Cold and flu season is right around the corner, and COVID-19 is surging around the world. It’s high time you begin doing everything you can to build a high-functioning immune system.
Even if you don’t have a child in school or are returning to a workplace, people in your community do. If you’re around them, your risk of illness is just as high.
Immunity is no guarantee, but there are some things you can do to help build it up, so it’s better prepared to deal with all kinds of infections. A strong immune system might not prevent illness, but it may lead to less severe symptoms and shorter illness duration.
Vitamin C and zinc are both associated with improved immune strength.
Most fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, but bell peppers, broccoli, leafy greens, tomatoes, and citrus fruits are best. Supplementing in the coming months may also be a sensible mood.
You can find zinc in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, and fortified products.
Probiotic-rich foods may also help boost immunity. Including yogurt with active bacterial cultures, kefir, and other fermented foods may help build a healthy population of gut flora to promote stronger immunity.
A diet rich in antioxidants can help keep you healthy, as well. Various antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A, beta-carotene, and various flavonoids and anthocyanins are associated with lower inflammation and cellular health.
Berries, leafy greens, green tea, grapes, sweet potato, and a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables supply a host of antioxidants.
All of this really adds up to a healthy and nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, dairy, and whole grains.
But it goes beyond nutrition. Immune strength is also about decision making and daily actions.
When you go out, be sure to wear a suitable face mask that covers your nose and mouth. Keep it clean and have a few options on hand that can be cycled throughout the week.
Continue to social distance to limit exposure to COVID, cold, and flu viruses. Regularly wash your hands, particularly after going out and returning home, and avoid touching your face. Carry hand sanitizer with you when you’re out.
It’s also recommended to be strategic in outings. Only go to shops when you have to, and limit the amount of time spent indoors with others. Close quarters indoors is why viruses spread so fast in the colder seasons.