Now that COVID-19 is seemingly a thing of the past, it’s time to start looking towards the future.
By that, I mean it is time to start preparing yourself for the following form of the coronavirus outbreak.
According to virologist Edward Holmes, coronaviruses are much more common than we previously anticipated, and the chance of another COVID variant is highly possible in the near future. Holmes states, “Coronaviruses are under our feet in rodents. They are above our heads in bats. We live in a kind of coronavirus world”.
So how can you prepare for the next COVID outbreak? What can you do to strengthen your immune system and keep yourself safe in an uncertain future where it feels like we don’t know what’s coming around each corner or over the horizon?
- 1 What is immunity
- 2 1. Drink more water
- 3 2. Get regular exercise
- 4 3. Vitamin C
- 5 4. Vitamin A
- 6 5. Limit sugar intake
- 7 6. Improve your quality of sleep
- 8 7. Eat more plants
- 9 8. Enjoy more sauna time
- 10 9. Eat Garlic
- 11 10. Include Banana in your diet
- 12 11. Cook with natural Olive Oil
- 13 12. Get more sunshine
- 14 13. Drink Bone Broth
- 15 14. Include Bee Pollen in your diet
- 16 15. Add more Beans to your diet
- 17 16. Limit dairy
- 18 17. Include Coconut Oil in your diet
- 19 18. Include Almonds in your diet
- 20 19. Include Coconut in your diet
- 21 20. Eat Shittake Mushrooms
- 22 F.A.Q.
- 23 Does weight impact the immune system?
- 24 How does stress impact my immune system?
- 25 Is gut health important in immune response?
- 26 What are probiotics?
- 27 What are immune cells?
- 28 What is an adaptive immune response?
- 29 Which cells are responsible for a strong immune system?
- 30 What is a cytokine?
What is immunity
First, let’s take a brief dive into what it means to boost your immune system and just how much can you prevent illnesses and sickness from impacting your body?
The body’s immune system is made up of a complex interplay between the different parts designed to keep any foreign invaders, whether viruses or bacteria, from entering your body and making you sick.
It does this by recognizing these pathogens through their specific patterns on the surface of cells. When it acknowledges such an intruder, it will then produce antibodies against them. It will also release white blood cells to fight off infection.
Another critical element to immunity and overall health is eating proper food and nutrition.
We like to think of Food as an Edible Medicine Cabinet. Food keeps us going, nourishes our bodies, and has the power to be a form of holistic medicine — especially when we’re feeding the billions of beneficial bacteria that live in our gut, where roughly 70 percent of our immune system lives.
The use of antibiotics has been found to weaken immunity, too – so with all things considered, there are many natural remedies for strengthening your immunity and increasing immune function!
1. Drink more water
Drinking water is an integral part of maintaining a healthy immune system. The more hydrated you are, the better your body can eliminate toxins and take care of other essential bodily functions.
Tip: Make sure to drink purified water that doesn’t have chlorine in it (such as distilled or filtered).
A good rule of thumb for daily consumption is 64 ounces per day – but this can depend on factors like how active you are and if you’re pregnant. Drinking lots of plain old H20 will help keep your stomach happy too!
Drinking green tea also provides plenty of health benefits, including keeping inflammation low (which leads to less pain) and improving immunity, thanks to its high antioxidant content. Remember, not all teas are created equal, though, so make sure you double-check the kind of tea you are drinking.
2. Get regular exercise
Exercise helps keep your weight in check and improves circulation, and strengthens the immune system.
Tip: Try adding some form of cardio into your routine. Studies show that cardiovascular exercise can increase immune cell production by up to 50%!
Active people who work out regularly have a strong resistance against infections because their body produces more antibodies than sedentary individuals (who make relatively few). In addition to this, they’re able to get rid of viruses faster too, as active muscles help fight off infection better. All it takes is 30 minutes of walking or running every day – so make sure you fit it in if you don’t want COVID-19 sneaking up on you again any time soon.
