Important to Remember:
No activity or diet medication can protect against COVID-19 – except social distancing and good hygiene. The information below explains tips for boosting your immune system, but will not protect specifically against COVID-19.
Everyone hates getting sick. The sniffles and fevers. The over the counter medicines which never do anything.
But what if there was a way to keep your immune system primed and ready to fight off any bug or virus coming your way. What if this could be done without pills or procedures
Here are our five top tips to boost your immunity.
Get More Sleep
If you take anything away: sleep more! Sleep is underappreciated. We dose our bodies with stimulants, blast our evenings with bright white light, and head upstairs way past our bedtime. Then we wonder why we can’t sleep. But sleep is essential.
During sleep, the body produces and distributes vital immune cells. Whereas, sleep deprivation raises cortisol levels, which negatively impacts on the immune system. In one study in 164 healthy adults, less than 6 hours per night of sleep was associated with catching a cold compared with those who got a full night.
Aim for seven or more hours a night, and practice good sleep hygiene.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Chronic high intake of sugar can lead to diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. These conditions all negatively impact your immune system. But surprisingly, obesity alone will double your risk of contracting the flu, even after being given the flu vaccine, according to an observational study.
Eat the Right Foods
You are what you eat. So, check out these healthy foods to boost your immunity:
- Citrus fruits: Packed full of vitamin C, which increases the production of immune cells.
- Red Bell Peppers: Brimming with vitamin C. They’re also a great source of beta carotene, which turns into vitamin A, keeping your eyes and skin healthy.
- Broccoli: Supercharged with vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains fiber and antioxidants. Try steaming to lock in the nutrients.
- Garlic: Contains allicin, a compound renowned for immune-boosting properties. Eat half-a-clove raw for best effects. Otherwise roast.
- Green Tea: Tea leaves are packed with flavonoids – an antioxidant. But green tea also contains EGCG, shown to enhance immunity.
Try to Relax
Stress in small doses is useful. But over the long-term, stress is a killer. It promotes inflammation, and causes an imbalance in immune cell function, due to persistently high levels of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol prevents the immune system from kicking into high gear.
Try meditation, journal writing, or a relaxing hobby to destress.
Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.
A great way to destress and improve your health is exercise. Studies have shown exercise boosts the effectiveness of vaccines in people with compromised immune systems. It also releases endorphins, lowering stress, and helping your immune defenses. More active people have a lower incidence of infections and chronic diseases.
Adults need around 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. Consider running or jogging, going for a gentle walk, cycling, or swimming. You’ll get fit and improve your immunity in no time!