Immune system health has always been an interesting topic, especially since the coronavirus pandemic began.
These days, countless people seek ways to strengthen their immunity to stay safe and keep disease at bay. The only problem is, we now have access to a literal sea of information on the topic. Finding the right solutions isn’t always easy or even possible.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this post to take a brief look at the Covid-19 virus and what natural strategies we can use to strengthen our immunity.
Let’s dive in.
The Covid-19 Virus: Taking a Look Back
In December of 2019, a new virus began to draw attention and generate headlines. Most of us didn’t think much of it back then and kept going about our lives as usual. But as the virus spread from person to person, it became clear that things were different this time.
A couple of months after making the initial headlines, the Covid-19 virus led to the shutdown of businesses, schools, travel, and much more. Life as we knew it became something different.
Like many other viruses, coronavirus is linked to symptoms, such as (1):
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle weakness and body aches
The virus is also known to cause (1):
- Loss of smell or taste
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
Each person deals with Covid differently. Some experience a couple of symptoms; others have to deal with almost all of them (2). Some lucky individuals deal with the virus without having any symptoms. According to research, some patients can experience symptoms for as much as nine months after initial contact with the virus (3).
Reports suggest that Covid is more serious than the seasonal flu, with an estimated death rate of around 1.6 percent in the United States (4). So, like most people, you’re probably wondering how to strengthen your body’s defense mechanisms and improve your chances of dealing with the virus more easily. Let’s explore.
The 5 Essential Things We Need To Do For Stronger Immunity
1. Eat The Right Foods
Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are great for our immunity because they provide us with a range of vitamins, minerals, and other helpful nutrients (5). For example, fruits and vegetables are rich in dietary fiber, promoting healthy gut microbiota (6). Given that a large percentage of our immune system originates from the gut, nourishing it can boost the body’s natural defense mechanisms (7).
Fruits, veggies, and other similar foods are also rich in antioxidants, which prevent excessive oxidative stress, reducing the risk of disease (8). Plus, many such foods offer large amounts of vitamin C––a nutrient that plays a crucial role in immune system health (9).
2. Sleep Enough
Many people are surprised to learn that sleeping well each night might be the key to a more robust immune system (10). According to some research, sleep-deprived individuals appear more susceptible to the common cold than people who sleep at least six hours per night (11).
Guidelines recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep per night (12). If possible, try to get up to eight hours on some nights.
Good ways to improve your sleep include:
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, especially in the evening
- Create a relaxing pre-bed routine (bath, journaling, stretching, meditation, reading, etc.)
- Invest a bit of money in a quality mattress and pillow
- Keep your room somewhat cool, completely dark, and as quiet as possible
3. Do Moderate Amounts of Exercise
Exercise is a stressor to the body, and doing too much can suppress one’s immune system health. But doing the right amount can strengthen your body’s natural defense mechanisms.
According to some research, moderately-intense exercise can allow immune systems to generate more effectively and improve the effectiveness of vaccines (13).
The best part about exercise is that you can do whatever you enjoy:
- Jogging in the park
- Lifting weights
- Riding a bike
- Walking more during the day
4. Manage Stress Levels
Acute stress is a healthy and necessary response to an external threat. Experiencing it can sharpen your senses and improve your chances of escaping a life-threatening situation. The problem is, acute stress sometimes lingers and turns into chronic stress that keeps us in a perpetual state of alertness even if no threat is present.
Examples of chronic stress include worrying about money, working extra hard to meet deadlines, and dealing with problems at home. These and other stressors can lead to issues, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping at night
- Irritability and mood swings
- Getting sick more frequently
Chronic stress can also suppress your immunity, making it more difficult for your body to battle viruses, infections, and more (14). So, learning to manage stress is essential. Good options include:
- Setting aside time for a hobby or favorite activity
- Spending time in nature
5. Consider Some Supplements
Before giving any recommendations, we’d like to stress an important point:
No supplement can prevent or treat Covid-19. Instead, we recommend certain products because they can give your immune system a boost, making it better able to keep you safe and healthy. With that in mind, let’s go over several compounds that appear to strengthen our immune system:
- Vitamin D3 (15)
- Echinacea Purpurea
- Zinc (16)
- Vitamin C (9)
- Ginger (17)
Quercetin and bromelain are two other helpful compounds that have favorable effects on the immune system. For example, quercetin limits inflammation and prevents oxidative stress, promoting robust immune system function (18). Bromelain also appears beneficial, as the compound has anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and immunity-boosting properties (19).
Check out Quercetin, our product that mixes both compounds into one helpful formula.