It’s more important now than ever to make sure our immune system is functioning at a high level to help us combat COVID-19. Here are 8 tips and tricks to keep you healthy this winter.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep and your immune system go hand and hand. Getting adequate rest may strengthen your natural immunity. Also, you may sleep more when sick to allow your immune system to better fight the illness.
2. Exercise Regularly
Studies indicate that even a single session of exercise can boost the effectiveness of vaccines in people with compromised immune systems. Joining our December Beginners Course is a good option for regular exercise.
3. Eat More Healthy Fats
Healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3s are highly anti-inflammatory. Since chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, these fats may naturally combat illnesses.
4. Limit Added Sugars
Added sugars contribute significantly to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, all of which can suppress your immune system. Lowering your sugar intake may decrease inflammation and your risk of these conditions.
5. Eat More Whole Plant Food
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.
6. Stay Hydrated
Drink water. Lots of water. Given that dehydration can make you more susceptible to illness, be sure you’re drinking plenty of water each day.
7. Manage Your Stress Levels
Lowering your stress levels through meditation, exercise, and other practices can help keep your immune system functioning properly.
8. Supplement Wisely
Though some supplements may fight viral infections, none have been proven to be effective against COVID-19. If you decide to supplement, make sure to purchase products that have been tested by a third party.
Vitamin C. According to a review in over 11,000 people, taking 1,000–2,000 mg of vitamin C per day reduced the duration of colds by 8% in adults and 14% in children. Yet, supplementing did not prevent the cold to begin with.
Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency may increase your chances of getting sick, so supplementing may counteract this effect. Nonetheless, taking vitamin D when you already have adequate levels doesn’t seem to provide extra benefits.
Zinc. In a review in 575 people with the common cold, supplementing with more than 75 mg of zinc per day reduced the duration of the cold by 33%.
Elderberry. One small review found that elderberry could reduce the symptoms of viral upper respiratory infections, but more research is needed.
Echinacea. A study in over 700 people found that those who took echinacea recovered from colds slightly more quickly than those who received a placebo or no treatment, but the difference was insignificant.
Garlic. A high quality, 12-week study in 146 people found that supplementing with garlic reduced the incidence of the common cold by about 30%. However, more research is needed.