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One hot topic in the news daily is “Where are we with a COVID 19 vaccine?!”  However, there is not as much discussion around the topic of fueling our immune systems.  Our own immune system is our first line of defense against any viral illness.  In this blog, we will answer the question of how to boost the immune system during COVID 19.

Hydration

This does not have to be complicated: we need a proper balance of fluid and electrolytes.  Remember, our body weight is roughly 60% water, so this balance is a requirement for survival. 

Every cell in our body requires water to carry out its function.  Water allows us to get rid of wastes present in the body.  In addition, it regulates body temperature.  When we are even a little dehydrated, we become fatigued and retain waste products.  This creates a less than ideal environment for our immune system. 

Sleep

Our bodies must rest for proper cell function. For most adults this would be an average of 7-8 hrs of sleep a night.

 

 

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need?

Of course, this will vary depending on exercise, pregnancy, age, and other nutritional statuses.

How Does Nutrition Help Boost the Immune System?

Protein: The building blocks for our cells; it is needed for our antibodies and all cells that make up our immune system.

Zinc:  Is required for new immune cells to be made.

Vitamin A:  Helps with the integrity of our tissues; this includes skin, mouth, intestines, and the respiratory system.

Vitamin C:  Acts as an antioxidants, which ultimately protects the health of our cells.

Vitamin D:  Helps activate our immune cells into action.

The common question is what is the best way to intake our vitamins and minerals.  Honestly, the answer is through food. It is important to note that it is estimated that 70% of our immune system is in our gut.  Therefore, when we pollute our intestines with “junk” food, we are suffocating our immune system!

Sweet potatoes, spinach, and carrots are all great sources of Vitamin A.  Citrus fruits and broccoli are both rich in Vitamin C. Salmon and other fatty fishes, in addition to fortified milk or fortified orange juice are other sources that provide Vitamin D.  Although zinc seems to be ingested through supplements, lean beef, beans, crab, oysters, and pork are known food sources. Proteins come from chicken, beef, pork, seafood, legumes, eggs, tofu, Quinoa, and dairy products.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The first wealth is health.”  We need an intact immune system in order for a vaccine to be effective. In conclusion, following proper fluid intake as well as eating a balanced diet will help to boost your immune system during COVID 19. 

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