Your immune system is what stands between you and catching an infectious disease. Part of your immune system also helps defend your body against chronic illness. The bottom line is that without your immune system, your body would quickly get infected, and you couldn’t fight it off. These tips will help you support your immune system and stay healthy during the pandemic or cold and flu season. While they won’t stop you from getting infected, they will help your body fight viruses and bacteria.
Vitamin D is Vital
Keeping your vitamin D levels between 40 ng/mL and 60 ng/mL is vital to fighting any infection. Since the start of the pandemic, researchers have noted people who are significantly deficient in vitamin D have double the risk of severe complications from SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.
When your skin is exposed to the sun, it produces vitamin D. Since most people get their vitamin D from the sun, it’s not surprising that the majority of people in the northern hemisphere are deficient. The sun isn’t high enough during the winter months for your skin to produce vitamin D, and even foods fortified in vitamin D aren’t enough to boost your levels.
Before you consider using a supplement, it’s important to get your vitamin D levels checked so you can determine how much you may need. And, it’s important to check those levels twice a year to be sure you’re maintaining the correct level. If you take vitamin D, take D3 and not D2. Include vitamin K2 MK-7 to prevent hardening of the arteries from calcium.
Sleep Supports Health
Quality sleep is foundational to your health and wellness. During sleep, your body works on cellular repair, and your brain gets rid of toxic waste products. Without sleep, your cognitive function is impaired, and your immune system is not as strong. You may have experienced this if you’ve gotten a cold after a long week of sleeping poorly or feeling better with a cold after sleeping well. Seek to sleep eight hours in a dark room each night.
Foods High in Vitamin C Support Your Immune Health
Vitamin C is famous for the effect it has on your immune system. It’s a water-soluble vitamin and potent antioxidant. You can’t store or produce vitamin C, so you must get it from your food. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, cherries, chili peppers, parsley, kale, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.
Your Gut Microbiome is Critical to Good Health
Your gut microbiome is critical to your immune system. Inside your intestines are trillions of bacteria. Some are beneficial, and others are harmful. The beneficial bacteria keep the harmful bacteria in check. The by-product of bacteria metabolism helps feed the cells lining the intestinal tract and prevent toxins from leaking out.
You can support your gut microbiome by eating foods rich in fiber. This feeds the beneficial bacteria. Harmful bacteria grow on sugar, so limiting your intake of carbohydrates (that metabolize into sugar) and foods made with processed sugars, can help limit the growth of harmful bacteria.
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