A healthy immune system is vital in the fight against COVID-19. How can we boost our immunity for better protection?
As the coronavirus continues to spread, we are all aware of the measures needed to reduce our exposure risk. These include social distancing, always wearing a mask when in a public place, and frequent hand washing. However, we can take some extra measures to boost our immune system to fight back against exposure to the dangerous virus.
Our immune system will fight any invaders threatening our health. It consists of a network of units that ward off viruses, bacteria, and other disease-causing elements. Still, our modern lifestyles tend to wear down our immune system, rendering it less effective at its job.
These are five simple things anyone can do to boost immunity and protect against COVID-19.
1. Supplements and Immune System Support
The immune system functions best when the body has all of the vital vitamins and nutrients it requires daily. Some of the best immunity boosting foods include broccoli, spinach, citrus fruits, garlic, and honey.
Protein contains amino acids that are vital for our T-cell function. T-cells protect our bodies against pathogens and boost the immune system. Protein is abundant in many of the foods we all enjoy, including eggs, meats, nuts, beans, poultry, and seafood.
However, many of us don’t get enough vitamins from our food because we don’t always follow a nutritious diet. Supplements can help to replenish missing vitamins, but you need to take them in moderation.
These are the best vitamins for boosting the immune system:
Vitamin C has natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help shorten the duration of colds caused by viral, bacterial, and other infections.
One of the essential nutrients for a healthy immune system is vitamin D. It also helps reduce our risks of catching the flu. With lockdowns, many of us are not getting our usual exposure to the sun, from which we get most of our vitamin D supply. That is why vitamin D supplement essential right now.
When used short term, vitamin A can help support the body when it needs to fight infections. It is particularly effective against respiratory infections.
Vitamin E is a vitamin that works as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals. You can easily incorporate it into your diet by eating nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and avocado.
Many enzymes in our body are zinc-dependent, and a zinc supplement helps reduce infections. Zinc also reduces the typical cold duration but must be taken in the first few hours of its onset.
2. Reduce the Intake of Inflammatory Foods
Our immune system often gets aggravated when ingesting certain foods. Sugar, alcohol, processed meats, and some vegetable oils make the immune system overreact, preventing it from addressing other issues when needed. Avoiding these foods helps the immune system stay alert to intruders.
3. Lifestyle Immunity Support
Moderate exercise, as opposed to strenuous exercise, is best for the immune system. Walking is ideal, and we should aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly.
Our immunity can become vulnerable from lack of sleep. Right now, we should all be getting as much sleep as possible because as we doze, our body helps replenish our immune system. We sometimes don’t even realize that we are tired because of our excessive consumption of caffeinated drinks.
Stress also hurts the immune system because our body releases stress hormones. We need to find time to wind down during our busy day, and if relaxing techniques and meditation don’t help, you will need the extra support from supplements.
4. Controlling Chronic Illnesses and Maintaining A Healthy Body Weight
People with underlying health conditions need to boost their immune system while also making sure they continue their treatment. Always keep your sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol at a healthy level.
Adults with excess weight (whether just overweight or obese) have an increased risk of getting severe COVID-19. According to studies, those that are obese are more likely to be hospitalized, admitted to ICU, or die. The ideal body weight means a BMI of 25 or lower. The best way to maintain our BMI is with exercise and a healthy diet.
5. Toxins Devastate the Immune System
Alcohol, nicotine, and other toxins have a devastating effect on our immune system. We should avoid them all, including quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol consumption, and minimizing our exposure to other harmful toxins. These include pesticides, chlorinated drinking water, food additives, and air pollution.
These are simple measures we can implement to boost our immunity and protect ourselves from the novel coronavirus.