More than 700,000 active cases. Around 34,000 deaths and still counting. Borders sealed, companies under a locked-down, cultural, and sports events getting postponed, the world is undoubtedly facing some unprecedented times.
Although it might feel like the situation is going out of our hands, there are still plenty of things that you can do to protect yourself and the people around you from contracting this deadly Covid-19 virus. To begin with, cut your chances of catching this virus by regularly washing your hands. At the same time, avoid touching your face. It is very critical, especially for high-risk groups such as the people with severe health conditions, the elderly, and pregnant women. Not to mention, while protecting yourself from outside, you can work building a defense on the inside as well.
By now, you’ll have realized that we are talking about strengthening your immune system. Although young people might be able to tackle the crisis, the same can not be said for the older group. All things considered, one must realize that the immune system is complex and is greatly influenced by environmental and lifestyle choices. And research shows that the gut microbiome plays a vital role in managing the role of the body’s immune system in response to an infection. So, if you want to prepare yourself from the attack of this deadly virus, working on boosting your gut microbiome would be the right place to start.
This is a part where you will start thinking about the link between the gut microbiome and a healthy immune system. So, stick with me here while I explain the connection.
Gut Microbiome And Healthy Immune System
There is no doubt that a healthy gut microbiome helps to mount a response to infectious pathogens, including coronavirus. But, one cannot shy away from the fact that it also has an added advantage to prevent any out-of-control immune responses. The ones that might be responsible for damaging the lungs or other vital organs. In short, it does not boost your immune system. Instead, it is responsible for maintaining balance. Although the details or the mechanism is yet unknown, experts feel that there is a link between microbiome and inflammation.
For instance, one can find evidence pointing out to the fact that gut bacteria produce a variety of chemicals along with signals that activate Vitamin A in food, which helps to manage your immune system. Doctors insist that if you have a diverse microbiome, only then it is considered healthy. And the food you eat and your lifestyle choices have a significant impact on the type and range of microbes in your gut.
Henceforth, let’s talk about different ways to maintain a healthy microbiome amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
How to Keep Your Gut Microbiome Healthy?
If you wish to enhance your gut’s microbiome diversity, start with eating a variety of plant-based foods that are rich in fiber content. For instance, you can go for eggplant, pepper, tomato, carrot, kale, onion along with nuts and seeds. Such plants are full of polyphenols and will help you to reduce any unnecessary inflammation inside your body. And if you are on a Mediterranean diet, you are doing everything right to improve your gut microbiome. Let’s look at some more examples of food that can help you lower down the levels of inflammation. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats such as high-quality olive oil, lean meat, or fish. However, avoid alcohol, salt, sweets, and sugary drinks along with ultra-processed foods.
But wait, there’s more.
Another way of supporting your gut’s health is going for yogurt, artisan cheeses that are a natural source of probiotics. Furthermore, you can go for bacteria or yeast-rich drinks such as kefir or kombucha. If you are concerned about getting hold of fresh produce while your city is under lockdown, frozen fruits, berries, and vegetables can do the trick as well. You can also opt for canned beans and pulses as a long-lasting option.
Remember: To keep your immune system in good shape, you will need more than a healthy gut microbiome. You will have to maintain your mental health by getting proper sleep and indulging in a variety of physical activities such as riding the best recumbent exercise bike, Yoga, Zumba to keep your body in motion while in quarantine.
While it’s true that following a plant-based diet helps improve the health of your gut microbiome, we are not implying that you need to be a vegan to do that. A plant-based diet can be used for dietary patterns as well. Since everything has one thing in common: the plant is the center of the source. Also, we don’t mean that you must only depend on fruits or vegetables, eating nuts, pulses, grains, or spices will help you equally. You must remember, the idea is to boost your gut’s health. And there are many ways to keep your gut healthy when you are surrounded by one of the deadliest public health crisis.