There have now been over 290 cases of confirmed novel coronavirus in the United States and a total of 14 deaths related to the disease. The number of infected individuals outside of mainland China – the epicenter of the virus – is quickly rising and increasingly becoming a cause of global public health concern. As the epidemic continues to spread worldwide with no current solution, worries of a pandemic are profound; hand sanitizer and facial mask supplies are being depleted by anxious individuals hoping to protect themselves from exposure in this still uncontrolled situation.
External protection including virus protection masks may have the opposite of their intended effect, increasing the risk of infection instead. Frequent and proper hand-washing is consistently proving to be the most effective method of preventing the disease, while reducing exposure to COVID-19 is imperative – as is fortifying the body’s natural defense system.
Protecting the Immune System
With the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases escalating, now is the time to focus on boosting the immune system to naturally protect the body from the evolving epidemic and effectively fight off the infection.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle – by following good-health guidelines – is vital to naturally keep the immune system strong and functioning at its optimal capacity. Individuals hoping to protect their immune system or boost its strength should employ healthy living strategies such as: regular exercise, weight management, conscious nutritional choices, limited alcohol consumption, and adequate sleep patterns. Further, it is important to minimize stress levels as cortisol overproduction can impair immune functioning; ensuring a healthy work-life balance, taking breaks when necessary, and incorporating meditation along with other stress-reduction techniques can help support both physical and emotional wellbeing.
While there are no quick tips to immediately boost the health of the immune system, there are several practices that can help promote optimal immune functioning over time. For example, eating foods rich in antioxidants – such as berries, garlic, and onions – can reduce the risk of virus infection as well as consuming anti-inflammatory foods on a daily basis – such as fresh vegetables and fruits – which lower body-wide inflammation, supporting systemic functions, and combating age-related chronic diseases.
Ensuring quality sleeping patterns is essential to rebuilding a struggling immune system as is the avoidance of toxins. Minimizing exposure to chlorinated drinking water, pesticides, aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, pollution, and food additives can help protect against the negative effects of common toxins on the body’s immunity.
Due to its systemic nature, the immune system is challenging to boost with a singular solution. Therefore, following a holistic, healthy lifestyle, avoiding noxious elements, and reducing stress levels can have a profound impact on immune functioning. Although none of these solutions are “quick-fixes” to staying healthy in the face of a global epidemic, improving current lifestyle habits can greatly boost both physical and mental long-term health, making the body less susceptible to viruses and diseases while minimizing their severity if they do occur.