Social distancing and regular handwashing are vital in preventing viral infections, including COVID-19. However, let us not forget that a strong and healthy immune system is equally important. Here are some tips that can help you boost your immune system against viruses:
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are packed with vitamins and minerals that help strengthen the immune system. These include citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, etc.), broccoli, papaya, garlic and red bell peppers.
Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Exercise results in positive changes in antibodies and white blood cells, as well as slows down the release of stress hormones that can weaken your immune system.
Keep your weight healthy. Being overweight weakens your immune response against bacterial and viral infections and also diminishes responsiveness to some vaccinations.
Get enough sleep. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses, such as the common cold or flu virus. Inadequate sleep can also hamper recovery from illnesses.
Drink alcohol moderately. Excessive alcohol intake can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to viral infections.
Don’t smoke. Smoking makes you more susceptible to infections such as pneumonia and influenza. Smokers usually suffer more severe and longer-lasting illnesses. They also have lower levels of protective antioxidants such as vitamin C.
Take multivitamins. Daily intake of a multivitamin supplement can strengthen your immune system. Choose one that contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
Make sure you and your family get vaccinated. Immunization helps your immune system produce specific antibodies to protect you against bacteria and viruses.