Nutraceuticals are nutritionally or medically functional foods that provide medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease.
One of the biggest consequences of a global pandemic has been the accelerated growth of the nutraceutical offerings.
While the focus on healthy eating and lifestyle was gaining traction pre-pandemic, the last year has amplified the need to go the extra mile to build immunity, sustain a healthy lifestyle and keep disease at bay.
Building and maintaining a robust immunity, however, is not merely a one-step process. The foundation of a strong immunity is a perfect equilibrium attained by a healthy and holistic lifestyle, complete with a balanced diet, intake of essential nutrients, adequate sleep, physical movement and fitness as well as good mental health. These four factors, together, aid one’s body’s ability to ward off diseases, and maintain optimal health and wellness.
NUTRACEUTICALS FOR IMMUNITY
Over the past year, the role of nutraceuticals in aiding, building and maintaining immunity has been recognised worldwide. In the twenty-first century, low fertility of soil and the increased use of chemical agricultural treatments has plagued produce, resulting in significantly lowered quality of food. As a result, reliance on alternative sources of essential nutrients has become the need of the hour. Nutraceuticals in the form of supplements, vitamins and natural and herbal extracts are concocted to support a plethora of targeted lifestyle goals – be it immunity building, stress management, health-related disorders and even beauty.
PREVENTION BEFORE CURE
‘Prevention before cure’ is the driving philosophy behind the consumption of nutraceuticals. Through targeted habitual changes and the intake of the right nutraceuticals, one can meet and enhance one’s lifestyle goals, and lead to enhanced productivity, immunity and well-being. Backed by science, here are some of the active ingredients that promote strengthened immune response and help fight diseases.
This is enriched with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritis, anti-coagulant, and anti-hyper cholesterol properties. Curcumin is also responsible for most of turmeric’s medicinal properties.
These have shown benefits by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and helping the system in the effective absorption of nutrients from food..
This stimulates the production of white blood cells, that in turn encounter invading pathogens and illness.
This boosts metabolism and supports better heart and nerve health.
Omega 3 Acids
This, specifically EHA (Eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic), help maintain a healthy inflammatory response and promote an active immune response.
THE RIGHT HABITS HELP
The intake of nutraceuticals is most effective when paired with optimal habitual choices that further enhance overall well-being and lifestyle. As the world adapts to new normals with respect to work-from-home and decreased external stimuli, it is also imperative to adapt one’s routine to support our bodies’ needs with new and improved ways of functioning. Maintaining a work-life balance, even within the four walls of our homes is more important than ever. Here are some easy steps to ensure you are giving your body what it needs.
Maintaining appropriate meal timings
Carve out 30-45 minutes for a wholesome lunch, free from work and meetings to ensure your body is replenished from the inside out. Dedicated meal timings set the discipline of the body’s biological clock and result in better absorption of essential nutrients, ensuring overall well-being.
Include antioxidant rich foods in your diet
Have foods like fruits, dry fruits, vegetables in your daily diet. A balanced diet, free of deficiencies leads to enhanced productivity, healthier immune response and a stronger body and mind.
Include moderate physical activity in your daily life
Get up from your desk every 30 minutes to stretch your muscles and reinvigorate your body. Make sure to engage your muscles with moderate physical activity that can be done safely from the confines of your home. Practicing yoga engages almost all muscles in your body. Skipping rope is an ideal form of indoor cardio.
Cut down on sugar, cold drinks, excess oil and salt
With decreased external interactions and movement, reducing your intake of sugar, cold drinks, oil and salt helps in keeping your body fit and active, and reduces the feeling of fatigue and sluggishness.
Include natural probiotics in your food
Probiotics have a positive effect on our immune response, help improve gut microbiota and reduce the susceptibility to viral infections, including COVID-19. Probiotic rich foods include buttermilk, yogurt, pickles, kimchi, kaanji, fermented foods and supplements that can be easily integrated into our diets.
BOOST IMMUNITY, PREVENT POST-COVID COMPLICATIONS
Maintaining optimum immunity is the need of the hour. With rampant infection rates and the high communicability of COVID-19, it is equally imperative to re-build immunity and strengthen the body’s response system after contracting the virus. Post-COVID symptoms generally include weakness, anxiety, irritability, loss of appetite, hairfall, lack of skin glow, lowered immunity and damage to the lungs. Studies show that while each person experiences different severities of the effects, re-strengthening the body after recovery is a slow but crucial process for all. Experts recommend some key lifestyle habits to keep in mind, as you recover from COVID-19.
Rest, rest and rest some more
Rest for 2 weeks after testing negative. A plethora of symptoms of COVID-19 are not physically visible, and these are the ones to watch out for. Allowing your body 10-14 days of rest after testing negative is crucial to avoid any long-term effects on the body.
Practice yoga asanas and breathing exercises to strengthen the lungs. Begin with mild and easy asanas and slowly make your way back to a complete practice. This allows lung tissues to heal slowly and strengthen themselves with each passing day. Do not overexert your body and lungs, be gentle with them.
Indulge your hobbies
Engage in hobbies and activities that keep anxiety and irritability at bay. Get those creative juices flowing and engage in low energy activities that give you joy. Recovering your mental health after COVID-19 is equally important.
Maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Probiotic rich meals and balanced diet complete with vegan proteins and vitamins ensures your body heals from within. Nutraceuticals such as Lung Detox, Multivitamins, Bromelain and Curcumin enhance the absorption of essential nutrients in your body that aid in recovery and overall well-being.
Building and maintaining immunity is a multi-faceted process, with each lifestyle change leading to elevated wellness. Nutraceuticals give your body that extra boost of vitality and help you achieve your purest wellbeing with a few easy steps. It’s never too late to start because after all, there’s always a better, stronger and healthier version of you, waiting to be achieved.
(This article is authored by Mr. Sushil Khaitan, Founder and Managing Director, Pure Nutrition)