Immunity Boosters Facts and Fiction

Adopting a healthy balance is vital. A healthy lifestyle and hygienic habits may keep you and your loved ones safe and infection-free.

5 min read

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The concept of boosting your immunity is a powerful and appealing promise, but we need to be careful of the claims and get the facts. With the global pandemic of COVID 19,everywhere you look there are products, vitamins, foods and information that claims to boost your immunity and provide you and your family with protection against getting sick.

Immunology experts say  the immune system is exactly that, a complex and multi-faceted system that triggers responses when required.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), vitamin and mineral supplements cannot cure COVID-19 . “There is currently no guidance on the use of micronutrient supplements as a treatment of COVID-19.” https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

Vitamin C, zinc, turmeric, ginger, garlic and other foods, vitamins and minerals have all had their moment in the spotlight of immunity boosting ‘revelations’. Immune booster juices, immunity home remedies and supplements claiming to boost the immune system are advertised everywhere. While many of these may have  health benefits, no single supplement can lay claim to boosting immunity. In fact, over-consumption of vitamins and foods to try and boost immunity could cause digestive problems and health issues.

What is the key to staying healthy?

It is not all doom and gloom though! We all want to protect ourselves and our families from getting sick, and the fear of COVID is very real. You can work to protect your family as much as possible by observing a healthy lifestyle and overall habits.

A healthy lifestyle involves regular exercise, a diet high in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, regular sleep and taking steps to minimise stress. Not smoking and limiting or avoiding alcohol also makes up part of an overall system that promotes good general health.

Hygiene and Hand Washing

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), an effective way to minimise the spread of infections is to observe good hygiene. One of the pillars of healthy hygiene is hand washing. Hand washing can save lives and could stop the spread of infection.

It is no coincidence that surgeons, nurses and doctors make hand washing a  priority while working, throughout the day. Read more about the correct techniques for handwashing, as followed by medical staff in this article .

The CDC recommends washing hands: 

Before eating food, and before, during and after preparing food.

After using the toilet, as well as after changing baby’s diapers or cleaning a child who has used the toilet.

Before and after caring for someone who is ill or treating a wound.

After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.

After touching or feeding animals and pet food.

After touching or handling garbage.

Before touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

The COVID-19 pandemic requires additional handwashing precautions, and washing hands or sanitising after you have been in a public place and touched surfaces that will be frequently touched by many others, such as shopping carts, door handles or cashier screens, is recommended.

Just like swallowing handfuls of vitamin C or zinc tablets may not provide you with immunity to diseases, over washing your hands can dry your skin and cause painful skin irritations such as eczema. Use an effective antibacterial hand soap such as Lifebuoy that does not contain harsh or harmful ingredients. Use warm, not hot water to preserve the natural oils that protect the skin.

Adopting a healthy balance is vital. While there is no immunity boosting ‘quick fix’ that you can buy in a bottle, a healthy lifestyle and hygienic habits may keep you and your loved ones safe and infection-free. 

References

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