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COVID-19: What You Can do to Boost Your Immune System

There’s no vaccine yet and there are no magic pills or supplements you can take to guarantee immunity against viral illnesses like COVID-19. However, when it’s functioning correctly, your immune system produces powerful substances designed to wage war against viruses that threaten your health. Jeremy Moran, DPM, or ToeOp, in Tomball, Texas, offers the following steps you can take. 

Fortunately, even when you’re struggling with a disease or condition that compromises your immune system, such as diabetes or aging, there measures that can help boost your immune function so it can keep you healthy.

Eat like you’re in charge, because you are

You’ve been hearing for years that a healthy diet can help prevent medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Your immune system also relies on the foods and beverages you consume to sustain its infection-fighting ability.

Foods that contain vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that are known to boost your immunity include:

Mushrooms are also favored for their antiviral properties. Buy fresh produce when you can. Frozen works too, but check for added sugars and other substances that increase the calorie count without elevating nutrition.

Cleveland Clinic recommends checking with your doctor before loading up on supplements, because your body is typically better able to absorb vitamins and minerals that come from a dietary source.

Sleep like you mean it

Research published by the National Institutes of Health shows that your body needs adequate sleep to restore and rebuild. Hypertension, obesity, heart disease, depression, and numerous other serious medical conditions have been linked to poor sleeping habits. Your immune system also needs sleep to function at its best. Try for at least seven hours every night.

Destress yourself

Stress causes your body to release hormones, such as cortisol, which is known to reduce your immune system’s ability to fight off infections. You can’t eliminate stress from your life, especially when you’re worried about the consequences of a global pandemic. You can find ways, however, to manage stress and prevent it from controlling your emotions.

Yoga, mindful meditation, and other activities aimed to help you relax are excellent at reducing stress. But don’t overlook the value of enjoying time with your family, engaging in a favored hobby, or laughing through a comedy to take your mind off your worries.

Keep moving

Your body is meant to move. Among other benefits, physical activity improves circulation, increases bone strength, and helps level out your blood sugar. It also slows down your body’s release of stress hormones such as cortisol, and that can help protect you against illness.

Home exercise equipment can fill in the gap left by closures connected to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can also walk or run through the neighborhood to replace your treadmill workout. Or try a hike up and down the stairs in your home however many times it takes to get in your steps for the day.

While these strategies can’t guarantee you’ll never experience another viral or bacterial illness, they can boost your defense against viral outbreaks and help reduce the severity of your symptoms when you do get sick.

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