Dr. Stefanie Molina
During this current health pandemic most Americans are looking for ways to be healthier. Having a healthy immune system will not only help you to fight off bacterial or viral infections that you may come across, but it will also looks you to live a longer healthier life. While I cannot guarantee that if you boost your immune system you will not contract COVID-19, I can say that you will be better equipped to fight it and you will be better equipped for the future.
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs located throughout the body that work together to keep you healthy, essentially a built-in defense system. Your natural immune defenses include white blood cells (also called leukocytes), which maintain immune health by destroying foreign invaders and producing health-promoting antibodies, along with the beneficial bacteria in your gut that work to maintain a balanced internal environment. When our immune system is functioning properly we are healthy, when it is not we are sick.
Here are some easy ways to boost your immune system and give your body the tools it needs to keep you healthy.
- Limit sugar and processed foods
Eating or drinking too much sugar can curb the immune system cells that attack bacteria and viruses. After drinking a couple sugary drinks, like soda, the effects can last a few hours.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Make sure to eat plenty of foods rich in Vitamin C and E, Beta-carotene, and Zinc. It’s best to eat a wide variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as, berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots. Other foods that are good for the immune system are garlic, which may help fight viruses, and shiitake mushrooms have also been shown to help the immune system. It’s best to make sure the fruits and vegetables you are eating are Non-GMO and organic to avoid any chemicals or additives that may suppress your body’s healing abilities.
- Get plenty of rest
Not getting enough sleep can lead to an increase in stress hormones and inflammation in the body. Both of these have been shown to decrease the immune system. Research has shown that getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night is good for your health.
- Drink water
Water helps to carry oxygen to your cells to ensure all the systems in your body are working properly. It also helps to rid your body of toxins so you don’t have a toxic buildup that has a negative impact on your immune system. You can drink cold water with lemon that is full of Vitamin C or drink hot water as in tea that will provide antioxidants to fight off free radicals.
- Take supplements such as Vitamin C, Elderberry, Cod Liver Oil, and a Multivitamin
Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant and one of the most well known for supporting the immune system. Zinc is involved in many processes within the body, but it is also an antioxidant. Without it the immune system can’t function properly. Elderberry has many antioxidants that help support the immune system. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation and stress. You can find Elderberry syrup at most health food stores and online. The normal American diet is usually deficient in many of the vital nutrients we need to thrive. It’s always a good idea to take a multivitamin that can fill in the gap from our diet. This will help all of our bodily systems function properly.
Moving 30 minutes per day ha been shown to boost the immune system. It increases your body’s endorphins and helps you to get a good night sleep. It doesn’t have to be high impact activities or heavy weightlifting, a 30 minute walk will do just fine.
- Get adjusted
Chiropractors are generally thought to be doctors of the spine, which is true. But we are actually do it’s of the nervous system. We adjust the spine to make sure there is no interference to the nervous system so it can function properly. The nervous system runs everything in our body, like a motherboard to a computer, so we need to make sure it’s always working at 100%. Many studies have shown that the function of the nervous system is directly tied to the function of the immune system. If the nervous system is not functioning the immune system is not functioning. It is very important to make sure your nervous system is free of interference so your body can work properly to keep you healthy.
None of these tips are ways to stop you from getting COVID-19 nor are they treatments for the disease. They are simply ways to make sure your immune system and your body are functioning at their optimal level. That way you can be healthy and stay healthy for a very long time.