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Now, during this pandemic, is an especially smart time to try boosting your immune system – it’s your body’s defense against illness, so you want to keep it in top condition. Here are 10 tips to consider:

Eat a balanced diet.

Fill your meals and snacks with nutrient-rich, antioxidant foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and protein (lean meat, fish, beans, legumes). Eat more fresh, whole foods and fewer packaged or processed foods.

 

Get adequate sleep.

Many studies have shown that people who have not gotten enough sleep (or enough good-quality sleep) are more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus than people who get sufficient shut-eye. One reason for this is that when you sleep, your immune system releases substances that increase your body’s ability to fight infection. For most people, seven to nine hours of sleep per night is optimal.

 

Exercise moderately.

Thirty or more minutes a day of moderately strenuous exercise, such as brisk walking, has many positive effects on your health and well-being. Among other things, it can increase energy, help to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol readings.

 

Don’t smoke.

Smoking depresses the immune system by affecting the antibodies that protect against foreign invaders like viruses. Quitting smoking usually reverses this process.

 

Avoid excess alcohol.

Consuming too much alcohol (more than one or two drinks) on a regular basis reduces the production and effectiveness of the cells the immune system sends out to fight infection. Excess alcohol also impairs the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and reduces the flow of oxygen to vital organs.

 

Consider a multivitamin.

A daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement may help support your immune system.

 

Reduce/manage stress.

Prolonged or chronic stress seems to make some people more vulnerable to illness. To counteract chronic stress, see what you can change in your life to reduce your stress level, practice relaxation techniques, and seek support from family and friends.

 

Avoid infection.

Practicing basic hygiene by thoroughly washing hands helps you avoid exposure to disease in the first place. You should also cook meats thoroughly and avoid cross-contamination between raw meat and other foods.

 

Get appropriate medical screenings & immunizations.

Consult with your doctor to find out the recommendations for your age group.

 

Drink water.

Adequate hydration helps your body in many ways, including digestion and the flushing of toxins. Plain water is all you need, so drink up!