Immune System Boosting Strategies
No single food can help protect you.
The synergy effect of eating as many whole foods together will help you!
No amount of citrus fruit will prevent illness if you're exposed to the coronavirus.
"If you're in contact with coronavirus, it doesn't matter how many oranges you eat, you're going to get it," Dr. Caroline Apovian, Director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center, previously told Business Insider.
It is true that malnutrition of Vitamin C, Zinc etc. can impair your ability to fight off illness and infection. However, if you eat an otherwise balanced diet, loading up on specific "super" foods like kale, berries, or anything else will provide some short term benefits and many additional long term benefits.
So, if you're not in the habit of eating a variety of fruits, veggies, and lean sources of protein, now is a good time to start. Following common-sense dietary advice is enough to keep your immune system in good shape, no mega-dosing of superfoods required immediately, but should start ASAP.
Avoiding sugar won't boost your immune system.
Sugar isn't great for you, but won't give you coronavirus. Shutterstock
While sugar and heavily-processed foods are linked to chronic health issues over time, there's no evidence that a single donut (yeah!) is going to increase your risk of catching a virus.
Research has also shown that over-nutrition, or an excess of empty calories, can have negative consequences for health overall, though, including inflammation, higher risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
In order to cut back on sugar (as well as sodium and trans fats that also dominate processed foods), consider stocking up on more healthy variations of long-lasting foods for quarantine, including frozen vegetables, oats, lentils, canned tuna, and nuts.
Massive doses of vitamins are unhelpful, and can be potentially dangerous.
A multi-vitamin won't hurt, but 100+ times the recommend dose is definitely not healthy.Sarah Schmalbruch/INSIDER
Vitamin D3 is a known immune system booster. Sunlight allows us, via melanocytes skin cells, the ability to produce at times up to 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day. Mega dosing of other vitamins A, K, E is not always a good strategy.
These extremely high doses can cause serious side effects like dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Even more alarming consequences include damage to organs like the kidneys and liver. Please consult with a practitioner at SSWC or your PCP before high dosing.
But getting enough vitamin D is a good idea.
Sunshine is a good natural source of vitamin D, but in winter and spring months make sure you take a supplement. REUTERS/Jae C. Hong
There is an exception to the general rule that supplements won't always help prevent illness, and that's vitamin D (in moderate doses). Research has shown that the immune system needs vitamin D to fight off viruses — while it won't protect your from getting the virus if you're exposed, it could reduce the severity of the illness and help make recovery easier.
It's also a common cause of nutrient deficiency. You can get vitamin D naturally through sunlight, which many people have less access to during darker, colder months of flu season. It's also found in some foods, including fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, and in small amounts in beef liver, eggs, cheese, and mushrooms. Call us about our Metagenics Vit-D3 capsule.
Sleeping is crucial for your body's ability to recover and defend itself.
Getting plenty of sleep is your best bet to stay health, whether there's an outbreak or not. Shutterstock
One of the most evidence-supported ways to stay healthy, though, also happens to be free — getting enough sleep.
That means 7-9 hours each night for most people, according to Harvard Health.
While you're asleep, your body uses that time to do critical recovery and repair of essential functions, including your immune system.
Just one night of poor sleep can reduce your immune cells by as much as 70%, research shows.
Exercise can boost your mood as well as keep you healthy.
Getting up and moving can help keep you healthy and happy. Shutterstock.com
Exercise can also keep your body functioning well, since research shows that it reduces inflammation and supports infection-fighting cells.
If you're working from home or staying out of the gym, there are plenty of ways to still get your sweat on — body weight movements like burpees, lunges, push-ups and more can give you a quick full-body workout with no equipment.
As an added bonus, endorphins from exercise also reduce stress! Stay tuned for our suggested home workouts...
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Drinking too much can make you feel worse and more vulnerable to illness.David Silverman/Getty Images
During the stress of a viral outbreak, and the pressure of being stuck at home for long periods of time, it might seem natural to turn to some liquid courage and stress relief.
The occasional glass of wine in moderation is unlikely to be a threat, particularly if it has the benefits of helping you relax.
But avoid overdoing it — not only will you feel worse and need to rehydrate and rest even more, excessive alcohol use can also impair the immune system and the body's ability to heal itself, according to research.
And most importantly, Please wash your hands often!!!
Just wash your hands with soap and warm water! Shutterstock
Experts consistently agree that the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is to wash your hands, with soap and warm water, consistently and thoroughly.
Best practices include washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, and drying them thoroughly. Make your children and grand-children sing their ABC's and wash hands while doing so.
No form of supplement or habit can replace good hand-washing, and that includes heaps of hand sanitizer, which can be a good substutite if you're in a pinch, but doesn't work as well as good old fashioned soap scrubbing.
- Home exercises to do until gym and health club closures due to CV-19 as no longer in effect.
- Hip Exercises for activating your gluteal muscles
- The Core 3, Build a Core Base
- Push-Up Workout to Exhaust your Upper Body
- Squat, Lunge Workout to Exhaust your Lower Body
We are still open as per essential services guidelines set forth by Pennsylvania state DHS
Be Well and we will see you soon!
The Doctors at Sport and Spine Wellness Center
Newtown Square, PA