With the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak which has taken the world by storm, people are concerned about how to stay healthy and maintaining a healthy immune system, vital to fight off this virus, and by doing that benefit your body and boost defenses against bacteria and other pathogens.
I will cover the top tips to help your body stay strong and not be infected with these illnesses.
Is stress bad for you?
Chronic stress depresses the immune system and increases the risk of several types of illnesses.
Being stressed out leads to increased levels of suppressor T cells, which suppress the immune system.
When this branch of the immune system is impaired, you are more susceptible to viral illnesses, including respiratory conditions like colds, flu, and the novel coronavirus infection.
Combat stress with strategies like deep breathing, meditation, exercise, and relaxation.
Can sex boost your immune system?
The regular sex activity is very helpful, and those who had sex two or three times a week had the highest levels of immunoglobulin A in their saliva – this is a molecule that helps protect against illnesses like the common cold and would help against this new coronavirus.
Companion animals are a boon to immunity.
Pet owners have lower blood pressures and cholesterol levels compared to those who do not own pets.
This may translate to better overall heart health and reduced risk of heart disease.
Your social network can make you stronger.
Loneliness and social isolation are very detrimental to health.
Those with the strongest social relationships were most likely to live longer than those with poor social connections.
Pick up a phone and call friends regularly – make plans to get together in person – volunteer for a cause you believe in – join a gym class.
Be positive to boost immune response.
Expect good things and your immune system will follow.
Make optimism work for you – try to see the glass as half full, and not half empty.
Practice gratitude and think of at least three things that you are grateful for every day.
Imagine the best outcome for situations, even difficult ones.
You may not always be able to control events around you, but you can always decide how to respond to them.
Laughter is so beneficial for you.
Watching a funny movie will boost natural cell activity while watching an emotionally neutral movie will not boost immune system function.
Belly laughs feel great – they can’t hurt, and they might help boost your immune system and reduce the likelihood of illness.
What about antioxidants?
Antioxidants are compounds in colorful fruits and vegetables that protect against free radicals.
Free radicals can damage DNA and other cell components.
Fruits and vegetables in a wide array of colors provide the best mix of protective antioxidants to boost health and immunity.
Eat leafy greens, watermelon, carrots, berries, broccoli, oranges, kiwi, and other brightly colored products to give your cells and immune system all the natural protection they need to function at their best.
What about empty calories?
Steer clear of them, like processed foods, including candy, soda, fast food, and snack foods which contain empty calories that do not provide your body with vitamins, nutrients, or fiber.
They often also contain chemicals and preservatives that are not good for your body.
Ditch processed foods in favor of fruits, vegetables, lean meat, healthy fats, and whole grains to give your body and immune system everything they need to function at their best.
Move your body.
Exercise has numerous health benefits including protecting you against heart disease, osteoporosis, and even certain types of cancer.
Exercise is also an immune booster – try to be moderately physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
Make sleep a priority.
There is a link between sleep and a healthy immune system.
Most people need between 7 to 9 hours to feel rested.
Being well-rested improves the function of white blood cells, and you’re less likely to get illnesses like respiratory infections, colds, and flu.
You’re more likely to sleep well if your bedroom is cooler – enjoy a warm bath, relaxing music, a massage if you can get it, a cup of green tea to help you drift off to sleep more easily.
Suds up to protect your health.
Frequent hand washing is a simple and effective way to prevent the spread of respiratory infections like colds, flu, coronavirus, diarrheal illnesses, and other infectious conditions.
Some germs are easily transmissible from person to person, so wash your hands with soap under running water frequently.
It is not difficult to stay healthy, and we all need to support each other during this coronavirus crisis