Updated: Mar 23
As the coronavirus spreads, it is crucial to stay healthy to avoid complications. Here are the best tips to make sure you and your loved ones are prepared.
Keep your stress levels down.
It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, of course: The more you stress about the virus, the more likely you are to suffer from it. “Stress can certainly hurt your immune system,” says Morgan Katz, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University. “Do not panic, try to minimize stress.”
Andrew Diamond, chief medical officer of One Medical, a nationwide network of primary-care providers, says the stress hormone cortisol turns off cells in your immune system. He recommends engaging in activities that people find relaxing, such as meditation.
Low- and moderate-intensity exercise naturally lowers cortisol levels and helps with immune-system function, says Dr. Diamond. One Medical recommends 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. If you’re apprehensive about germs in the gym, walk or run outside.
But it is important not to go overboard. A recent study found high-performance athletes have an increased risk of infection, says Elizabeth Bradley, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. “Exercise helps boost the immune system, but we have to be careful not to overexercise because it can weaken your immune system,” she says.
Get adequate sleep.
For adults, that means getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Children should get more, depending on their age. Researchers from Germany have found that sound sleep improves immune cells known as T cells. T cells fight virus-infected cells such as flu, HIV, herpes and cancer cells, and they do their best work when you're activity is low (ie sleeping).
Stay up-to-date on vaccines.
Vaccines directly benefit the immune system by introducing certain molecules to train the immune system to recognize them, and attack them.
Eat plenty of plain yogurt every day.
“It’s really an easy way to boost your probiotics and help support your microbiome,” Dr. Katz says. “It helps to support the good bacteria that live in your body, which help to fight bad bacteria or viruses.”
Dr. Katz also suggests avoiding antibiotics unless you must take them because they deplete the good bacteria in the system, leaving you more vulnerable to other infections.
Other foods that can help support the microbiome include garlic, onion, ginger, sauerkraut and fermented foods, says Dr. Bradley.
Watch your diet.
Stick to a healthful, balanced diet filled with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting enough zinc and vitamin D and other important vitamins and minerals. Most experts say you should be able to get enough of these vitamins and minerals through your diet, and extra supplementation isn’t necessary. But because vitamin D deficiency is relatively common, experts do recommend supplementation if levels are low.
Dr. Bradley recommends eating lots of dark green, leafy vegetables and berries, as well as nuts and seeds, and to minimize foods with sugar and trans fats, which aren’t as nutrient-dense.
Your immune system needs fuel, so avoid ultra-low carbohydrate diets, experts say. In addition, drink lots of water and reduce alcohol consumption, which can disrupt your sleep.
When in doubt, take SeaCare.
SeaCare works by directly modulating the immune system - which means it makes your immune system run at the optimal level. For most people, their immune system runs too slowly and is not able to keep up with disease and infections - thus, they get sick. When you take SeaCare, it immediately goes into action boosting the immune system, and regenerating your natural ability to protect yourself.
So while sleeping better, getting you vaccines, watching your diet, exercising regularly and (trying to) keep your stress levels down are great ways slowly build a healthy immune system, if you need an immediate boost, take SeaCare.
Reddy, Sumathi. Facts (and Myths) About Boosting Your Immune System, The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2020.