According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the people who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus (COVID-19) are those who are already immunosuppressed. However, you must remember nobody is zero risk. Many of us can still get COVID-19 and be asymptomatic. In that case, not only are we unaware of the fact that we have it, but we’re also oblivious to the fact we’re spreading the virus to others. We need our immune system to be stronger than ever.
Our immune system takes care of so many duties on a molecular level that we’re unaware of. In fact, a system robust with immune cells fights off many viruses that we never knew were brewing in the first place!
During these trying times, your immune system is working in overdrive. That’s why I am trying my hardest to build up my immune system as much as possible. Here are some tips for boosting your immune system with foods, best hygiene practices, and all-natural supplements.
Immune Boosting Foods
As the “Father of Medicine,” Hippocrates stated, “Let thy medicine be thy food.” Each time you prepare a meal or grab a snack, you make an important decision. Every bite you take provides you with vitamins and minerals that will either nourish or damage your body.
Filling up on sugary cereals and processed deli meat sandwiches will suppress your immune system, whereas eating a balanced diet complete with an array of different color foods will keep your immune system strong. Here are some of the best foods to include in your daily meals.
Whenever cough and cold season hits, many of us will run to the pharmacy to pick up some Emergen-C or Vitamin C cough drops. These items are made with so many preservatives, flavoring agents, and artificial colors that you’re doing more of a disservice to your immune system. Instead of consuming something that’s flavored orange, try picking up an actual orange.
Citrus fruits that are rich in Vitamin C include:
Make a delicious fruit salad, mixing in other Vitamin C-rich fruits, such as strawberries, cantaloupe, and papaya. Instead of adding refined sugar to your fruit salad, opt for a healthier alternative like pure maple syrup or organic raw honey.
Speaking of salads, go for the green kind, too. Greens have an abundance of Vitamin C. However; they’re also rich in Vitamin K. Vitamin K plays a monumental role in creating red blood cells, which just so happen to communicate with our innate immune system. So, we depend on red blood cells to call our immune cells to action.
When crafting your salad, be sure to add some sprouts. Sprouts are rich in electrolytes. Our body uses electrolytes as energy sources to make molecular functions happen. So, having this extra energy around can really help round out your army of immune cells.
Garlic and Onions
It’s kinda hard to kiss someone while social distancing or wearing an N95 mask. So, you might as well pile on the garlic and onions! Both of these pungent root vegetables are part of the allium family.
Not only do alliums have high levels of Vitamin C, but they also exhibit antifungal properties. That way, instead of your immune system fighting off other threats, your cells can concentrate on hunting down a virus.
Ginger and Turmeric
Both of these root spices are cornerstones in Indian cuisine and are highly-regarded for their immune-boosting capabilities in Ayurvedic medicine. Studies on turmeric and ginger have shown that both of these flavorful curry staples have an abundance of antioxidants. Antioxidants help stop free radicals from weakening the immune system.
Seep organic ginger in near-boiling water and fresh lemon juice to make an immune-boosting tonic. You can also add turmeric powder to your latte. However, get the benefits of both by whipping up delicious golden milk for immune-boosting benefits.
Water Intake Improves Immune Functions
Water is essential for life, including our immune system. Our immune cells don’t stand a fighting chance in defeating infection without the help of water. Water helps flush toxins out of the system. That way, your immune cells don’t need to fight through hazardous substances on their way to defending your body.
Additionally, water carries oxygen. Our cells depend on oxygen like we do. Water also supplies ions to our cells. These charges help facilitate several essential functions throughout our immune system.
Drinking water isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. So, try infusing your water with citrus fruits, basil, or cucumber slices. If all else fails, you can grab an actual cup of tea. Just make sure it’s herbal tea. Caffeinated teas like green or black are mildly diuretic. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, they may inevitably promote dehydration.
Practice Better Hygiene Habits to Stop the Spread of Virus
We’ve heard it time and time again, be sure to wash your hands! Proper handwashing techniques are essential for preventing the virus from entering your system or spreading COVID-19 to someone else.
Furthermore, refrain from touching your face and biting your nails. These are easy access points for viruses on your skin to enter your body. In the same breath, try to lessen physical contact with people outside of where you seek shelter.
Unfortunately, the overuse of hand sanitizer and soap can dry our skin out, especially during the cooler months. The abrasive air was already doing a fine job of damaging my skin on its own! So, I make sure to use lukewarm water instead of my typical scalding hot.
Also, be sure to moisturize often. Use a lotion with all-natural ingredients and no synthetic fragrances. These additives may trigger more adverse reactions for your already raw skin. Also, be sure that the product isn’t alcohol-based. Take it from me; you will risk drying your skin out more.
Lastly, I want to shed some light on two supplements that I use all year around to keep my immune system healthy. I’ve been lucky enough to avoid COVID-19 so far, and I’d like to think my choice in all-natural supplements had something to do with it. Here are my two go-to’s to keep my immune system robust.
Turmeric is so powerful; I had to mention it twice. There is so much to love about using turmeric for your health. Today, I’m going to focus on its immune-boosting properties.
What gives turmeric so much street cred in our immune system is thanks to a unique molecule known as curcumin. One study on curcumin found that this potent antioxidant nearly tripled the levels of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) in the system.
Research on CAMP shows that this protein has strong antimicrobial traits. Seeing as viruses are microscopic, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a supplement with antimicrobial properties in your medicine cabinet!
The only other known vitamin that promotes CAMP production is Vitamin D. Seeing as 65% of the world has a Vitamin D deficiency, using Tranquility Labs’ Turmeric Curcumin is an excellent supplement to bring balance back to the immune system.
Tranquility Labs’ Turmeric Curcumin is 95% pure concentrated curcumin. That means you are getting the most potent extract possible. In addition, their formula is enriched with BioPerine, an active component in black pepper. Research shows that piperine improves the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000%!
Olive Leaf Extract
Seniors are among the immune-compromised who are having difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic. While I can’t fight Father Time, I try to prolong his ticking. My antidotes for turning back time is to channel my inner Cher and turn to my fountain of youth supplement. That’s why I love Tranquility Lab’s Olive Leaf Extract.
Tranquility Labs’ Olive Leaf Extract is rich in a unique compound known as oleuropein. Research on oleuropein has found that it has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidative capabilities. However, it also helps our system on a microbial level.
Studies show that olive leaf extract can help fight off pathogenic microbes from becoming too abundant in the system. In turn, our body is less likely to become overtaken by a virus waiting in the wings.
Furthermore, research indicates that olive leaf extract helps stop cell proliferation of cancerous cells. This realization is amazing news for preventative care. However, it also raises my hopes in the potential antiviral abilities of olive leaf extract. Viruses can replicate once they hijack a host cell. So, if the virus is detected, perhaps olive leaf extract can help aid the immune system in eradicating the problem.
What are some ways you’re boosting your immune system during this pandemic? Help keep the community safe by sharing your tips in the comments below!