6 Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Immunity In The Time Of COVID-19
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has the world on its toes as the globe tries to remain safe and healthy during the pandemic.
There is no doubt that as the coronavirus situation intensifies, many are wondering how to stay healthy and possibly boost their immune system.
The first thing to keep in mind is that despite what you may find on the internet, there’s no magic food or pill that is guaranteed to boost your immune system and protect you against coronavirus.
However, this does not mean that the situation is hopeless. There are ways to keep your immune system functioning optimally, which can help to keep you healthy and give you a sense of control in an uncertain time.
Keep reading for ways you can strengthen your immunity during this time of COVID-19 according to EverydayHealth.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is essential to keeping your immune system functioning properly. To increase your immunity strength, focus on a diet that incorporates more plants and plant-based foods.
Get Quality Sleep
There’s plenty of evidence that supports that getting quality sleep helps in reducing stress, inflammation and lowers your risk of chronic disease. The body heals and regenerates during sleep hence why adequate sleep is critical for a healthy immune response. More specifically, sleep is a time when your body produces and distributes key immune cells like cytokines, and interleukin 12 (a pro-inflammatory cytokine), according to a review published in Pflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology.
Regular exercise lowers your risk of developing chronic diseases (like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease), as well as viral and bacterial infections, according to a review in Frontiers in Immunology in April 2018. Exercising does not only increase your immunity but also improves your mood. Exercising helps your body increase its production of cells that attack viruses and harmful bacteria.
Excessive alcohol intake has a number of negative health effects including lowered immune function. If the body contains high amounts of alcohol, it becomes too busy trying to detoxify your system to bother with normal immune system function, According to a review published in the journal Alcohol Research in 2015, high levels of alcohol consumption can weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and slow down your recovery time.
Smoking just like alcohol affects the immune system. According to a November 2016 review in Oncotarget, the chemicals released by cigarette smoke can interfere with the growth and function of immune cells. Not only that, smoking makes viral and bacterial infections worse.
A time like this is not the best time to overstress your body. According to a review published in the October 2015 issue of Current Opinion in Psychology, long-term stress leads to chronically elevated levels of the steroid hormone cortisol. The body relies on hormones like cortisol during short-term bouts of stress (when your body goes into “fight-or-flight” response); cortisol has a beneficial effect of actually preventing the immune system from responding before the stressful event is over (so your body can react to the immediate stressor). But when cortisol levels are constantly high, it essentially blocks the immune system from kicking into gear and doing its job to protect the body against potential threats from germs like viruses and bacteria.
The medical information provided in this article is provided as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.