COVID-19 has changed our lives. We’ve experienced incredible challenges from social isolation, economic hardships, and difficulty finding common household supplies, to possibly personally suffering the severe symptoms of this virus or the tragic loss of a loved one. This pandemic has also brought with it many positive benefits from giving us extra time to get to those projects we’ve been putting off and allowing us to catch-up with friends and family, while learning new technologies and new ways to fortify our health.
Lowering Your Risk
Since this pandemic began, we’ve been told that we can lower our risk of COVID-19 by staying at home, practicing social distancing, frequently washing our hands and using face coverings. In addition to these measures, it is also extremely important to do everything you can to keep your immune system strong because as we age, the immune system gradually loses its strength. The good news is that there are a number of simple and inexpensive diet and lifestyle approaches that can help support and strengthen your immune system.
Eating For Your Immune System
Right now, most everyone is experiencing stress. The impulse to eat comfort foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugar may be strong, but you want to resist those urges because they severely weaken your immune system. Instead, fill your plate with the foods that make your immune system thrive such as a wide variety of fresh, organic, colorful fruits and vegetables. Include certain plants with particularly strong immune-boosting and anti-viral properties including mushrooms, garlic, ginger, leafy greens, turmeric and those that are high in vitamin C such as citrus fruits and red bell peppers.
Exercising For Your Immune System
It’s no secret that exercising is good for your health. That’s because exercise causes a variety of beneficial physiological effects, including boosting your immune system. Being at home due to the pandemic has made it difficult to stay active, and it has no doubt caused loss of lean muscle mass, which studies show not only weakens your physiology, but also your immune system. Fortunately there are a variety of simple at-home exercises that can help to keep your immune system strong. Your immune system loves both aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises. Therefore, just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day is enough along with some moderate weight lifting. If you don’t have weights, you can use your own body weight and do push-ups and squats. However, since your workouts may not be as intense as they are in the gym, I also recommend supplementing with amino acids to preserve lean muscle mass, which is crucial for a healthy immune system.
Supplementing For Your Immune System
Certain vitamins and nutritional supplements like vitamins C and D can absolutely help to strengthen your immune system. If you are deficient in either, research shows your risk of the flu and upper respiratory tract infections are much higher. Experts recommend taking at least 1,000 mg of vitamin C a day. The amount of vitamin D you should take each day depends on your blood levels. The ideal vitamin D range is between 40 to 60 ng/ml, and the only way to determine this is to test your levels, all of which can be done in the comfort of your own home. Then determine how much vitamin D you need with a vitamin D calculator.
One often overlooked group of nutrients that are critical during a prolonged period of inactivity is essential amino acids that play a major role in protein synthesis and the formation of white blood cell and antibodies, which your body’s immune system uses to help fight off foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. Muscle loss can play a bigger role than most realize by impairing your immune system thus increasing your susceptibility to sickness. Studies show that if you take a specific combination of amino acids as a supplement, it not only supplies your immune system with the nutrients it needs, but also helps to prevent muscle loss. A supplement called Rejuvenate consists of the exact combination of essential amino acids—including higher concentrations of leucine, valine and isoleucine—shown in the studies to be most effective. I’ve done some work with this supplement and reviewed more than 25 clinical peer-reviewed published studies in which Rejuvenate has been shown to be extremely effective, including increasing the body’s ability to rebuild and repair muscle by 57% with noticeable muscle mass improvements in 30 days. Rejuvenate is affordable (less than the cost of a cup of coffee each day) and easy to take – you simply mix it in water and drink it.
Reimagining Immune Health Post Pandemic
COVID-19 has been and continues to be a very challenging experience. But with it, there have also been many positive changes. As we move into our “new normal,” make sure to embrace all the immune-supporting habits you have learned and practice them every day. Staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong is the best protection against whatever diseases we may face in the future. Our immune system performs best when we are taking care of it every day, not just during a crisis.