As the rise of Coronavirus collides with a traditionally stuffy flu season, you’ll want to stay in touch with the best and most productive ways to balance and maintain a healthy immune system. Here are 5 ways to boost your immune system fast.
Take Back Control of Your Body
Statewide quarantines may have closed down your favorite gym, but it’s still important to stay active and in good shape.
Exercise naturally causes your body’s antibodies and white blood cells to move more rapidly, helping to detect issues within your system as quickly as possible. Staying in shape in turn reduces your chance of becoming sick.
A light level of exercise like jogging can go a long way to strengthen your immune system, so avoid the germy gyms and find a secluded spring-time spot for an outdoor run where you can adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Getting Good Sleep
Studies show that those who don’t spend a decent amount of time asleep are more likely to become sick when exposed to a virus. An unhealthy amount of sleep can also affect how quickly you recover if you do become sick.
“The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night,” said Eric J. Olson, M.D. in an informational piece posted by the Mayo Clinic. “Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.”
Your immune system releases proteins called cytokines during your sleep, and the need for these proteins increases when you have an infection. A lack of sleep can decrease production of cytokines.
Keep Up to Date With Health Guidelines
Organizations such as the Center For Disease Control have released pieces of information to help readers navigate this complicated flu season. Most notably, the importance of regular and well-done hand washing.
Wash Your Hands Regularly
“Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others,” says the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) article on proper hand washing techniques. “Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.”
The CDC recommends washing your hands before, during and after preparing food. Also, it is recommended to wash your hands after using the toilet, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
Eat Foods Rich With Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, helps to facilitate growth, repair and development in all body tissues. It’s helpful to many body functions, including and dominantly the immune system, according to Web MD.
Ways to naturally obtain Vitamin C include citrus fruits such as lemon, grapefruit, oranges and kiwi. Vegetables like cauliflower, brussels sprouts and broccoli are also natural sources of vitamin C.
If drinking Vitamin C is more your style, a tall glass of orange juice is more than enough for a daily body supply.
Antioxidants can be found in different foods, working to protect your cells from destructive free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage the cells in your body).
Acai berries in particular are loaded with antioxidants, as they possess more than other antioxidant-rich fruits like cranberries and blueberries, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
It is best to eat organic berries since pesticides are hard to wash away due to their size, in which case you can turn to local NJ businesses such as Sweetberry Bowls who offer acai-based bowls, smoothies and wraps.
Pause All Unhealthy Habits
Putting a pause to unhealthy habits is one of the best ways to quickly strengthen your immune system, as these short term habits can lead to long term consequences when you catch an unwanted illness.
Remove foods and drinks that lessen your immune system, such as any refined carbohydrates, alcoholic beverages, processed foods or foods and drinks in general with high sugar.
Smoking harms the immune system and can make the body less successful at fighting disease and illness. “Additionally, smoking is known to compromise the equilibrium, or balance, of the immune system,” says the CDC. “This increases the risk for several immune and autoimmune disorders (conditions caused when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s healthy cells and tissues).”
Reduce Alcohol Drinking
Alcohol can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to infections, says the Cleveland Clinic in an article regarding the effects of alcohol on your health. Drinking often can leave you susceptible to catching colds, the flu or other illnesses.
Maintaining your immune system is important during these upcoming tumultuous months, as you’ll want to stay in top-condition as the flu season pushes onward and the Coronavirus continues its spread. Use these 5 ways to boost your immune system fast.