We all find ourselves in difficult times during the COVID-19 crisis. Although it might feel like many things are out of your control, your health is one aspect of your life that can benefit by paying a little extra attention to it. Experts believe that a weakened immune system and increased inflammation could allow a virus to have lasting damage to the heart, brain and other organs.
Boosting your immunity with healthy food
Studies have shown that eating certain foods and avoiding others can improve your health and strengthen your body’s ability to fight off invasive viruses. Here are some tips to help boost your immune function:
- Focus on foods with flavonoids, which have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antithrombogenic, antidiabetic, anticancer, and neuroprotective activities. These foods include leafy greens, ginger, garlic, apples, citrus fruits, onions, spinach, cabbage, oregano, chili pepper, rosemary, turmeric and green tea.
- Avoid eating processed foods.
- Eliminate or reduce sugar and starch form your diet.
- Choose plant-based, whole foods.
- Eat the daily recommended amount of protein.
- Ensure your microbiome is healthy by eating prebiotic and probiotic foods, which can help boost your immunity, such as bananas, yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso and pickles.
A few lifestyle recommendations:
- Regular, moderate exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming and bicycling may reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regenerate regularly.
- Reduce stress, which interferes with the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens.
- Get plenty of sleep. During sleep, your immune system releases cytokines, which are needed to fight an infection or inflammation. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines.
- Practice social distancing, but stay connected with loved ones via technology.
What do you do to help boost your immune system during COVID-19? Let us know in the comments below.