Beating Covid-19: Risk avoidance, better health and diet

Wuhan Coronavirus, better known today as COVID-19, is creating havoc all around the world. This deadly respiratory disease can spread from one person to another. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during a massive outbreak right before the Chinese New Year in Wuhan in China. As of this week, this disease has infected more than 450,000 people and caused more than 20,000 deaths. Although China is reporting zero local transmission, countries like Italy, Spain, USA and more are in the midst of medical catastrophes.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Many experts say that the virus that causes COVID-19 most probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from human to human. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close proximity of one another through respiratory droplets produced when someone infected sneezes or coughs.

There is also a high possibility that a person being infected with COVID-19 may make contact with a surface or object that has the virus and then touches their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. People infected with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, difficulty in breathing and cough. Some people with higher immunity have been known to be asymptomatic whereas older people with secondary health issues can have severe pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure which can ultimately lead to death.

Protecting yourself

Life goes on but precautions need to be seriously taken to prevent further infection. Governments around the world have taken steps to restrict citizen movements, close borders, businesses and more. What everyone needs to understand and do is to take individual precautionary actions like avoiding making any contact with anyone who is sick. For some people, touching, scratching or rubbing the eyes, nose and mouth is an involuntary reflex action. That has to stop and hand washing is of the utmost importance. Our recommended hand washing regimen is as follows:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • If soap or water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Ways to prevent the immune system from failing

The other first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as the following:

  • Do not smoke
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Sleep well
  • Cook meat produce thoroughly
  • Minimize stress levels.

Immune system booster

The idea of boosting one’s immunity effectively is enticing but the ability to do so has been proven to be a challenge for many. Everyone must understand that the immune system must be treated holistically and it is not a single entity. To function efficiently, requires balance and harmony.

Some recommended foods to help you kick start this journey of health include:

Foods rich in antioxidants


According to many healthcare professionals, foods rich in antioxidants include berries, garlic and onion. These foods contain Vitamins C, B and E. They are essential for building up the immune system. This in turn can reduce the risk of diseases and at the same time help to fight off infections.

Foods like eggplant, pumpkin and carrot are all high in antioxidants and should be eaten at least once a day.

Anti-inflammatory foods

Some types of foods have anti-inflammatory values. Consuming foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory values is essential when one wants to boost the immune system. Vegetables and fruits are such foods with high anti-inflammatory value. Eating such foods on a daily basis will ensure that one will get optimal anti-inflammatory food intake. Eating at least five types of vegetables each day can help fight inflammation.

Another common anti-inflammatory ingredient with additional benefits is turmeric which contains a natural compound called curcumin,  known as a type of superfood. Another anti-oxidant, other beneficial features of curcumin include:

  • A bioactive compound with powerful medicinal properties
  • Boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factors linked to improved brain function and lower risk of brain disease
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Can help prevent and potentially treat cancer and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis patients respond well to it
  • Counters depression
  • Has anti-aging properties and fights age-related chronic diseases

Super foods

Superfoods are types of foods that have outsize health benefits resulting from an exceptional nutrient density. Foods below are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which boost cell regeneration and help prevent a multitude of diseases:

  • dark-coloured grapes and berries
  • tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • nuts
  • dark green vegetables
  • sweet potatoes and orange vegetables
  • tea (especially green tea)
  • whole grains
  • honey
  • fish

Conclusion

When dealing with a devious disease like Covid 19, it is best to take a firm stand that prevention is better than cure. Make sure that hygiene practices are in place, eat and stay healthy, avoid crowded places and close contact interactions. Many countries around the world have already enforced movement restrictions including working from home, so take no chances, and stay safe.


Author: Ezree Ebrahim, Head Business Development (Healthcare), Absolute Health Group. For Further information, please contact: ezree.ebrahim@akesisoncology.com

Series Editor: Christopher F. Bruton, Executive Director, Dataconsult Ltd, chris@dataconsult.co.th. Dataconsult’s Thailand Regional Forum provides seminars and extensive documentation to update business on future trends in Thailand and in the Mekong Region.