4 Things You Can Do Right Now to Boost Your Immune System
Naturally help your body fight off viruses by sleeping more, exercising often, and keeping your stress levels down.
A strong immune system is always critical to your health, and is more true these days than ever. “It is especially important at this time to maintain the immune system to fight viruses,” says Neha Vyas, M.D., family medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic and assistant clinical professor at the School Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
If you are looking for ways to strengthen your immune system, here are four key steps that we should all take right now. Note: None of these things alone prevent or cure coronavirus, of course, but building a strong immune system is considered one of the best ways to stay as healthy as possible overall. (And don’t forget this extremely important health tip: wash your hands! Here is a step by step on how to wash your hands properly.)
Get plenty of sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, you are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, according to research. This is because your immune system works hard during sleep – it releases the proteins needed to fight infections or inflammation. Deprive yourself of a good night’s rest and your body can produce less of these proteins. So how much sleep does an average adult need? From seven to 8 hours, experts say. And young people need even more: teenagers should be 9-10 years old, and elementary school children need more than 10 hours, ideally.
Here’s a good excuse to get away from that desk and move your body around a bit: studies suggest that moderate physical activity can reduce rates of virus infection (including flu and pneumonia) and bacterial disease (although more research is needed . in this area). There is also growing evidence that regular exercise has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body (probably because it can lead to weight loss), as well as improving immune function. “Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, helps produce” good chemicals “and helps you sleep well,” says Dr. Vyas.
Try to reduce stress
Take the time to calm down your system. When you are under stress, your body receives a red code response; decreases the activation of systems that the body considers non-essential, for example to combat danger, including the immune response. “Over time, increased stress increases the production of cortisol in the body, which can decrease the white blood cell count,” explains Dr. Vyas. “This is one of the mechanisms your body has to fight infections.” He suggests working on meditation and self-reflection throughout the day.
Get some vitamin C
This vitamin, a powerful antioxidant, appears to have a beneficial impact on the immune system, according to research, by improving the functions of immune cells. Foods rich in vitamin C include (in the highest order): red, orange, kiwi, green pepper, broccoli (highest if cooked), strawberries, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, tomatoes and melon.