Boosting Your Immune System During COVID-19

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.

How Probiotics Can Be an Enormous Benefit to Your Health

The business associated with the use of probiotics is huge around the world.  It promises to use live and good bacteria to decrease/replace the bad bacteria that can build up in the colon.  Probiotics are live bacteria that are mostly found in foods and supplements.  They have the potential to provide beneficial health effects for the person ingesting the bacteria.

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The human gastrointestinal tract, especially the colon, is populated by a large amount and assortment of bacteria, called the intestinal flora.  This flora develops over the first two years of life and evolves over time based on health, diet, genetics, and many other factors.  This good natural bacteria and added probiotics seem to work in a variety of ways:

  • Natural good bacteria and probiotics prevent the growth of bad bacteria by not allowing a place for it to grow and competing for the nutrients.
  • They lower the acidity of the intestine, creating an unwelcome environment for the bad bacteria.
  • They increase the production of mucin.  Mucins are the proteins that bind to form the gel-like mucous, made by the epithelial cells that line the intestines.  This produces a chemical barrier which limits the damage of inflammation.

You should open a discussion with your health care provider about the benefits of probiotics, especially the next time an antibiotic is needed.  Antibiotics can affect the natural flora of the intestine so a probiotic review may be perfect.

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-Dr. P

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