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How to Support and Supplement Your Immune System

Woman making food with her daughter

The coronavirus has made all of us think about our overall health. Because of the severity of this global pandemic, it’s important to take care of yourself, which includes supporting and supplementing your immune system. COVID-19 could be fatal in people who have comorbidities and/or a weakened immune system, which means you should be doing all you can to stay in relatively good shape, eat a well-balanced diet full of healthy greens, protein, and fruits, as well as supporting your immune system.

Supporting Your Immune System with Exercise

Science has demonstrably shown that physical activity helps us feel better mentally, prevents or slows diseases like heart disease and cancer, and helps us live longer. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week to aid in the general health of Americans.

And as the world continues to reckon with the coronavirus, a recent study suggests routine exercise may help protect people who get COVID-19 from falling seriously ill.

If you’re new to exercise, a physical therapist can help design a movement plan catered to your goals. After all, licensed PTs are movement experts! At Agile Virtual PT you can schedule a virtual appointment to save time and reduce cost. Speak with one of our educated clinicians today to get started.

Support Your Immune System with Diet

As much as diet can assist in your overall health, the foundation of your immune system is your diet. As a nation, Americans tend to do a poor job of eating a well-rounded, healthy diet. But if you make a few simple changes you can give your body the nutrients it needs to help fight harmful bacteria and viruses. Take a look at this simple additions you can make to your diet:

Eat more citrus
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit contain vitamin C which is an essential building block for the immune system

Consider yogurt for breakfast
Yogurt with live and active cultures (think full-fat Greek yogurt) also has a lot of protein while a low amount of carbs. Stay away from flavored yogurt, as the spike in sugar can be quite substantial. But you can add honey as a natural sweetness booster.

Winner winner, chicken dinner!
Poultry, like chicken and turkey, contain a great amount of vitamin B6. 6oz of chicken or turkey contains nearly all of the daily recommended amount of B6.

Almonds as a snack
Almonds are a healthy source of fat, but they also contain Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it needs fat for your body to absorb it properly. This is where the almonds come in: a cup of almonds will provide all the Vitamin E you need on a daily basis to help keep your immune system humming.

Jump on the Tumeric Train
Tumeric has been popular the last few years because of its potential health benefits. It’s been used in cuisines all around the world for centuries, and early research suggests the curcumin, which turmeric contains, can play a role in assisting the immune system when fighting certain viral infections. Mix some in with rice, curry, eggs, or even your coffee!

Release the Allicin
Garlic is beneficial to your immune system thanks to allicin. It’s been shown to keep your immune system healthy while giving it an added boost when you’re feeling under the weather. Mix in garlic to your eggs, pasta, hummus, or stir frys. Looking for more inspiration? This humorous video should provide all the inspiration you need:

There are plenty of other healthy, delicious foods you can make to boost your immune system, so get cooking!

Supplementing Your Immune System

In these unprecedented times it doesn’t hurt to supplement a healthy diet with vitamins to assist your immune system. The following are supplements you can take to assist yourself. We recommend buying from a trusted source, or consult with your physician about which brands to take:
-Vitamin A
-Vitamin C
-Vitamin E
-Protein (no need for pills here. Think grass-fed beef, chicken, chickpeas, and eggs.

These are a few specific vitamins that you can target to help your immune system year-round, but especially during these times.