MAR 25, 2020 11:36 PM PDT

Boosting Your Immunity to Avoid COVID-19 Infection

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

With the COVID-19 pandemic at the forefront of most people’s minds, you might be wondering what you can do to keep yourself healthy. Though many are hoping to see a cure or a treatment for COVID-19 soon, there is currently no pill or vaccine to protect us.

There is also no magic pill to boost our immune systems to help us fight the disease if we are infected. This is not the best of news, but there is good news too. There are ways to keep our immune systems functioning optimally. Taking steps to boost your immune system can give you a sense of control in uncertain times. 

Some of the best ways to protect your immune system include focusing on good nutrition, managing stress, and getting adequate sleep.

Because the immune system depends on nutrients to do its job, it is advantageous to consistently fill your plate with nutrient-rich foods. One way to be sure you are getting enough nutrients with each meal is to fill half of your plate with fruits or vegetables.

In addition to being a boost to your immune system, research suggests that vitamin-rich foods may help protect against acute respiratory tract infections, like those similar to COVID-19. Other studies suggest dietary supplements containing zinc may shorten the duration of such illnesses.

Even if you never contract COVID-19, a diet high in nutrient-rich foods can help protect you against a much more common condition, heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of adults in the United States and much of the modern world. It kills one and four Americans resulting in 647,000 deaths a year. That amounts to one person every 37 seconds. 

To avoid COVID-19 in addition to a healthy diet, following precautions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help keep you safe. These include regular handwashing with soap and water, or with hand sanitizer where these are unavailable. Secondly, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, which can introduce the disease to your body. Be sure to cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue in case you are infected and asymptomatic to avoid possible transmission to others. Lastly, avoid contact with those who may be sick and frequently disinfect commonly touched surfaces. 

 

Sources: American Heart AssociationCenters for Disease Control and PreventionDiet Doctor

About the Author
  • Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
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