You need to stay healthy and functioning at an optimum. Maybe you’re on the healthcare frontline during a pandemic. Or maybe you’re working from home while simultaneously homeschooling three kids. The fact is that you must have a strong immune system and keep yourself healthy.
Good news! While there’s no magic “healthy pill,” there are tried-and-true ways to take your immunity superpowers up a notch.
Get ready to boost your immune system
Let’s start with the basics: Wash your hands for 20 seconds, don’t touch your face and take social distancing seriously. If you only do these three things, you’ll be well on your way to staying healthy.
1. Focus on food
Choosing whole, unprocessed foods does wonders for overall health.
These are a few immunity boosters:
Garlic: Allicin, a compound in garlic, is well-known for its ability to boost the immune system. The most benefit comes from eating one-half of a raw garlic clove daily. If you can’t stomach raw garlic, the next best thing is to roast it.
Prebiotics: Robust gut bacteria protect us against infection. Keep those bacteria healthy with prebiotics that contain fiber, specifically inulin fiber. Excellent sources of prebiotics are artichokes, green bananas or plantains, Jicama root and asparagus.
Vitamin C-rich foods: Vitamin C is known to boost immunity.
Antioxidants: Stress can lead to lowered immunity and make you more prone to illness. Colorful fruits and vegetables including berries, carrots and spinach have antioxidants that protect you against oxidative stress, which translates to a stronger immune system.
2. Lifestyle improvements
Living under constant stress, even low-grade, that continues day in and out, causes the body to produce too much cortisol, the stress hormone. Over time, elevated cortisol lowers your resistance to fighting off infection and contributes to poor sleep and higher blood pressure.
Protect yourself from stress and bolster your immune system with a few lifestyle hacks:
Sleep: One must get at least 8 hours of sleep daily, in order for good functionality and productivity during the day.
Meditation: Even five minutes a day of guided meditation, or simply sitting quietly and focusing on your breath, can make a difference. Meditation lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and reduces anxiety. Plus, it’s calming.
Exercise: Exercise increases your resilience so you can fight off infection. Our bodies function better when we’re physically active every day. It is recommended to carve out at least 10 minutes a day, ideally 30 minutes, and do a mixture of cardio and strength training.
3. Attitude is everything
A positive mindset is vital for health and well-being. Research shows that positive thoughts reduce stress and inflammation and increase resilience to infection — while negative emotions can make you more susceptible to the common cold and flu.
The COVID-19 pandemic is scary, so it’s easy to spiral down in negative thoughts. The story we tell ourselves is crucial. Change it from ‘It’s not going to be OK’ to ‘I am safe at home with the people I love.’ Start your day with a positive thought or even a mantra such as, ‘I am well.’
4. Natural immunity aids
If you’re ready to give it all you got when it comes to avoiding the coronavirus, consider these extra measures:
Supplements: Mineral and vitamin supplements are extremely important to keep one healthy and fit.
Essential oils: Eucalyptus and tea tree oils have antiviral properties that may protect you against infection from viruses.
5. Kick the Nicotine Habit
With the pandemic going on and the virus spreading like wildfire, it is essential that we all resort to an extremely safe healthy living lifestyle, one such that protects us from falling prey to the virus. As a result we MUST let go and quit on habits that compromise our body, health and of those around us.