You always need a healthy immune system, but it’s more important now than ever. This is a new virus – no-one has encountered it before, so none of us has immunity. For many, the illness is mild. But for others it’s a very serious infection that becomes pneumonia.
As the CDC said:
“This is a viral pneumonia, so antibiotics are no use. The antivirals we have for the flu will not work and there is currently no vaccine. Recovery will depend on the strength of the immune system.”
The stay-at-home order is putting a tremendous strain on us all. If you’re stuck at home and missing work, you are probably also under financial strain. And stress takes a toll on your immune system.
People across the globe are turning to comfort food, just when you should be eating to strengthen your immune system.
“As the mammoth battle against coronavirus continues, with public health and safety measures now in place to slow the spread of the disease, the importance of healthy eating should not be underestimated. Nutrition plays a key role in supporting the immune system, and a balanced diet is important not only for physical health, but also mental wellbeing.” The Council for Responsible Nutrition (UK)
10 Tips to Strengthen Your Immune System:
- Don’t smoke. If you are a smoker, now’s the time to quit!
- Eat a diet of whole foods, rich in good protein, fruits and vegetables. Avoid fast foods and highly refined foods. Don’t eat sugar.
- Exercise regularly. Find a form of exercise that’s easy and pleasant to do. Even though the gyms are closed you can still go for a walk or put on some upbeat music and dance for 20 minutes. Not only will it boost your immune system, the music will give your mood a lift too!
- Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
- Get plenty of rest – aim for 8 hours sleep a night.
- Increase personal hygiene – wash your hands after each visit to the bathroom and every time you handle food. Wear gloves and masks when you go out. Sanitize your phones and tablets.
- Minimize stress – easier said than done in these challenging times, but there are many ways you can de-stress and relax. Deep breathing is one. Getting organized and planning for the future is another.
- Take Vitamin C. It’s long been the number one choice to support immune health. Several media reports have highlighted the fact that some hospitals overseas and in the US are treating the virus with Vitamin C. Note that every person has a different tolerance for Vitamin C. When you have had too much you will get loose bowel movements. It’s best to take a timed-release version (called liposomal C) that releases the vitamin slowly over time.
- Vitamin A is involved in the development of the immune system and plays a regulatory role in cellular immune responses and processes. It’s demonstrated a therapeutic effect in the treatment of various infectious diseases.
- A Vitamin D deficiency can affect the immune system and create an increased susceptibility to infection. Vitamin D was used to treat infections such as tuberculosis before the advent of effective antibiotics. Cod liver oil, a rich source of vitamin D, has also been employed as a treatment for tuberculosis, as well as for increased protection from infections.