight loss diets, such as keto, are also seeking help to modify their diets and include boosters.
“They need to include fruits and vegetables in these specialised diets,” he said.
Dr Baiju also urged people to be careful when consuming over-the-counter supplements.
“The issue with people getting overzealous about having vitamin supplements is that if you consume over a certain limit – for example, if someone takes Vitamin C supplements of over 1,000mg per day – it can become toxic for the body,” he said.