Things you can do to boost your immune system during a global pandemic:
One of the questions I am frequently asked during the pandemic is “What can I do to boost my immune system?” There are several fad dietary supplements circulating the internet right now, but most of these have not been proven and approved for their advertised uses. Here are a few inexpensive things that you can do to keep your immune system strong.
- Improve your diet
Nutrition is a very important part of staying healthy! Every cell in the human body – immune cells included – functions best when it is properly fueled. Eating a diverse, healthy, anti-inflammatory diet helps the immune system function optimally. Eating white meats like fish and chicken, increasing fruit and vegetable intake, and reducing carbohydrate and sugar intake can all improve immune function.
- Exercise regularly
A regular exercise program has been proven to improve immunity. Studies have shown that having a regular exercise program reduces inflammatory reactions in the body, which allows you immune system to stay strong. Additionally, exercise increases your immune system’s ability to make more immune cells, which allows your body to fight off more infections. Exercising daily for more than 20 minutes at a time can have these beneficial effects on your immune system.
- Get Enough sleep
The importance of proper sleep is underestimated. The human body is constantly working, using energy for different functions throughout the day. During sleep is when the body resets and its hormone levels return to normal. Different hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, control the immune system. Our bodies function best on adequate sleep, which for most individuals is 8-12 hours per night, longer for adolescents and children.
In summary, there is no magic pill that will make you immune to every illness. Healthcare professionals recommend following good hygiene practices – including adequate hand washing, wearing masks, and social distancing – in addition to what I have listed in this article. Thank you for reading and stay safe!
Alexa Jones, PA-C