Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: At a time when boosting our immunity is of paramount importance, UAE residents need to be more careful of their choice of food to maintain the right pH balance as well, suggest doctors at RAK Hospital. Giving advice on the topic, Dr Harkirat Wilkhoo, Health and Lifestyle Coach at RAK Hospital urges residents to opt for foods that ensure the pH level remains normal to avoid any complications in the body organs.
The pH level in a human body can range from 0 to 14 with 0 being extremely acidic and 14 most alkaline. Ideally the human blood is slightly alkaline with pH of 7.4 which keeps our physiological health in good shape. The body also has a built-in system to maintain the pH level through lungs which exhale out CO2, and kidneys which eliminate metabolic waste from the blood. However, at times, when the level oscillates to one side and the pH imbalances, it can cause both respiratory and metabolic issues known as acidosis and alkalosis.
Generally, respiratory issues begin when the lungs are unable to do their job properly and have difficulty either exhaling enough CO2 from the body or retaining enough CO2 for the body to function normally. Symptoms of respiratory acidosis include headache, fatigue, confusion and extreme sleepiness, while signs for respiratory alkalosis can be cramping and twitching in muscles.
“Eating more acidic food can, not only cause acidity in urine, but could also be the cause of kidney stones. Moreover, it can weaken your bones since your body uses the calcium from the bones to restore the pH balance. Eating more alkaline-based food can slow down our organs,” explained Dr Wilkhoo, adding, “This, in turn compromises our immunity, and now, more than ever we need to focus on boosting our digestion and metabolism. So, choose what you eat wisely and make a conscious effort to avoid processed food, excessive caffeine, sodas, etc. that are acidic in nature. Smokers in particular should be more careful since there’s comparatively more CO2 build-up in their bodies, which needs to be exhaled out.”
Foods that can help boost immunity include nuts such as almonds, coconut water and almond milk, citrus fruits, garlic and ginger, herbal green tea, green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli and cucumber, buttermilk and yogurt, turmeric, papaya and kiwi among others.
“Having said that, boosting immunity does not mean that we give up practicing social distancing and taking safety measures. These are equally important, if not more, in fighting Coronavirus” cautioned Dr Wilkhoo, “Moreover, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and get adequate amount of sleep to further build up your immune system”.
Dr Raza Siddiqui, Executive Director at RAK Hospital added: “There are several misconceptions and misinformation floating on social media about how certain diets can kill coronavirus. While these claims are too tall to be true, there’s no denying that a strong immune system is vital and serves as the first line of defence against any virus, and in this sense, the fight against coronavirus requires similar protection. At times we tend to lose our focus on health, and this is why, we would like to send out this timely reminder to all the UAE residents”.