With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) becoming a widespread and growing public health concern, ‘boosting your immunity’ has become even more of a buzzword than it already is.
In light of current news, good hygiene, giving extra consideration to those who are immunocompromised, and taking extra good care of our immune response are some of the necessary measures we all need to take to protect ourselves and each other.
Besides washing your hands and practicing social distancing, follow these other lifestyle tips to boost your immune system.
1. Prioritize Sleep
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, sleep is essential to keeping our immune system strong. Even just 1 night of inadequate or poor sleep quality lowers your body’s production of immune cells. Go ahead and make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary and do what you have to do to relax before bedtime to ensure you get quality zzz’s.
2. Replenish your Vitamin C
We can’t have an article about boosting your immunity without mentioning Vitamin C. It goes without saying that you need to have this antioxidant on hand to counteract immune-dampening free radicals. Where Vitamin C is concerned however, more isn’t necessarily better, but more frequently is.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble Vitamin, meaning your body excretes the Vitamin C it doesn’t need or absorb at a given time. Instead of loading up all at once on Vitamin C, have it frequently instead to replenish your daily needs. A glass of orange juice in the morning and a Vitamin C supplement after lunch are more ideal to give your body a daily dose of Vitamin C instead of 1 large single serving at once.
3. Stay Hydrated
Another obvious way to enhance your immunity and keep it strong is to stay hydrated. Why exactly? Drinking adequate amounts of fluids keeps your lungs moist. This moisture is needed to help clear out any unwanted toxins in them which otherwise make it an environment for infections to thrive.
4. Avoid Inflammatory Foods
As if inflammatory foods in themselves are reason enough to not eat them, you want to avoid inflammation to ensure a healthy and strong immune response to infections.
So keep away from inflammation causing foods such as refined sugar, trans fats from junk food, and artificial ingredients and additives such as nitrates from packaged food to maintain a healthy and strong immune response.
5. Lessen Cortisol
Make it a daily practice to allow your mind and body to relax and unwind. This can be from sitting quietly and mindfully eating a healthy meal, taking a long warm bath, going for a run, journaling etc. Time to relax allows your body to normalize it’s cortisol levels. Where boosting your immune system is concerned, you want to balance out your cortisol levels naturally because too much can physically disrupt and slow down your body’s natural ability to heal itself. This is why so many diseases are linked to stress and improve when we prioritize time to relax.
Consider a stress supplement and pair it with breathing exercises which can be especially helpful if you’re having a difficult time relaxing.
6. Load up on immunity boosters
Vitamin C isn’t the only nutrient you need for a strong immune system. Eat healthy and incorporate these other nutrients as well to keep your immune system strong:
- Turmeric and Ginger- Powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients that are especially good at warding off colds and other viruses.
- Garlic- Contains allicin and Sulphur which have been shown to boost the disease response of white blood cells especially where viral infections are concerned.
- Zinc- Zinc is an important mineral that helps keep the immune system strong and can promote faster recovery from existing infections.
- Vitamin D- Low levels of Vitamin D are linked to higher susceptibility to various and frequent infections so ensure you supplement with Vitamin D and/or get your daily exposure to sunlight.
- Fish Oil– The long chain fatty acids found in fish oil have shown the ability to strengthen and enhance existing immune cells. The EPA and DHA found in fish oil also reduce the body’s susceptibility to illness thanks to their anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Probiotics– Probiotics help to boost an immune system and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria which can lead to infection in the body.
Check out these healthy recipes as well that will help ward off infections if you need any immune-boosting inspiration for the kitchen.