In these uncertain times, it’s crucial that we take every action necessary to remain healthy. Your body has a better chance of surviving COVID-19 and future coronaviruses if you keep a strong immune system all year round. Here are 10 ways to boost your immune system naturally.
1. Good Personal Hygiene
Besides social distancing, efficient hand washing is the only other measure that’s proven useful in combating the spread of COVID-19. Remain vigilant with your handwashing to stop the spread of disease, and to limit your chances of contracting an illness.
Tip: Good personal hygiene goes beyond handwashing. Be sure to wash your cooking utensils and surfaces thoroughly anytime you handle raw poultry. Following proper food safety measures can protect yourself and your loved ones from viral attacks, such as the bird flu.
2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
According to the USDA, we should eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Yet, only 1 out of 10 people follow these guidelines. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that help fight off free radicals that may cause inflammation. Inflammation compromises your immune system, making you more susceptible to a viral attack.
Tip: People are stocking up on oranges in hopes that Vitamin C will protect them from COVID-19. However, Vitamin C is just 1 of thousands of antioxidants. Get a more robust immune system by eating different colored fruits and vegetables. Each color distinguishes a different antioxidant, which provides its own unique benefits to the immune system.
3. Cut Out Allergens From Food
Many companies will cut corners to mass-produce food products. They’ll include artificial ingredients to enhance flavors, fillers like gluten to provide texture, and preservatives to extend shelf life. A lot of these additives promote inflammation and, ultimately, suppress your immune system.
Tip: If you have frequent digestive problems, follow an elimination diet. Get rid of common allergens, such as gluten, dairy, and sugar. When problems stop, slowly integrate each food group back into your diet. Then, you can determine which foods trigger an immune response.
4. Get Sleep
Wait all day for bedtime? Our body does too. Sleep is when we’re not fighting off germs from co-workers and the stresses of everyday life. Naturally, nighttime is when the most immune cells are made.
Pro Tip: Having trouble sleeping? No screen time an hour before bed! The blue light from your phone mimics the rays of a sunrise, which throws off your sleep hormones.
Stress is a significant cause of inflammation. Whatever winds us down emotionally, does the same disservice physically. So, we must tend to the physical by nurturing the mental. The most efficient (and cheapest) way to achieve this is through meditation.
Tip: It’s easy for the mind to race during meditation. Diffuse essential oils that promote focus, like orange and lemon oil. Mix in antiviral oils like eucalyptus and oregano to help keep viruses at bay.
6. Cut Down Your Vices
During self-isolation, it’s easy to become bored. In these times, you might lean towards your vices. Unfortunately, excessive alcohol and tobacco use destroys healthy bacteria in our stomach that help fight off viral attacks.
Tip: The first step is to cure your boredom. Take on new hobbies, exercise, or FaceTime with family members. If you still need a little something to unwind, try making a non-alcoholic drink and stirring in some CBD tinctures.
7. Consume More Probiotics
Over 80% of your immune cells come from your gut. Your gut is also where viruses thrive. So, you need to ensure that your immune cells have back up. Make sure your gut is teeming with healthy stomach bacteria.
Tip: Consume fermented foods to get more probiotics. Make a yogurt bowl with berries, a salad with kimchi, or drink some kombucha for a midday pick-me-up.
8. Regular Exercise
Nothing is more detrimental to your health than being sedentary. Lying stagnant gives viruses a chance to spread. When you move around, it mixes about the cells inside your body. Shaking things up will make it easier for your immune cells to detect and destroy viruses.
Tip: Stop binge-watching and just get moving! Stick to a regular schedule. You are more likely to create a healthy routine when you do the same thing every day.
9. Drink More Water
Water is the element of life. It’s rich with ions and electrolytes that provide your immune cells with the energy necessary to fight off attacks. Plus, dehydration creates stress on the body, which makes it prone to inflammation.
Tip: Not a fan of water? Try infusing a pitcher overnight with strawberries, basil, or oranges. Also, eat foods that have a lot of water, such as watermelons, cantaloupes, and cucumbers.
10. Laugh A Lot
Laughter really is the best medicine. A good chuckle can reduce stress up to 45 minutes! That’s because laughing releases endorphins throughout the system. Subsequently, it can also boost immune cell production.
Tip: In self-isolation? Netflix has plenty of stand-up comedies. Otherwise, video chat with friends, play board games with the kids, or read the comics. Chances to laugh are everywhere!