Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on all of us. Being distanced from friends and family, wearing face coverings every time we step out of the house, and washing or sanitizing our hands vigilantly – there is so much to do to prevent the spread of this illness. During such unpredictable times, how can you boost your body’s natural immune system to fight potential illnesses? (NO; there is no evidence that honey helps fight Covid-19.) One way is to eat the right foods to promote and maintain a strong immune system, and treat your body right with regular exercise and rest.
Here are six tips to give your immune system a boost:
1. Eat a Diet Rich in Antioxidants
Lifestyle habits can do damage to our immunity system. Toxic food, smoking, and alcohol emit free radicals in your body which are responsible for damaging your immune system and causing respiratory issues. To reverse such damage, you can include various fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Most fruits and green vegetables can boost immunity. Raw honey is also a good source of antioxidants.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Set up and maintain a good bedtime routine. This will not only help you feel energetic throughout the day, but it will also allow your immune system to repair itself while you are resting. Getting a goodnight’s sleep is crucial to stay healthy and ensure a robust immune system.
3. Choose Honey Over Sugar
Refined sugar increases your risk of heart attack and type 2 diabetes. Refined sugar also facilitates weight gain, which leads to obesity. A lot of people swear by honey instead of refined sugar. Not only is honey an excellent natural sweetener, but it also helps in stabilizing the harmful free radicals present in your body. The best part is that raw and unpasteurized honey is available in different varieties, so you have multiple options in terms of flavor and taste.
- Antibacterial and anti-fungal properties
- Aids in digestion
- Soothes a sore throat and calms a cough
- Helps with sleep
- Helps with oral health and prevents gum disease
- Natural energy source
With so many health benefits, why not enjoy honey regularly?
4. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can make you feel dizzy, dull, and lethargic. Failure to stay hydrated can affect your mood, digestion, and physical performance. It might also cause severe headaches. The best source of hydration is water as it is free from sugar or any other additives, like caffeine. While you might be tempted to go for fruit juices, make sure you limit your intake as juice contains high amounts of sugar. Ensure proper hydration especially after your workout or if you live in a hot climate.
5. Take Supplements
There are a lot of essential vitamins and supplements available which will contribute to a healthy immune system. Here are a few of the most essential supplements you need to stock up to promote a healthy lifestyle:
- Vitamin D: Those with a lack of Vitamin D are more vulnerable to getting sick. If you live in a cold region where sunlight is minimal, you can benefit from Vitamin D supplements regularly.
- Zinc: A supplement of 75 MG of Zinc per day helps to reduce the duration of a cold by 33%, according to health experts.
- Turmeric: Rich in curcumin, turmeric loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. It not only helps in soothing a sore throat, but it reduces cell inflammation too which is the primary cause of certain types of cancer.
- Elderberry: Respiratory issues are becoming increasingly common these days. Elderberry is known to reduce symptoms of viral infection in the respiratory system.
6. Exercise Regularly
You need to keep your body moving, but do not be too hard on yourself! Regular exercise has various benefits, and it can also give your immune system a boost. Moderate exercise with low impact — such as brisk walking, bicycling, and swimming — help to keep your immune system healthy.
Remember, that you can only embark on the journey of a healthy body if you have a healthy mindset. In addition to finding ways to fight physical illness, be mindful and keep a check on your mental health, too. Stay positive and do not stress about the things you cannot control- including the COVID-19 pandemic. With the right diet, exercise, and mindset, everything is achievable. Stay healthy and do your part in flattening the curve of the pandemic and restoring our lives back to normal.
“9 Ways to Boost Your Body’s Natural Defenses”. Healthline, April 1, 2020
“Strengthen Your Immune System With 4 Simple Strategies”. Cleveland Clinic, April 13, 2020