COVID-19 is back with STRAIN JN.1:Time to revise healthy lifestyle and immunity tips


We are again seeing a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases. We have already faced this situation before. According to WHO, JN.1 is now a COVID variant of interest. JN1 variant was first detected in Denmark and Israel in the month of July 2023 and now it has spread to more than 40 countries. At this time, you need to know JN1 COVID symptoms for awareness, early detection, timely treatment, and better outcomes. These include fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle pain,  loss of appetite, extreme tiredness, nausea, loss of taste and smell as in previous variants and additionally some people may face mild gastrointestinal issues and difficulty breathing.

You should know about the COVID exposure timeline. The incubation period of  COVID-19, or the time from exposure to onset of symptoms, lasts about 2-14 days. During this period, you are contagious. 

If you have come in contact with a COVID-19-positive patient, then self-isolate immediately, wear a high-quality mask for ten days and get tested after five days. Even if you test negative, wear a mask for ten days. 

Now comes the important discussion. How can you fight this virus? The best way is to take precautions and prevent it. You should follow all precautions like social distancing, avoiding crowded areas, frequent sanitisation, hand washing, eating healthy food, taking immune-boosting supplements, and most importantly, taking care of your mental health.

Let us recall what we did in previous waves of this pandemic and how right it was. Taking the right action to get the right reaction is of utmost importance.

 Increased use of supplements during COVID-19

According to studies, use of supplements increased during COVID-19. Why? The answer is “to make the immune system strong.” There was also increased use of honey and ginger in herbal supplements. People learn about these supplements from doctors, friends, family and social media.

Supplements to get rid of covid symptoms

According to studies, use of supplements increased during COVID-19. Why? The answer is “to make the immune system strong.” There was also increased use of honey and ginger in herbal supplements. People learn about these supplements from doctors, friends, family and social media.

Top 11 Supplements to strengthen your immunity

Supplements can be a great option, along with a healthy diet to boost immunity. Some of them are:

Elderberry: This natural source of vitamin C acts as a natural antioxidant, stimulates the immune system and reduces inflammation. 

Echinacea:  The herbal supplement derived from the Echinacea plant species is commonly used in dietary supplements and helps fight respiratory tract infections. It stimulates cells like monocytes and natural killer cells.

Garlic: We know that garlic has been used to treat many health conditions traditionally. You have one more option to take garlic in the form of supplement. Freeze dried form of garlic is also available that supports the health of  upper respiratory tract. It is good for heart health also.

N-Acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC): This supplement supports immunity, boost mental heath, provide relief from respiratory conditions, promote detoxification and much more. Your body needs such supplements during these tough times of pandemic and NAC is one of them. It is available in various doses like 600 mg and 900 mg.

Omega-3 fatty acids: These supplements lower inflammatory cytokines and upregulate the activity of immune cells like T and B cells, NK cells, macrophages, neutrophils, etc. 

Daily probiotic supplements: Are you looking for a supplement that can keep your gut health, support immunity and also maintain respiratory health in children? Yes, 17-strain probiotic combination is really a good option that can fulfil all your needs you are looking for. Both adults and children can use this supplement.

Perilla: Do you know this herb is an anti-oxidant, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant as well? It has been used for treating asthma. Perilla supplements are used for maintaining good respiratory health.

Vitamin C: These supplements have a role in both types of immunity, innate and adaptive, and have antioxidant, antiviral and immune-modulating effects.

Vitamin D: These supplements have a role in immunity. Do you know immune cells like B and T lymphocytes express the vitamin D receptor? 

Zinc: These have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, these are responsible for maintaining the integrity of respiratory epithelia. Knowing that we need to sense taste and smell would be interesting. For your information, zinc lozenges are also available in different flavours.

Curcumin: This is one of our favourite supplements and may provide you with the best COVID-19 immunity support and 50 other benefits, including joint health, brain support, etc. Curcumin lowers proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and MCP-1, controls inflammation and supports resilience.

Consult your Nutritionist before starting any supplement. Understanding your body's unique needs is important based on your medical history and health goals. Your Nutritionist will help you find the right, safe and effective supplements.

Why people are using supplements during COVID-19?

The answer is, “Dietary supplements add strength to your lifestyle and immunity.”

Studies mention that dietary supplements, including garlic, ginger, black seeds, cranberry, orange, omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins like  A, B vitamins, C, D, and E and minerals like Copper, iron, Magnesium, Manganese, sodium, Selenium and zinc have anti-viral effects. Even probiotics have these properties.

Home remedies on surge during covid pandemic times 

Home remedies indeed became more pronounced in COVID-19. What did people do on their own? Many people used simple home remedies, herbs and spices due to their easy availability at home. People believe in Ayurveda or herbs and trust their ancestors' immune-boosting remedies, like spices and flowers.

Home remedies do not cure COVID-19, but these are adjunctive aids that improve your physical strength and give you energy. But here comes the point. Which home remedies are you following? Are they based on professional recommendations or simply derived from what others were doing?

home remedies for covid jn1

People used holy basil, lemon, ginger, black pepper,  cloves, coriander, black cumin seeds, honey, fruits high in Vitamin C, garlic, turmeric and cinnamon. Some used herbal juices, decoctions and concoctions, hot water, herbal baths, hibiscus-based drinks and steam inhalations. People know about the history of using natural products. However, there is a lack of data on their safety and effectiveness.

