The typical protocol for the cold and flu season looks a little different this year. And in a COVID-19 environment, staying healthy goes beyond washing your hands and wearing a mask. There are a lot of unknowns, but one thing is certain: We need to prioritize our health and strengthen our immune systems early. Read on to learn how.
Tip #1: Eat an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet
When it comes to your health, it’s better to be proactive than reactive. Now is the time to fuel your body with foods that prevent and fight disease. Do your meals contain a balance of healthy fats, carbs and vegetables or do you typically snack throughout the day on processed foods? How often do you consume alcoholic beverages? A quick self-evaluation of your diet and lifestyle can help you focus on problem areas and find solutions. Take a look at the anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense foods listed below to see if you’re getting the vitamins you need to support your immune system.
Vitamin A: Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and squash
Vitamin B6: Salmon, tuna, leafy greens and chickpeas
Vitamin B12: Salmon, yogurt, eggs and meat
Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, bell peppers, kale, spinach and broccoli
Vitamin D: Salmon, tuna, fresh eggs and mushrooms
Vitamin E: Nuts, seeds and dark greens
Zinc: Yogurt, salmon and eggs
Tip #2: Support your body with supplements
The ideal scenario is for us to get a majority of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need through the food we eat, but that’s not always attainable. While taking supplements isn’t necessarily a quick fix, over time, a thoughtful selection of additional vitamins and minerals can optimize your immune health. If you want to check off more than one box, you may try a multivitamin. Or you may take a look at the foods listed above and evaluate which specific vitamins your body isn’t necessarily getting directly from your diet. Always consult your physician or nutritionist if you have supplement questions.
Tip #3: Practice self-care
Are you getting adequate sleep? Do you drink enough water throughout the day? How’s your exercise routine? Many studies show a correlation between a lack of sleep, water, or exercise with health problems and disease. Amid the pandemic, “self-care” has become quite the buzzword, but for good reason. How we prioritize our mental wellbeing has a powerful effect on our overall physical health. A self-care practice looks different for everyone but can be as simple as going to bed 30 minutes earlier or drinking a glass of water before breakfast. Whether it’s journaling, meditating, sinking into a book, or picking up a new craft, find something to support your mental health and practice it regularly. This is key to building resilience so that if/when a second wave of coronavirus occurs, or any other situation for that matter, you know how to manage the added stressors.
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