3. Vitamin C
One way to get a healthier immune system is through the supplement Vitamin C. Studies show that vitamin C strengthens the immune system by boosting white blood cells and antibodies, reducing inflammation, as well as slowing down viral replication rates in those infected (which helps protect people from developing a more severe illness). This can be achieved through taking daily doses or eating lots of citrus fruits which contain high levels of this antioxidant. Other sources include broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and oranges! Make sure you get more vitamin C in your diet to help strengthen your immune system.
Tip: If you’re not keen on swallowing pills, try adding lemon juice into the water throughout the day or drinking orange juice at least once per day.
4. Vitamin A
Another great vitamin that leads to a healthy immune system is Vitamin A. Studies show that vitamin A also strengthens the immune response by boosting white blood cells and antibodies, reducing inflammation, as well as slowing down viral replication rates in those infected (which helps protect people from developing a more severe illness). This can be achieved through taking daily doses or eating plenty of foods that contain high levels of this antioxidant, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach & kale. Other sources include milk and eggs.
Tip: If you’re not keen on swallowing pills, try adding some vegetables into smoothies throughout the day or eating an orange at least once per day.
5. Limit sugar intake
Sugar is found in many processed foods and beverages, including soda, ice cream, cakes, etc. When sugar levels are high, it can weaken the immune system by reducing white blood cells (which help fight off infection).
Tip: Limit your intake of these sugary food items as they provide little to no nutritional value!
So don’t buy that chocolate bar – make a banana smoothie instead.
Tip: Read labels on any packaged goods you’re buying or opting for when dining out. It may say “low fat,” but read the ingredients list, which will usually show added sugars, so always check this first before you purchase anything containing sugar. Sugary snacks like doughnuts also have empty calories and nothing else – remember, not all.
6. Improve your quality of sleep
Improving the quality of sleep you get every night is a great way to strengthen your immune system. Studies show that sleep deprivation and being awake during the day can reduce white blood cells by up to 20%.
Tip: Try not staying in bed any longer than necessary or going for an extra snooze instead of waking up at the same time every day – this will also help you feel refreshed when it comes down to tackling tasks around the house.
Sleeping on one’s back is beneficial as lying face-down prevents breathing passages from open, which could lead to more severe infections – so make sure you’re only sleeping with your head slightly elevated if possible too.
7. Eat more plants
Eating more plants can help strengthen your immune system by providing you with the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed to function correctly.
Tip: Load up on veggies – they’re low-calorie but high in fiber which will keep you feeling full for longer.
Be sure to include green leafy vegetables, too, such as spinach or kale! These are just some of the many ways to increase the consumption of plant foods without having to sacrifice taste and satisfaction.
Some people find taking probiotics before eating helps them get used to healthier food choices faster (read labels carefully, though!)
Some studies show a link between weak immunity & inflammation so consider adding blackberries if available where possible.
8. Enjoy more sauna time
Enjoying more sauna time can help strengthen your immune system by boosting the production of white blood cells. Research shows that just 20 minutes in a sauna has been found to increase natural killer cell activity levels up to 100%!
Tip: If you’re not keen on going into public places, consider investing in one for home use. Ensure it’s properly ventilated and heated, too, as this will benefit your respiratory health while also strengthening immunity due to increased exposure to heat (which boosts metabolism). It’ll feel great after a long day.
If possible, try making an appointment at least once every two weeks – research shows that people who do this find their immune systems are stronger than those who don’t have regular appointments.
9. Eat Garlic
Adding garlic to your diet is a delicious way to strengthen your immune system, as it’s been found that the sulphuric compounds in this food are naturally antibacterial.
Tip: Try adding garlic powder or minced fresh cloves into any dish you’re making – be sure to add some salt also.
Some people find taking vitamin C before eating helps them get used to healthier food choices faster (read labels carefully, though).
10. Include Banana in your diet
Eating bananas regularly can help strengthen your immune system by reducing sugar intake and providing essential nutrients such as antioxidants. You can either enjoy these raw while needing something filling too, or add one banana per day for three days if you’re looking for an immunity boost.
11. Cook with natural Olive Oil
Using olive oil is a delicious way to strengthen your immune system by adding healthy fats and vegetable oils that are important for the body.
