Immunity-boosting tips for the rains


    The rainy season is here and along with it comes the risk to contract colds and flu. While the country likewise continues to face the on-going global health crisis brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is important to remain heedful in keeping your immune system strong and on top shape.

    Teddy Manansala, assistant professor at the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management (SHRIM) and adjunct faculty in Benilde SPaCE for Nutrition and Dietetics Continuing Professional Development, has outlined several ways to keep you healthy in these difficult times.

    Hydration is one of the key components of staying healthy. Water is a natural immunity booster that cleanses our body from toxins. The average fluid intake recommendation for adult is two liters a day. Staying hydrated also maintains moisture on the sense organs to prevent penetration of infectious material.

    Good nutrition is a prerequisite to good health, and eating a variety of foods following the Pinggang Pinoy of the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute is fundamental to adequately provide one’s needs.

    Boosting the function of the immune system, citrus fruits are good sources of vitamin C.

    One can increase his intake in the form of fresh fruit juices and shakes, infused water, and tea with a squeeze of lemon or calamansi. The recommended intake of vitamin C per day ranges between 60- to 70-mg.

    Some of the fruits that can be consumed are dalandan; red-fleshed guava, pomelo, and rambutan. Other fruits include ripe papaya, strawberry, and unripe mango.

    With limited sunlight, one can obtain his daily dose of vitamin D from dietary sources such as egg yolks, tuna, mackerel, salmon, and liver. Milk, dairy products, and cereals are also significant sources.

    When incorporated in daily cooking, garlic has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Ginger tea is also a perfect remedy to alleviate nasal congestion during episodes of cold and chills, as well as progression of muscle pain and exercise-induced muscle sores.

    Warm drinks mixed with honey may be effective against cough and cold symptoms. Other therapeutic properties of honey include healing wounds and burns, relieve diarrhea, prevents acid reflux, and hangover relief, among others.

    It has been known traditionally that the combination of ginger, coriander, and cinnamon helps reduce fever and promotes sweating. Chili, cayenne pepper, horseradish or wasabi helps unclog stuffy nose.

    Healthy eating must also be paired with proper sleep.

    The optimal amount of sleep for adults is seven to eight hours. Resting and sleeping have lower body energy expenditure that enables one’s immune system to function in full capacity, allowing the repair and growth of the body tissues. Taking naps of less than 30 minutes twice a day may lessen body stress from sleep deprivation.

    Proper hydration likewise stimulates the body production of melatonin and other sleep-inducing chemicals so one can attain a good quality sleep and rest.