As the coronavirus (or COVID-19) becomes an increasingly global issue, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself and ensure your immune system is functioning at its best….
As the coronavirus (or COVID-19) becomes an increasingly global issue, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself and ensure your immune system is functioning at its best. While it’s not necessary to freak out and panic buy out all the vitamin C in the supermarket, there are some actions you can take to give your immune system a helping hand.
Although it’s a tricky time, keeping your stress levels low is essential. Stress causes your cortisol hormone levels to rise, which can interfere with the T-cells’ (a type of white blood cell) ability to reproduce and receive signals from your body. Cortisol also reduces certain antibody secretions which are our first line of defense against pathogens. Try talking this time in self-isolation to practice meditation, yoga, or go for walks in nature.
Sleep deprivation also leads to increased cortisol production which can suppress the immune system. Aim for at least 7 ½ hours of sleep per night.
Though going to the gym isn’t advisable (due to close contact and potential germ spreading), it’s still good to engage in low to moderate-intensity activity outdoors; this level of exercise helps to lower cortisol levels and support immune function. Just be sure not to over-exercise, as overdoing it can weaken your immune system. Keep it to 30-60 minutes of exercise a day.
No, not that kind! Mushrooms are rich in essential nutrients and minerals, with certain kinds being particularly amazing for the immune system. Turkey tail, maitake, and shiitake mushrooms help boost your immune health. We love shiitake mushrooms in our Nirvana Carbonara and our Soya, Edamame & Black Fungi Udon.
Stock up on fruits & veggies
People may be stocking up on toilet roll and baked beans, but the real virus fighting heroes are good old fashioned fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce is packed with nutrients that boost our immune system. Especially good immune-boosting fruits and veggies are citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits), red capsicums, broccoli, spinach, garlic, and ginger. Try ginger in this immune-boosting tonic recipe!
The World Health Organization has recommended self-isolation as a preventative measure against coronavirus, however, that doesn’t mean you need to solely stay indoors! If you don’t live in a very busy city or suburb, try to get out and go for a walk for at least 15-20minutes a day trigger your skin’s production of vitamin D. Low vitamin D levels are directly related to a higher risk of respiratory infection. If getting out isn’t an option for you, look into supplementing with vitamin D.
Embrace the potential of herbs
Certain herbs like echinacea, Asian ginseng, eleuthero, elderberry, andrographis, and astragalus support the immune system and can aid in reducing the duration and severity of illness. Speak to your healthcare professional about a herbal remedy that’s right for you, or pick up an immune-enhancing herbal tea blend from your local health food store.
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