By: J.A., Writer for Hope Instilled
Natural ways to boost the immune system and other wellness tips to play defense against illness with a strong immune system. These tips will help slim your chances of getting sick.
Sadly, it only takes the one wrong person standing too close and coughing in your direction, or touching one wrong surface and immediately touching your face before washing your hands – then boom you caught something. All your efforts of sanitization just went right out the window! Unless your immune system has been properly supported, then it is ready to take the fight on, and may win the battle internally! Of course, if you are staying 100% quarantined your chances of catching anything have dramatically decreased. But still…
It is ALWAYS important to keep your immune system strong! Here is how:
Stress is an immune system killer. If you already have a weak immune system because you are chronically sick, the concern of a virus can definitely create added stress. This is the exact opposite of what you need right now. So do what you can to keep calm. Take a relaxing bubble bath, find a fun hobby to do, sniff some essential oils, take a walk away from people, practice meditation, watch some funny YouTube videos, listen to spa music, have a spa day, connect with friends over video chat, or play with your pet. Take some extra time for self-care.
View more stress tips here: An In-Depth Dive into Better Managing Stress (From someone who has lived with chronic stress & chronic pain)
If you are stress eating – you need to visit my stress blog above for better stress management. Eating junk food and loads of sugar is a really bad idea right now. Your immune system weakens when you consume sugar, including complex carbohydrates such as bread or pasta. You shouldn’t really have more than 20-25 grams of added sugar (not natural sugar) a day according to the American Heart Association. Check the labels on everything you eat, even some organic stuff can contain large amounts of sugar. Try to eat less processed food in general, as well. Eat more lean meat, vegetables, fruit, and healthier carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, rice, and quinoa. Additionally, drink plenty of water, and avoid sugary beverages altogether.
Your body repairs itself as you sleep. So sleep is essential! If you are not sleeping well due to chronic pain, look at whole food supplements that can help with getting deeper sleep. If you can’t sleep due to stress, refer to the tips above and improve your diet – both will help with sleep. Everything you do health-wise is related. You can’t just do one thing you have to do them all to stay healthy.
Some would say if your diet is really good, you don’t necessarily need any supplements. But, even with an extremely healthy diet with colds, flu, or viruses going around its best to supplement! I am! But, you can’t just by supplements from anywhere and think they are going to help you. There are no strict regulations on supplements. Many of the ones you will find at a grocery store or other convenience store are junk and could do more harm than good. One of the most important criteria for supplements is choosing whole food supplements. View why whole food supplements and how to pick out quality supplements here.
I’ve been reading a lot of articles from health experts about what supplements to take for immune-boosting during the coronavirus. I like to see where there is overlap because there are so many different products out there. Many agree on taking Vitamin D with K in it (but that shouldn't be taken if you get the COVID-19), and taking Vitamin C every day. Most of them also mention taking probiotics, which you can also obtain from eating yogurt (avoid yogurt high in sugar), kombucha, and kefir. Additionally, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) has been getting a lot of attention for possibly helping with the coronavirus.
There are also many great supplements out there for consuming when you start to feel a bit off. Every health food store has a different product they recommend, so I will let you do your own research on that one. However, when you start to feel a sickness coming on many agree that you may be able to fight it by taking more Vitamin C. Just check with a health practitioner on how much is safe for you. A daily multivitamin certainly couldn’t hurt, as well.
Oh, and have you heard of Elderberry? It is an extremely popular thing right now and apparently helps with upper respiratory infections. Lastly, if you are struggling with stress, worry, the anxiety you might want to look at Adaptogens.
Reminder: If you are on any medications or unsure of what is safe for you to take, always check with your health care practitioner.
Check out some of these sources for more information: