Our immune system is like a persistent warrior. It recognizes any bacteria and fights any infection that it has encountered. It can also defeat it in the future. Keeping the immune system healthy and strong is crucial for good health, especially at a pandemic. This topic provides you some tips on improving your immune system and being healthier during uncertain times.
Foods That Boost Your Immune System
Foods rich in antioxidants are those that have benefits to boost our immune system. These foods include dark leafy greens, carrots, berries, and any other colorful veggies and fruits. Accompanied by a balanced diet, it is essential to drink 7-8 glasses of water per day to help the immune system. You may add mint or freshly sliced lemon to a large pitcher of water and let it diffuse. A balanced diet consists of vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. It is vital to limit sugar and heavily processed foods. These types of foods are an empty calorie that promotes inflammation and lessen our immune system. You can stock up on healthier options such as frozen vegetables, oats, seeds, and nuts.
Minerals and vitamins that help boost the immune system are:
- Vitamin A as an antioxidant that helps the immune system fight infection
- Vitamin C as an antioxidant that helps maintain health and prevent cell damage
- Vitamin E as a powerful antioxidant that helps fight infection
- Zinc to control inflammation
If you have a diet rich in dark leafy vegetables or fruits, there’s no need for a supplement. However, those who have a chronic disease, low immune system, and vitamin deficiency must ask their health care provider.
Probiotics help boost the immune system. It does this by inhibiting the growth of harmful gut bacteria. Probiotics also provide the body with good bacteria that promotes antibodies, which helps fight infection and inflammation.
Spending much time at home tends to snack more. Besides nuts and fruit, you can have other snacks. Keep in mind that only snack if you are hungry. Some options may include:
- Baked kale chips
- Plain yogurt with fresh fruit
- Apple slices with almond butter or peanut
- Hot ginger or green tea
- Whole grain toast with almond butter and half banana
- Cheese sticks
- Low-calorie popcorn
Exercise helps reduce inflammation and gives our immune system the support it needs to fight the virus and any infection. There are lots of activities that can be done at home to keep your body moving. You can find various free exercise videos online and follow them even without any equipment. The most significant benefit of exercise is that it releases endorphins that help decrease stress.
Make it a routine to have at least 7-9 hours of sleep daily to let your cells recover and repair essential functions. Sleep also contributes to a healthy immune system.