How Can I Boost my Immune System?
As the Coronavirus has created an alarm there are a few strategies you can live by to boost or even strengthen your immune system. Overall, the key to “good” health is a strong immune system. With a weak immune system, you are more susceptible to colds and flu.
Building your immune system to be strong is the key to fighting against infectious diseases and illnesses.
Pro-tip to having a healthy immune system: consume a diet rich in whole foods, with organic fruits and vegetables, avoid sugars, chemicals, and processed foods. Sugar decreases your immune system, so cutting down on your sugar intake can help you boost your immune system.
Natural Ways to Strengthen your Immune System
1. Heart-healthy diet
Your body is your temple, so take care of it. It is essential to give your body excellent daily nutrients to keep your immune system healthy and strong. Nutritional deficiencies make us prone to more illnesses that weaken our immune systems. Include organic wholesome foods into your cooking and snacking routine that consists of:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
Protein acts as a “builder” and the body uses it to build and repair tissues. Protein is also vital for making hormones and enzymes that promote the body’s daily functions and supports a healthy immune system. In addition, staying hydrated with at least (8 to 10 cups) of fluids every day is one of the most effective ways to flush waste from your body and support the health of your immune system.
2. Manage Stress
Everyone gets stressed. Short bursts of stress may help your immune system. But, lasting stress is a problem. It can hamper your immune system.
Especially in times of uncertainty like our current situation, make these steps part of your stress management plan:
- Get enough sleep.
- Learn and use relaxation techniques.
- Take time for yourself.
- Build your support network of people you can talk to.
- Consider virtual counseling, especially when you're going through a very stressful time.
3. Practice Good Hygiene
People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available
Moderate exercise, even walking a mile or two at least three times a week, helps your lymph system cleanse impurities to boost your immune system. Avoid extreme workouts that are extremely taxing on your body that will require more recovery.
A brisk walk every day is all you need for a short period of time, such as 30 minutes. Mindful practices such as tai chi, yoga, Pilates, running, resistance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are also excellent for building and balancing your immune system.
It’s not always easy for people to get sufficient and good sleep, and more sleep doesn’t mean better sleep.
Make sure where you sleep is totally dark so your melatonin production is sufficient. There are natural melatonin supplements if you feel the need, and that’s ok.
There are 4 main stages of sleep:
- Stage 1 non-REM sleep: The change from being awake to sleeping.
- Stage 2 non-REM sleep: Period of light sleep before entering deep sleep.
- Stage 3 non-REM sleep: This is the period of deep sleep that you need to feel refreshed in the morning.
- REM sleep: Occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep and is when most of your dreaming occurs. REM is believed to benefit learning, memory, and mood. A lack of REM sleep can adversely impact your physical and emotional health.
Make sure you’re getting high-quality sleep so you enter REM and Stage 3!
Other Ways to Boost your Immune System
Help protect yourself against infection and boost your immunity by including these nutrients in your eating plan.
- Protein: Eat a diet filled with protein, which includes eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Vitamin A: Get this immune-boosting vitamin from foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs or foods labeled "vitamin A fortified."
- Vitamin C: Include more sources of this healthy vitamin by choosing citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines. Other good options are red bell peppers, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice or foods fortified with vitamin C, such as some cereals.
- Vitamin E: Serves as an antioxidant. Include vitamin E in your diet with fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils (such as sunflower or safflower oil), hazelnuts and peanut butter.
Summary: Healthy Measures to Boost Immune Systems
As you can see the Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, is now a pandemic, affecting thousands of people. It is crucial that we all take extra precautionary measures to help combat this disease and keep it from spreading.
There are a few best practices you can follow to help boost or strengthen your immune system; such as a diet that consists of heart-healthy foods, getting enough sleep and exercise, as well as enough vitamins and minerals. This will help support your immune system to stay strong and healthy and will help in the prevention of contracting any illnesses.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
The rapid spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has created an alarm worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, and many countries have been struck with a rise in confirmed cases. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising people to be prepared for disruptions to daily life that will be necessary if the coronavirus spreads within communities. Most recent guidance suggests it will get worse in the upcoming weeks of the COVID-19 before it begins to get better.
How does COVID-19 Spread?
The virus that caused COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.