During these unsettling times due to the current global COVID-19 pandemic, many people are looking for ways to stay healthy while in self isolation. While we’re all at home, there are a number of things we can all do to strengthen our immune systems and keep as healthy as we can. Read on for our best tips.
If you don’t already have an exercise routine, now is a perfect time to start with one. Among its many significant health benefits, regular exercise helps to boost the production of microphages (specialised cells that attack bacteria that trigger upper respiratory tract infections), so it’s great to have them flowing through your system. Aim to engage in at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise each day – even if it’s a brisk walk!
We need a lot of sleep to remain healthy and strong. On average, adults should aim for at least seven to nine hours per night. Sleep-deprived people are more vulnerable to illness, so set the stage for a healthy night’s sleep every night – and make it a priority to get your nightly allotment of it.
In such an uncertain time, it’s easy to be stressed and anxious. Without a doubt, worldwide events like the coronavirus pandemic wreak havoc on people’s mental health, so it’s more important than ever to mind yours as much as you can. Given that stress has been shown to prompt inflammatory reactions that can compromise immune system functioning, it pays to take steps to de-stress and to address your mental health while self-isolating.
A few great ways to de-stress and prioritize your mental well-being while in self-isolation include:
- Engaging in mindful activities like yoga and Pilates
- Sitting down for a daily meditation
- Soaking in the bath
- Getting therapy – if your therapist’s office is closed, find out if virtual appointments are available
- Stepping away from electronic devices for a few hours per day
Lay the groundwork for good health by consuming plenty of prebiotics and plant-based foods that establish a healthy environment in the gut that is suitable for good bacteria, or probiotics.
Try to keep your diet rich in antioxidants. These help to protect the body and immune system from harmful free radicals, which can be associated with everything from heart disease to diabetes. Excellent sources of antioxidants include dark chocolate, red cabbage, beans, walnuts, red wine, plums, and beetroot.
Boost Your Immune System Naturally
Finally, there’s a lot that you can do at home to boost your immune system in a healthy and effective way. Try adding more of the below goodness into your diet for improving your immune system function and better overall health:
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps to increase the production of white blood cells, which swoop in to fight infections when they arise. However, the human body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C, so it’s up to you to add it to your diet. Citrus fruits provide the best natural source of vitamin C, so stock up on oranges, mandarins, limes, lemons and other citruses to optimise health and immunity.
- Zinc – Zinc helps to stimulate the activity of more than 100 different enzymes, and it is needed to activate the T lymphocytes, or T cells, that control and regulate immune system responses. From wound healing to correcting and synthesizing DNA, zinc plays a critical role in health and well-being. Excellent natural sources of this element include foods like beans, nuts and whole grains
- Ginger – In addition to being delicious, ginger is prized for its ability to fight off infections and diseases. It has a beneficial effect on inflammation, helping to reduce it so that the immune system can work its magic more effectively.
- Fermented Foods – Finally, fermented foods like kombucha, sourdough and sauerkraut are excellent additions to any healthy diet. They can boost the immune system in a big way by introducing beneficial probiotics – “good” bacteria – to the gut, or microbiome. Lactic acid bacteria that is produced during fermentation produces D phenylacetic acid in the gut; this acid binds to a certain receptor that spurs the immune system into action.