With the occurrence of the Coronavirus in the air, and the presence of many other viruses that we fear getting infected by, the optimal way to resist is to strengthen our immune system as much as possible!
There are some methods and practices that have proven to be effective in boosting immunity, and thus reducing the risk of diseases, and recovering from it more as fast as possible in the event of infection. Below are the most effective methods, which have been collected from international doctors and health experts to boost immunity:
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants
We all know that there is no food or food supplement that is able to fully protect us from infection or recovering from viruses, but there are some foods that help strengthen the immune system, and this has been validated by a set of research. So what are these foods?
It is advised to focus on eating vegetables and fruits that have a dark red or dark yellow color, such as red pepper, as they contain plant antioxidants, which work to fight viruses. As well as eating a lot of citrus fruits, sunflower seeds, nuts, beans, and garlic, since they all protect us from getting infected with viruses.
Two of the most important factors that boost the immune system are: Eating healthy and exercising regularly. Moderate to intense exercises reduce the risk of disease and reduce inflammation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends practicing moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least 150 minutes per week or doing high-intensity exercises for 75 minutes per week. Also, doing home workouts, such as jumping rope, or brisk walking around the house for 15 to 20 minutes several times a week is also an effective way.
3- Regulating sleep times and hours
Lack of hours and irregular sleep is associated with the diseases, where some studies indicate that those who are exposed to fatigue and stress and do not get enough hours of sleep, are not only more vulnerable to infectious diseases but are also vulnerable to recurring diseases. It is a mistake to think that it is possible to compensate for the lack of sleep after one or two nights of sleep, as the body is programmed to go to sleep when the sunsets.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the body of an adult (18-64 years) needs between 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night, while the elderly need 7-8 hours, and children and adolescents need longer periods of sleep. It is equally important to organize the hours of going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day.
- Wash hands properly
Although hand washing is very simple, it is important to do it in the right way, by using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, which is the minimum time needed to reduce the number of microbes on the skin. More importantly, knowing the correct times to wash hands to avoid infection, which is before and after exposure to any type of risk, such as the door grip or key, use of the bathroom, sneeze or cough, care for a patient, and food preparation.
In the absence of soap and water, we must use a hand sanitizer, with alcohol content not less than 60%, as it is the active ingredient that kills viruses and bacteria.
- Eat probiotics and adequate amounts of zinc
It is recommended to eat foods that contain beneficial bacteria as they are good for intestinal health and have an effect on the body’s ability to fight infection. It is also advised for individuals who suffer from chronic diseases or immune deficiency to consult a doctor before taking any probiotic type.
The body also needs zinc to produce all types of cells that make up the immune system and boost its functions. The recommended daily amount is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women and can be obtained from red meat, beans, seafood, and whole grains.
- Reducing stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety have many negative health effects, and this can also be reflected in the immune system. Prolonged stress raises levels of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, eventually causing damage to the body. We can take a few simple steps to reduce this, even while we are going through difficult times, for example. Meditation exercises, talking to a friend, or watching our favorite TV show.