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"With the lock-down on its way out, now, more than ever, is the time to prepare ourselves to withstand the chances of exposure. Boosting the immune system is the best insurance against Covid-19"

In India, as in many other countries, the lock-down has been pretty effective. The infection rate as well as mortality has been coming down. As a result many countries have announced a phased relaxation to the lock-down.

With the relaxation of lock-down rules many of us have started venturing out for work and hence interacting with higher number of people. This process inevitably brings with it a higher risk of contacting the virus.

in this scenario, apart from social distancing and maintaining hygiene etc, it's also very important to strengthen our immunity so that if in spite of all precautions we still catch the bug, our immune system will be in the best possible condition to fight it off.

Here is a general protocol from Functional Medicine towards this end:

  1. Prioritise and get proper sleep. Deprivation reduces immunity. Practice good sleep habits and maintain regular hours.

  2. Moderate Exercise (but not too much) is very effective in boosting immune function. Practices of Hatha Yoga like Surya Namaskar etc have many additional benefits compared to most exercises.

  3. Be calm - don’t stress. Stress is a big immunity buster! Meditations that relax the nervous system are very good for reducing stress.

  4. Don’t do extended fasts. One day fasts are fine.

  5. Eat home cooked healthy food - Avoid processed/deep fried/high sugar/maida.

  6. Fruits and Vegetables - Brightly colored veggies and fruits are proven to boost immunity - eat them in plenty and increase raw food proportion. Fermented vegetables are also very good for the immune system.

  7. Avoid alcohol & tobacco - Alcohol and tobacco are amongst the most potent oxidants (bane of the immune system).

  8. Stay hydrated (2-3L daily) - Energized, micro-clustered and alkaline water is best.

  9. Avoid cold drinks - Refrigerated drinks hamper immune function and also increase chances of upper respiratory tract infections.

  10. Supplements - Given the poor condition of our soil (due to chemical farming), most of us are deficient in critical nutrients. Hence it is fairly important to supplement to ensure a healthy immune system. Below is a list of some of the common supplements one can consider:

    1. Vitamin C 2000 mg

    2. Vitamin D 5000 iu (if your level is below 50ng/ml) maybe twice a week

    3. Vitamin K 100 mg (when having Vitamin D)

    4. Vitamin A 3000 iu (only if deficient)

    5. Zinc 15 mg (if your level is below 100 ug/dl)

    6. Honey 1 tbsp twice a day

    7. Curcumin 500 mg (I am taking a tspn of turmeric, black pepper powder with honey after each meal)

People who need to take added precautions are those with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory issues and people above say 60 years.

Say healthy, stay safe!

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