12 Simple Steps To Improve Your Immunity During The COVID-19 Crisis

12 Simple Steps To Improve Your Immunity During The COVID-19 Crisis

*does not include crystals

By Bethan Warrior | 24th March 2020

Whether you're boarded up in self-isolation or still out and about, taking care of your body and mind is more important than ever. During the COVID-19 chaos, it’s important to make active decisions about your health and safety. Other than the no brainers – wash your hands, no hugging and elbow sneezing – we’ve got our top 12 steps to support your immune system. While no one food or product can completely protect you from getting sick, introducing these super simple, super effective techniques into your daily life will definitely boost your immune system’s Kung Fu fighting abilities!

1. Spice It Up

Not only a useful tip for your love life, but did you know garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper are all fabulous spices to introduce to your diet for their antioxidant, detoxification and antimicrobial features. Garlic in particular has been considered a superfood since ancient times for its multiple health benefits. The natural compound allicin, found in garlic has antibacterial properties that can protect against illness. It is also known for its direct effect on boosting white blood cells, which fight off harmful bacteria.

2. Berry Good

Foods rich in antioxidants such as berries, dark chocolate, apples and leafy vegetables will also assist in pumping up your immune system to its full potential. These guys will reduce cell death in your system and promote the growth of white blood cells. They also have the amazing ability to assist your body’s repair function. If you are going out to grab groceries, try hitting up your local market or grower to support our local Brissie industry.

 

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3. Snooze Fest

Praise the lord: we have another excuse for an early night! A healthy 7-9 hours of sleep a night is a great way to give your immunity a helping hand. As most of us know, sleep is your body’s time to recover and repair crucial functions, including your immunity. Getting enough z’s can boost your T-cells; some research indicates one bad night’s sleep can reduce your immune cells by up to 70%. So, time for nan-nights, friends!

 

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4. Let’s Get Physical

Turns out we have the term ‘sweat it out’ for a reason. If you’re currently in self-isolation, you may not be pumping iron at the gym, but keeping fit and moving is key to keeping your immunity happy. Regular exercise will increase circulation which means white blood cells will get around the body more effectively. Watch your back bacteria! As you exercise and your body temperature rises, this also has a destructive effect on nasty bugs. Those happy endorphins are added bonus! However, it should be noted that high intensity or prolonged exercise can spike your hormones which can comprise your immunity, so don’t push it for longer than an hour.

5. Take Care Of Your Plant Babies

Aside from lookin’ cute around your home, indoor plants are also super beneficial to your health. Plants are nature’s detoxifiers. They can significantly improve the air quality of their environment by absorbing chemicals in the air. Not to mention the added bonus: studies have found that being in an environment with plants can reduce stress as well as improve blood pressure and heart rate. Boston ferns are powerhouse purifiers that absorb nasty chemicals and repurpose them into materials the plant can use. Other plants such as Peace Lilies, Pothos and Aloe Vera are also fantastic options to add to your plant collection during this time.

 

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6. Put The Bottle Down

The general state of the world right now might have you feeling like a vino (or three), and the occasional drink is completely fine, however be weary of overdoing it. Not only will it dehydrate you, alcohol has been shown to comprise your body’s ability to heal itself. Alcohol can also disrupt the gut barrier, which is a key defence and may allow more bacteria to enter your system.

7. Pick The Water Up

This one is super obvious we know, but keeping your body hydrated is insanely important for a healthy immune system. Plenty of water will naturally flush out any toxins hanging around in your system. Plus, you’ll be getting that glowy skin, girl!

8. Go Green

Opting for a cosy cup of green tea is super beneficial to your system. It’s full of antioxidants called polyphenols which are super handy for fighting infections. It has strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties as well as protecting heart and brain function. The polyphenols in green tea are a powerful weapon against viruses as it can actually prevent the virus’s ability to infect other cells.

 

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9. Get The D

Studies have long dispelled that excess amounts of vitamin tablets are actually helping your system at all. Vitamin D is the exception, however. Catching some rays may not prevent you from catching a bug, however it has been proven to be effective when fighting them off and can reduce the severity of your illness to help you bounce back easier. Now, while a lot of us are staying indoors at the moment, picking up some vitamin D tablets is a very good decision.

10. Friendly Fibre

Your immune and digestive system are more linked than you first might think. Over 70% of immune cells are found in the gut walls, so maintaining a happy tum is paramount to a healthy immunity. Make sure you’re giving your gut plenty of fibre, which will move toxins through your system quickly. The digestive system is the body’s natural detoxifier, so make sure take care of it too. Introducing a probiotic may be worth thinking about.

 

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11. Down To De-Stress

During these troubling times, it’s easier said than done, we know. However, keeping a cool head is crucial to not only a healthy mind and soul, but body also. Your brain is in constant communication with the rest of your body and when you’re stressed or panicked, your brain goes into emergency mode, which can depress your immune system. Chronic stress suppresses the immune system when the brain releases the hormone cortisol, which can interfere with your T-cell’s (a specific white blood cell) function. Cortisol also reduces the antibodies in your gut and respiratory tract, which are our first line of defence against pathogens. Try keep your positive thinking up and introducing calming practices such as mediation or yoga into your routine. Limit your media intake, stay connected with friends and engage in a little self-care.

 

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12. Oil Me Up, Buttercup

Not that we need an excuse to whip out the diffuser, but we have a pretty good one! Not only will essential oils help you relax and unwind in these troubling times, but some have been shown to boost immunity as well. Lemon essential oil has been used for its ability to stimulate the immune system and is known for its antiseptic qualities. It’s also beneficial to the circulatory system which can assist getting those bacteria-fighting white blood cells around the body! Tea Tree also has strong antiseptic and antibacterial properties that strengthen the immune system, increasing its abilities to fight off infections. Incorporating a few drops of these oils into a bath, diffuser or applied topically will not only boost your mind and soul but also your immunity.

 

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Check out the inclusion in our latest online mag: Together, Apart below

For more related articles on COVID 19 like the self isolating cocktail recipesat-home workouts and things to do while self isolating check them all out here.

CULTURALLY COOL ISSUE

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Article by Bethan Warrior

Bethan is the Editorial Assistant at Style Magazines. She is inspired by the world of fashion and when she’s not watching the latest catwalk she can be found picking out flowers, eating Italian food, or watching Netflix’s latest crime drama.

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