• Caitlin Cavarra Raymond, PT, DPT, OCS

How to Boost Your Immune System and Prevent COVID Infections


We may not know everything about COVID-19, but due to its high prevalence we do know many of us will encounter it with or without vaccinations. Keep doing everything you can to boost your Immune System and prevent you and your loved ones from getting sick.


Our Immune System is working every single day as it is our main defense from contracting any sort of disease from bacteria or viruses that we encounter in our environment. It is often working in overdrive to reduce inflammation in our body or combat stress.


Below are tangible steps that you can start doing right NOW to improve your Immune System's functioning.



Eat Healthy

Focus on eating a balanced diet full of fruits and veggies because these foods are rich with vitamins and nutrients essential to keep our immune system functioning at its best. Eat a variety of colors! Examples include: bell peppers, citrus foods, pumpkin seeds, green tea, leafy greens and broccoli.




Vitamin D

This vitamin is vital for our immune system, lungs, and heart to function at its highest. By getting outside 15-30 minutes without sunscreen can be enough daily to get enough of the vitamin. It's also recommended to eat foods with Vitamin D including: fish, mushrooms, eggs and fortified milk. Talk to your doctor about possibly taking this as a supplement as it is the most common recommended vitamin to take.



Exercise Moderately 30 Minutes (or more) Daily

You all know I LOVE to exercise! A moderate intensity means you are able to carry on a conversation as you move. This can be walking briskly, playing with your children, ballroom dancing, gardening, hiking or any other activity you enjoy. Exercise has a direct relation with our immune system by increasing white blood cells that fight infection and reducing stress hormones. You can make the time!





Get Adequate Sleep

The average adult needs at minimum 7 hours of sleep each night. This is where our body replenishes all of our systems in our body as we rest. Specifically, cytokines are produced and released, and these immune cells fight infection and inflammation.



Go Outside

The outdoors offers many benefits to our bodies. Not only do we get more sunlight that helps boost our Vitamin D and stimulate other immune cells, we get other compounds from plants that may boost our immune system called phytoncides. Our immune system functions better when it is challenged regularly with different environments.




Manage Stress

Stress weakens our immune system by suppressing our white blood cells that fight infection and increasing levels of cortisol that increase inflammation in our body. High levels of inflammation cause our immune system to be over-worked and it won't function as properly to keep us healthy.


Take Time to Play and Laugh

Just as we need to manage stress in our lives, we also are meant to enjoy our life. Laughing reduces cortisol and increases antibodies and other immune cells that fight infections. Spend time with a funny friend, watch a comedian on you tube, share a funny story or joke or host a game night with friends.



Supplement

There is a lot of information and research going around for other ways to fight Covid besides waiting it out. It may be beneficial to take supplements now to be on the preventative side and boost your immune system any way you can. This is not medical advice, discern what is best for you and your family!


Current Recommendations:

Vitamin D: 3000 IU-10,000 IU/day

Vitamin C: 1000 mg/day

Zinc: 15-50mg/day

Quercetin: 500 mg/day

NAC: 600 mg/day



I hope and pray you and your family stay healthy and safe during these times. Take the preventative measures that you can now, it all adds up and helps prevent infection.



1. https://articles.healthrealizations.com/CrabappleInternalandIntegrativeMedicine/2020/06/08/Atlanta-Integrative-and-Internal-Medicine-s-Dr--Smith-s-Opinions-On-Covid-19.aspx?SubscriberEmail=evelyn.rodgers5@gmail.com&tid=211345&utm_source=hri&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200608&utm_content=CrabappleInternalandIntegrativeMedicine


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