Tip: Try using extra virgin cold-pressed organic olive oil – this contains Omega-Oils, which have been shown to help improve immunity thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
12. Get more sunshine
Getting more sunshine can be beneficial in many ways, as it’s one of the best natural sources of Vitamin D! Research has found that people who spend less time outside experience higher rates of infections (such as respiratory tract infections) due to reduced levels of vitamin d.
Vitamin d helps strengthen your immune system by boosting your production of white blood cells.
Tip: Make sure to take care of the sun and use sunscreen when necessary as this helps prevent damage from U.V. rays which can have adverse effects on the immune function over time.
13. Drink Bone Broth
Bone broth is a great way to strengthen your immune system because it contains collagen – an amino acid that helps build strong bones and joints, hair, skin, teeth… you name it!
Tip: Try experimenting with different flavors, such as adding cinnamon or fresh ginger (or both) for more flavor options. Experimenting can help reduce the monotony of eating one type of food all the time.
14. Include Bee Pollen in your diet
Bee pollen has been found in many studies to improve immunity thanks to its rich content of minerals and vitamins that are beneficial for health. It’s also high in protein which will provide you with energy-boosting abilities too.
15. Add more Beans to your diet
Beans are a great way to strengthen the immune system because they’re packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. They can also be prepared in so many ways – try adding fresh cilantro or ground coriander for flavor variations.
Tip: Consider stocking up on canned beans (look for brands that don’t contain B.P.A.) as these will store nicely at home instead of spoiling quickly. Plus, this is an easy way to enjoy bean-based dishes when traveling too.
16. Limit dairy
It can be challenging to cut out dairy from your diet, but it’s worth considering if you’re experiencing chronic inflammation or gut issues – as this could mean that the lactose in dairy is causing these symptoms.
Tip: Try using almond milk, coconut cream (from a can), hemp seed milk, oat milk, rice milk, and soya milk instead for more options. These are all excellent alternatives with fewer calories than regular cow’s milk, which may help some people lose weight easier.
17. Include Coconut Oil in your diet
Coconut oil has been found over time to help strengthen immune systems because of its high content of medium-chain fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Tip: Consider using coconut oil in cooking, on toast for breakfast, or even in a deliciously refreshing smoothie.
18. Include Almonds in your diet
Almond butter is a great way to strengthen the immune system because it’s high protein content and contains healthy fats that can help with your workout too.
Tip: Consider adding a tablespoon of almond butter to your toast for breakfast or as an afternoon snack – this will keep you feeling full and energized.
19. Include Coconut in your diet
Coconut has been found in many studies to help strengthen the immune system because of its high content of medium-chain fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains protein, vitamins, and minerals.
20. Eat Shittake Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushrooms While most edible mushrooms deliver some form of health benefit, Shiitake mushrooms are particularly rich in vital nutrients and vitamins. They also contain 7 of the 8 essential amino acids.
Amino acids are some of the building blocks of protein, so they’re essential for keeping the immune system strong and healthy.
Tip: Try incorporating Shiitake mushrooms into stir-fries or salads to reap their health benefits – plus this will make your meal more interesting too.
Does weight impact the immune system?
Having a healthy weight can help improve immunity because it will reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases.
How does stress impact my immune system?
Stress doesn’t only make us feel bad, but it impacts our health too by causing weight gain (try not to overeat!), making pain worse for people living with arthritis, and increasing the likelihood that we’ll catch an illness if exposed.
Is gut health important in immune response?
Gut health is essential because it impacts the immune system by reducing inflammation in the gut (this can help people with chronic pain, for example) and makes them less susceptible to infection.
What are probiotics?
Probiotic foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, or supplements have been found through research over time to help improve immunity thanks to their high content of healthy bacteria, which improves bowel function!
What are immune cells?
Immune cells are the body’s defense system against disease, infection, and injury. They are the primary force in immune responses.
What is an adaptive immune response?
An adaptive immune response helps your body remember specific pathogens that it has encountered in the past so they won’t be able to harm you again!
Which cells are responsible for a strong immune system?
Immunity cells are primarily responsible for a strong immune system. However, T cells, killer cells, and B cells are also very important.
What is a cytokine?
Cytokines play an essential role in the immune system because they’re responsible for eliminating viruses that have infected your body – and without them, there would be no defense against illness!