By: Dr. Jewel Gamadia
As the world continues to take steps to come out of an ongoing health emergency, it is now very important to keep yourself healthy and immune. Life is certainly in a process to adjust in the new normal. We now have to be really cautious about our immunity. We really need to focus on building our immunity. Well, it’s not rocket science, but surely needs some level of dedication, motivation and discipline. Before we get on to the path of eating healthy, know that we don’t need to follow any restrictive diets or survive on only salads and raw foods. Eating healthy has to be seen in a more holistic sense.
Nowadays there seems to be a huge shift in people’s preferences with a surge in demand for hygiene products and healthcare supplements as they wanted to keep them self-safe and build their immunity high. It’s time to educate and inspire consumers to incorporate nutraceutical supplements such as probiotics to their diet and daily routines.
What has gazed more attention and brought Nutraceutical into the limelight is their specific ability to help combat diseases and viruses in general. While consuming good quality food is always desirable and especially important during any health emergency, people may not always have access to nutritious foods for various reasons. Individuals who are not nourished well can have their immune system compromised and will be at a greater risk of various bacterial, viral, and other infections. In addition, the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic can further deplete essential nutrients that the body needs to maintain health. This is the phase when our body needs external sources of nutraceuticals to compensate for what it does not get through the food.
In general, several vitamins and minerals play an essential and complementary role in supporting the immune system — especially vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and folate, and the minerals zinc, iron, selenium and magnesium. Zinc is a component of many enzymes and transcription factors in cells in the body. Inadequate zinc levels can reduce the individual’s ability to mount an adequate immune response to infections. Vitamin C too is a cofactor for many enzymes and enhances their function all over the body. It acts as an antioxidant, limiting inflammation and tissue damage associated with immune responses. Vitamin D supplementation is known to lower the chances of developing acute respiratory tract infections. Many of these have to be used as combinations too for maximum results
However, malnutrition is the major concern in India. According to a report by the World Bank India loses nearly $12 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to malnourishment. The Union Budget for 2020-21, declared before the lockdown also saw an increased allocation of Rs 35,600 crores for nutrition-related programmes hence the consumers need to make progressive changes in their daily routines to lead a more balanced and healthy life. Today, this has become relevant more than ever before. The pursuit of wellness has made its way to be an integral aspect of the modern consumer’s lifestyle and ‘self-care’ has become the new essential now.
The columnist is Founder, Jewel life sciences. Views expressed are the author’s own.