How to Naturally Boost Your Immune System During a Pandemic
On a daily basis, we’re being assaulted with frightening news about the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. One study from researchers in the department of integrative biology at the University of Texas at Austin suggests that 70% of all counties in the U.S. will likely have epidemics.
Social distancing and hand-washing may help, but ultimately, it will be up to your immune system to fight off the virus in case of exposure. Because of this, it is more critical than ever to boost your immune system and power up your body’s natural defenses against infections, such as COVID-19.
7 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System
1. Boost your vitamin D levels.
You may think of vitamin D as the “sunshine vitamin,” but it could be renamed the “immunity vitamin” considering that a controlled study in a 2009 issue of Brain: The Journal of Neurology shows it possesses immune-modulating potential. Unfortunately, over 75% of American adults have low levels of this vital immune supporter. To optimize your levels, get about 20 minutes of sunshine daily (while following social distancing and facial mask recommendations) or supplement with a high-quality Vitamin D3 nutraceutical.
2. Protect your gut.
Did you know that much of your immune system is found in your gut? The lining of your gut protects it from foreign invaders like viruses. Big trouble happens if that lining becomes too porous, allowing nasty invaders to infiltrate the digestive lining and get into the bloodstream.
This is one of many reasons why the food you eat matters. If you’re consuming a junk-food diet, it will harm the healthy bacteria in your gut and can weaken your gut lining.
In some people, certain foods—such as wheat, dairy, and produce sprayed with pesticides—can damage your gut. To promote better gut health, eat probiotic foods—think sauerkraut or kimchi—and consider supplementing your diet with a high-quality probiotic.
3. Say no to Happy Hour at home.
During this pandemic, many people are looking for stress relief in the form of wine, beer, or cocktails. That’s not a good strategy for the immune system.
A 2015 issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews summarized the scientific evidence on alcohol and the immune system, showing that drinking too much heightens your vulnerability to illnesses, including pulmonary diseases such as pneumonia. According to their findings, the “alcohol-provoked lung damage goes undetected until a second assault, such as a respiratory infection, leads to more severe lung diseases than those seen in nondrinkers.”
Part of the problem may lie in the fact that alcohol kills bacteria. That’s why nurses use it as a disinfectant to kill germs before giving you a shot. Drinking alcohol may kill off good-for-you gut bacteria that play a role in immune system function.
4. Manage your stress.
During a pandemic, you may be feeling overwhelmed by stress, which impairs immune system function. One of the most effective stress-busting immunity boosters is meditation.
Learning to meditate is easy with the simple meditation audios on BrainFitLife. Just click and follow along from the safety of your own home.
5. Get adequate sleep.
An eye-opening 2013 trial in PNAS found that a single week of insufficient sleep can alter the expression of over 700 genes, including those involved with the immune and stress response. And according to a 2017 study on identical twins in the journal Sleep, chronic sleep deprivation suppresses the immune system.
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep at night is essential for stronger immunity. Stick to an evening routine that encourages relaxation—don’t watch distressing news right before bedtime, make sure your bedroom isn’t too warm, and don’t have any caffeine after lunchtime. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, consider calming vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, melatonin, and GABA, some of the ingredients found in Put Me To Sleep and Restful Sleep.
6. Eat more mushrooms, garlic, and onions.
These foods all possess unique immune-enhancing properties that help you fight viruses. Add them to your quarantine soups, stews, or omelets to supercharge your immune system.
7. Power up with potent nutrients.
News outlets are reporting that hospitals are using high dosages of intravenous vitamin C as part of the treatment for coronavirus patients. Other immune-boosting nutrients—such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and zinc—also help the body defend itself against viruses and bacteria. For an immunity boost, increase your intake of nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that are high in these important vitamins and consume zinc-rich foods like beef, oysters, and pumpkin seeds. These nutrients are just some of the 50-plus vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts found in BrainMD’s NeuroVite Plus.
The following content was originally presented during a special Facebook Live event by Dr. Daniel Amen. Click here to view the full video.
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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