Many in the Palm Beaches and around the country are returning to work and a sense of normalcy as the coronavirus pandemic seems to have plateaued. Still, now more than ever it is important for everyone to do their best to follow CDC recommendations as well as to fortify their immune systems. Here are a few suggestions to boost your immune system—which will improve your health and may even help protect you from COVID-19.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep and immunity are closely tied.
In fact, inadequate or poor-quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness.
Those who sleep fewer than 6 hours each night were more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep 6 hours or more each night.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try limiting screen time for an hour before bed, as the blue light emitted from your phone, TV, and computer may disrupt your circadian rhythm, or your body’s natural wake-sleep cycle.
Eat Whole Plant Foods
Whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that may give you an upper hand against harmful pathogens.
The antioxidants in these foods help decrease inflammation by combatting unstable compounds called free radicals, which can cause inflammation when they build up in your body in high levels.
Eat Healthy Fats
Healthy fats, like those found in olive oil and salmon, may boost your body’s immune response to pathogens by decreasing inflammation.
Although low-level inflammation is a normal response to stress or injury, chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system.
Olive oil, which is highly anti-inflammatory, is linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties may help your body fight off harmful disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those in salmon and chia seeds, fight inflammation as well.
Limit Added Sugars
Added sugars and refined carbs may contribute disproportionately to overweight and obesity. Curbing your sugar intake can decrease inflammation and aid weight loss, thus reducing your risk of chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease
Get Enough Exercise
Although prolonged intense exercise can suppress your immune system, moderate exercise can give it a boost.
Studies indicate that even a single session of moderate exercise can boost the effectiveness of vaccines in people with compromised immune systems.
What’s more, regular, moderate exercise may reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regenerate regularly.