YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As many people adjust daily activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19, one way to tackle this issue is by boosting your own immune system.
Dr. Carolina Figley, owner of Medically Fit, said there are two ways to do this.
“We can have two separate ways of boosting your immune system. One of them is the food part and the other is some habits that we can practice in this time of being at home.”
Figley said there are five eating habits that will help boost your immune system.
She said it’s important to stay hydrated, eat plant-based foods, eat fermented foods, limit added sugars and consume healthy fats.
“Seeds and nuts or fruits and vegetables, they have a high nutrient point,” she said.
Figley said nuts are good because they contain Omega-3s, which help with inflammation, and plant-based foods contain vitamins that the body needs to fight off illnesses.
“It has a lot of vitamins and nutrients, like vitamin C, which combats the colds, common colds,” she said.
Getting enough sleep and keeping your stress level down also help your immune system.
Figley said one thing many people may not think of is how turning electronics off one to two hours before bed can have a positive effect on your immune system.
“Researchers say that when we shut off the blue light, our brain activity is still going on for over 30 minutes, so that would really help,” she said.
Although boosting your immune system can help fight illness, it is not what will prevent the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. You should still practice social distancing and regular hand washing.
Here are some foods and the different nutritional benefits they provide:
- Citrus foods – Citrus foods are high in vitamin C, which helps produce white blood cells. This helps to fight off illnesses in the body. Some examples of citrus foods are oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits.
- Garlic – According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Trusted Source, garlic may also help lower blood pressure and slow down the hardening of the arteries.
- Ginger – Ginger can help decrease inflammation, reducing a sore throat or helping with nausea.
- Spinach – Spinach is rich in vitamin C and contains numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which can increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
- Green tea – Green tea contains flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate, which are types of antioxidants that help with immune functions.
- Sunflower seeds – These are full of nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium and vitamin B6. They are also very high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
You can read more recommendations on how to boost your immune system on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.