Keeping the immune system intact is a very important part of living a healthy life. Particularly in this time period with the spread of COVID-19, we need to pay particularly close attention to our immune systems and give our bodies the vitamins and minerals that it needs to keep our defences strong.
Many health professionals recommend that we all take the rational approach and start working on our health. Lifestyle choices and forming healthy habits will keep our immune systems functional and strong.
The immune system is just that, a system! And like any system, it needs fuel and components to keep it going. With the right vitamins and minerals, coupled with a good routine of exercise and cutting out unhealthy habits, we can make sure that we’re as prepared as can be for our immune systems to fight off disease and viruses.
Coronavirus or no coronavirus, nobody likes to go about their lives susceptible to all manner of coughs and colds. Keeping up with your body’s immune system will help you avoid these irritating coughs, viruses and flus and make living a whole lot smoother.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at a couple of things we can do and vitamins we can take to help bring our immune systems up to snuff. There’s no “one-time-fix” for the immune system that allows you to go back to old, unhealthy habits. Staying healthy is a life choice, and thanks to many health professionals, we’ve got a bunch of exercise options and loads of vitamin supplements that can help us along that road.
The body needs to be treated as a constantly functioning system that needs maintenance to work properly. That’s why it’s necessary to develop healthy habits that you can maintain, creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself. Here are a couple of things you can do to achieve those goals:
- Get regular exercise. The immune system gets boosted by decreased cortisol levels which happens as a reaction to exercise from low to moderate intensity for anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes a day. Gyms are often a good place to get good exercise, but in light of the present world condition with coronavirus, it might be best to avoid gyms. Try going out for a run or getting a skipping rope, doing pushups and squats at home, etc. There are a lot of ways to get exercise out of the gym as well, so don’t let a lack of gym availability stop you.
- Try and stay clear of stress. Stress does damage to the immune system, and putting your body in a state of stress will only increase the likeliness of getting sick. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and in high levels, it can turn off cells in the immune system. Try taking long baths, meditating, and taking supplements to calm the nerves.
- Get enough sleep. Adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night to maintain good health. Kids need more, depending on the age.
- Be sure you’re keeping up with your vaccines.
- Watch what you eat. Make sure you’re getting vitamins and minerals through your diet, including sufficient protein and carbohydrates. Eating plenty of yoghurt will boost probiotics and support the good bacteria living in the gut. Try and stay away from antibiotics.
- Don’t smoke or vape. Smoking and vaping both damage your health significantly and raise the chances of chancing coughs and colds.
Nutrition and Diet for Immunity
One of the most important ways we build up our immune systems is through good, healthy food taken in on a daily basis. There’s no known “mega-food” that will safeguard you from a specific disease or automatically fix your immune system. It’s necessary to get a healthy combination of various foods that each contain the vitamins and minerals that the human body needs to remain healthy.
The body needs protein for recovery and healing. There are plenty of foods you can choose from that have solid protein content, including lean meat, seafood, poultry, peas, beans, soy products, eggs, and unsalted seeds and nuts.
Vitamin A is necessary for protecting the body against infections by insuring tissue in the stomach, mouth, respiratory system and intestines healthy. You can find vitamin A in foods like eggs, apricots, bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin C is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle in maintaining a healthy immune system. It stimulates the formulation of antibodies. Citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruit, oranges and tangerines are great sources of vitamin C. You can also find vitamin C in tomato juice, strawberries, papaya and red bell peppers.
An important antioxidant that covers many aspects of our health, including possibly boosting the immune system, is vitamin E. You can find vitamin E in vegetable oils, almonds, sunflower seeds and fortified cereals.
Zinc is another useful mineral. It helps the body heal wounds faster, which is part of the immune system’s job. It can be found in lean red meat, poultry, milk, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grain products.
There are also other nutrients like iron, selenium, folate, copper, vitamin D, vitamin B6 and B12 that have been shown to have a positive effect on the immune system.
Consult a dietician or health professional if you’re looking for s specific diet plan to follow to help boost your immune system.
Boosting Immune System with Supplements
The immune system is like an army, protecting our bodies from disease and sickness. And like any army, it works on its stomach. Vitamins and minerals fuel the immune system and the very best way to get these is through our diet.
Malnourishment and being underfed has long been associated with bad health and weakness. Getting the right nutrients through the food you eat is one of the most important parts of maintaining the strength of your immune system, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is where vitamin and food supplements come into the picture. Getting the nutrients you need to support the body’s immune system can be a lot easier for some if done through the use of supplements. Elderberry or Echinacea have been shown to be useful for boosting the immune system.
Supplements should never replace food, as the body needs the carbohydrates, fats and raw minerals that you can get from eating. But good vitamin supplements can make it a little easier to reach a wider variety of vitamin and mineral intake daily, which in turn should help boost the immune system and better protect you from disease.
Once again, it’s important to understand that these vitamin supplements are not “cures” or magic potions that will erase the risk of disease. They are simply tools to help keep your body as prepared as it can be to deal with sickness when it comes. But when combined with a healthy diet, a good sleep routine and a healthy amount of exercise, you’re greatly decreasing the chances of catching a disease. Forming right lifestyle habits is the key to good health, and supplements are simply one part of that journey to a strong immune system.
Blood Levels Testing
Some people who have had problems with getting sick constantly are worried that they might have immunodeficiency which has been listed as one of the risk groups for catching more serious cases of COVID-19.
First of all, the majority of serious immunodeficiency cases are due to a different pre-existing conditions that causes it. For example, people with HIV will often experience immunodeficiency due to their infection.
When trying to determine immunodeficiency, you’ll need to consult a doctor who will ask you about your family’s health history and any history of illnesses that may have. This will help them determine if you may have inherited a condition and give you something to look for.
Taking blood tests can help you find out if your immunoglobulin levels are normal or not. Immunoglobulin are proteins that fight infection, and an abnormal amount of these may suggest a defect in the immune system. Blood tests can also help you figure out if a proper response is being generated by your immune system and making antibodies; proteins that find and destroy attackers like viruses or bacteria.
Before going to get a blood test, it’s advisable to go see your doctor to get their exact advice on what you’re looking for and which tests to do. It’s always better to go into health work with a little more knowledge so you can find better and clearer results and know what your body needs better.
So to wrap things up, the immune system is essential for fighting disease and keeping us in good shape, and to keep our immune systems strong we need to keep our bodies strong. Getting enough sleep, working out, and eating healthy food and useful supplements is the combination that will keep the body healthy and in shape.