Healthy immune systems can help ward off infections, health experts say.
As the coronavirus spreads across the United States, people may think about giving their bodies an extra boost.
Though no single measure is guaranteed to protect against COVID-19, some practices can help immune systems be strong, The New York Times reported.
Here are some to try at home.
Building a strong immune system can start at the dinner table, health experts say.
That’s because a healthy gut is key in the fight against infections, according to Orlando Health.
Adults should eat about five daily servings of produce, each one being roughly the size of a piece of fruit, the hospital system wrote on its website.
Doctors recommend eating spinach, mushrooms, strawberries and other foods packed with nutrients, such as vitamins A, C and D, according to CNBC.
The coronavirus has left some store shelves bare and restaurants with limited service.
But eating a healthy diet is important for people in self-quarantine, meaning they are away from others after possible exposure to the disease, according to the World Health Organization.
“Limited access to fresh foods may lead to an increased consumption of highly processed foods, which tend to be high in fats, sugars and salt,” WHO said. “Such changes in eating behavior could have a negative effect on the immune system.”
Other tips to help your immune system
Getting enough sleep is another step toward a bolstered immune system, according to AARP.
“Your immune system is like your computer—it needs moments of rest so it doesn’t become overheated,” Dr. Mark Moyad of the University of Michigan Medical Center told the organization. “Sleep reboots the system.”
Adults should sleep at least seven hours each night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While awake, limiting stress is also an important way to boost the immune system, The New York Times and other websites reported.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC recommends people who are stressed take breaks from news about the virus, make healthy choices and talk to others they trust.
Another immune system boost can come from exercising, according to AARP. Health experts recommend working out in 30-minute sessions for five days a week.
Though gyms have closed to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, stay-at-home orders have allowed people to stay fit in outdoor spaces.
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