Herbal remedies are as old as mankind. People take an interest in self-care tips, some of which may be proven effective.

Herbal remedies are as old as mankind. People take an interest in self-care tips, some of which may be proven effective.

Searching for some effective home remedies to help you in this pandemic.

  • Eat a healthy diet: The modern lifestyle is hectic. Due to a busy schedule, you may not prioritise eating a healthy diet. You may even not know which foods are good for your health. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables because they boost your immunity. You can add spices to your food, like ginger, black seeds and garlic. Your balanced diet should include vitamins and micronutrients like zinc, sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.

Vitamin C sources: red pepper, orange, strawberries, kiwi, grapefruit.

Vitamin D: Fish, mushroom, egg.

Omega-3 fatty acids: chia seeds, flaxseeds

Zinc: Oysters, beans, chicken, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, kidney beans, yoghurt.

  • Do exercise every day: Physical exercises reduce the risk of acute respiratory infections as they boost the immune system.

Every supplement is unique. Low levels of vitamin D increase the risk of respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D supplements protect against respiratory tract infections by boosting antiviral defences against respiratory viruses.

 

COVID-19 is stressful:

Stress affects the body's ability to use calories and nutrients. In stress, our body's metabolic needs increase, and nutrient use and excretion increase. 

What happens to your body in stress?

  • You crave snacks and sweets. These don't add value to your body's nutritional requirements because they are low in nutrients and high in calories.

  • You may not be interested in preparing a healthy meal due to a lack of motivation.

  • Skip meals

  • Increased use of caffeine to get energy.

  • Disturbed sleep

In acute stress, adrenaline suppresses appetite. In chronic stress, elevated cortisol levels cause a craving for sugar, fat, and calories, causing weight gain. Do you know weight gain is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes?

Every problem has its solution.

Eating a nutritious diet is mandatory in stressful situations like COVID-19. If you do not eat right, your body may get deficient in nutrients. If you cannot eat nutritious food due to an unhealthy lifestyle, you can discuss this with your nutritionist and choose the right multivitamins for yourself.

Providing complete support to the body: let's build a stronger support system.

Many nutraceuticals possess immune-boosting, antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, such as vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, curcumin, selenium, lactoferrin, cinnamaldehyde, probiotics, quercetin, and others. Combining some of these phytonutrients in a food supplement may enhance the immune system.

Dealing with COVID-19 stress: 

Many are struggling with fear of contracting the virus, while others are dealing with the stress of caregiving, and others are coping with the distress caused by loved ones who are suffering from COVID-19.

Do you know taking stress reduces immunity? At this time, it's vital to prioritise mental health. Here are some tips to boost mental health:

  • Stay connected with your loved one via phone, video call, or SMS. Avoid speaking negative stuff. Discuss productive information that motivates you to move towards your goals.

  • Have fun. Read books, play games, watch movies. 

  • Stick to your daily routine. 

  • Eat healthy food and drink enough water and juice.

  • Take a walk in your garden. 

  • Do meditation and yoga. Yoga is all about body posture, breathing exercises and meditation. It can reduce mental stress. You can also join virtual yoga classes. 

  • Take sunlight daily for 10-15 minutes to maintain adequate vitamin D levels. Do you know vitamin D deficiency may cause depression? If you cannot take daily sunlight, consider taking vitamin D supplements.

  • Sleep for at least 7-8 hours daily. You can consult your healthcare provider for sleep supplements and regain your disturbed circadian rhythm with safe and high-quality supplements.

A message for those who have suffered from COVID-19

  • Make a healthy schedule. You need a diet that aids your recovery. 

  • Eat a protein-rich diet and exercise daily. You can also take high-quality protein supplements available in liquid and powder form. Protein is important for muscle recovery. Consuming 15-30 g of protein every meal is advisable to get all essential amino acids. After nutritional consultation, arginine, glutamine and leucine supplements may be taken to boost and modulate immune response.

  • A daily intake of 1.5–3 g/day of omega-3 fatty acids is advisable to improve inflammation. Increase the consumption of extra-virgin olive oil.

  • Increase intake of fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

  • Follow three meals and three snacks. Choose beverages like milk, smoothies and juice.

Nutritionist role in COVID-19

Essential Nutrition during covid - consult nutritionist

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of a nutritionist has become more important than ever. As people spend more time at home, they may make unhealthy food choices and neglect their nutritional needs. This can harm their immune system, making them more vulnerable to the virus. Nutritionists are crucial in helping individuals maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle during this challenging time.

Nutritionists can provide virtual consultations to help people create nutritious meal plans to consume essential nutrition during this period. They can also provide guidance on maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and boosting immunity through diet, lifestyle changes and supplements.

Final words:

Regularly wash your hands, get adequate sleep, maintain social distancing and follow a healthy lifestyle. It matters every time. Consult your doctor and a nutritionist to discuss your medical history, supplements, etc.

 

Reference:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33435749/

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/COVID19-HealthProfessional/

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/stress-and-health/#:~:text=Chronic%20stress%20can%20affect%20the,diet%2C%20a%20deficiency%20may%20occur.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33117359/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34110533/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36771480/

https://www.bmj.com/content/378/bmj.o1822.full

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35166850/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8954128/







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