COVID-19 has changed our day-to-day lives in 2020. New protections were put in place to help alleviate the spread of the virus. These protections include anything from minimizing occupancy at restaurants and schools, business shutdowns, social distancing, sanitization guidelines, and mandatory mask laws. Those may be great ways to reduce the overall spread, however, you may be looking for some alternative steps that you and your family can take to help protect your health.
Below are 5 ways to help protect your immune system:
- Get Plenty of Sunlight
Sunlight is essential for our health in many ways; from a basic psychological level to being responsible for more complex bodily functions such as the production of Vitamin D. When human skin is exposed to sunlight, a molecule in the skin known as Dehydrocholesterol absorbs the UV rays and converts the atoms into Vitamin D3 which is used for immune support. Along with producing D3, sunlight also activates T-cells so they move more rapidly in the body. These white blood cells play a crucial role in hunting down pathogens and attacking them; keeping you protected from harmful particles such as bacteria and viruses.
2. Take in Vitamin D Foods and Supplements
In addition to sunlight, there are also ways to intake Vitamin D through a variety of foods or supplements. Vitamin D might be best known for its benefits of providing strong bones and teeth, but vitamin D also plays key roles in immune support and is essential to the health of the lungs and cardiovascular system. To maximize your D3 intake, you should consider a diet that consists of a high intake of egg yolks, beef liver, and fatty fish like salmon, tuna, swordfish, or fish liver oils. These foods contain a high amount of Vitamin D and will help to naturally build your immune defense and safe-guard against free radicals and harmful particles. If you’re looking to resort to supplementation, many multivitamins contain vitamin D in the form of Vitamin D2 or Vitamin D3 that can be used to boost your immunity system.
3. Eat A Lot Of Greens and Vegetables
It should be no surprise that the intake of vegetables and leafy greens play a major role in the functionality of the immune system. Since many plants and vegetables capture energy from sunlight through the process of photosynthesis, they are rich in vitamins and provide a powerful punch of antioxidants to your body that help fight off infections.
Some of the best vegetables to improve your immune system health are spinach, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and kale.
4. Exercise Consistently
Exercise plays a major role in managing your immune health by increasing the circulation of immune cells that will kill off bacteria, viruses, and other micro-organisms that cause disease. Physical activity has been known to help move microbes out of our lungs and airways which helps to reduce your chance of getting a cold, the flu, or other illnesses. Exercise also causes changes in levels of metabolism, antibody production, and boosts white blood cell production which helps to fight off disease.
5. Stay Hydrated
Our immune system heavily relies on our blood stream to transport fluids, nutrients, and important communication signals to organs so that they can work more efficiently. Without proper hydration, our blood volume decreases, which means that these transportation systems will slow and will not work efficiently. Hydration also plays an important role in removing toxins and flushing out unwanted bacteria from our body. If you are exercising, be sure to increase your fluid intake because hydration becomes even more important when we lose water and electrolytes during exercise.