Improving Our Immunity in a Pandemic
By now, we’re adjusting to the many new and healthy practices associated with a pandemic. We’re keeping safe social distances when necessary. We’re models of proper hand washing hygiene. We’re even fighting the urge to touch our faces. But are we doing everything we can to improve our immunity? Here are several things that can help boost our immune system’s natural defenses and vanquish the viral invaders.
GET SOME SLEEP
Inadequate or poor-quality sleep is linked to higher susceptibility to sickness. Alternatively, good sleep allows the body to rejuvenate and fight off infection. Give yourself, and your body, the chance to properly recharge every night by getting enough sleep.
EAT MORE WHOLE PLANT FOODS
Eating a wide variety of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and legumes is a great way to get the important nutrients our immune systems
need. Additionally, the fiber in plants serves the healthy bacteria in our gut, helping keep harmful pathogens out.
EXERCISE IN MODERATION
A daily dose of low-to-moderate physical activity will help your immune system function at its peak. There’s no need to overdo it, though. Too much intense exercise can put undue stress on the body and have the opposite effect.
EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS
While low-level inflammation in the body is normal, chronic inflammation can suppress the immune system. The healthy fats and
Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like olive oil, salmon, and chia seeds have the ability to decrease inflammation, thereby boosting your body’s immune response.
These days, stress isn’t too hard to come by. However, finding ways to manage or reduce that stress is one of the most important components of a healthy immune system. Activities that may help include, meditation, exercise, yoga, and journaling. You might even consider seeking professional help.
EAT MORE FERMENTED FOODS OR TAKE A PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT
Eating fermented foods or foods with probiotics, such as yogurt, garlic, onion, and ginger, can help boost your body’s immune defenses by supporting the good bacteria in your gut. If you don’t regularly eat fermented foods, you can also take probiotic supplements.
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll undoubtedly hear it again. Drink lots of water. A properly hydrated body is the best defense. Likewise, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, as it can act as a diuretic and reduce hydration.
Although none of these suggestions can prevent COVID-19, they are good guidelines for optimizing your immune system’s ability to keep you functioning at your best.