24 Apr ABC’s of Immune Health
Fully Mediterranean’s Top 7 Tips for Immune Support
1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts seed, legumes – We all need vitamins and minerals and fiber to support immune health. Make ½ of your plate fruits and vegetables at every meal! Your meals do not have to be perfect but try to make vegetables and fruits the foundation or base of each of your meals. Here is an example of a day’s worth of of delicious meals that fill your plate with fruits and vegetables
2. Move your body! Exercise is a stress reducer, immune builder, and a cornerstone of healthy living. Vary the types of exercises and intensity for maximum effect. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many services and practitioners are offering free or discounted exercise programs to encourage people to stay active!
For those starting a new exercise routine, need to take it easy on their joints, or need a rest day, try low impact exercises: walking, gardening, flow yoga, tai chi.
Using the extra time to ramp up work on a fitness goal? Introduce high-intensity workouts like running, boxing, or cycling. Also, check out this FREE 30-minute Tabata workout from POPSugar Fitness!
3. Get enough sleep and practice self-care. Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, which can suppress immune system function with prolonged high levels.
Practice self-care by taking moments throughout your day to nourish your mental health. We love practices like yoga and meditation to relieve stress and stay mindful. Medical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of meditation in easing stress, chronic pain, and psychological conditions. Additionally, meditation can help us self-regulate our thoughts. YouTube is a great resource for free guided meditation. Here is a great 5-minute Meditation from Goodful you can listen to anywhere!
4. Do not smoke and avoid tobacco smoke. Smoking damages our lungs and increases the risk of chronic disease greatly. Recent studies have shown smokers are more likely to suffer complications from the coronavirus / COVID-19.
5. Cut back on alcohol intake. Alcohol consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung function. Drinking, like eating, is often woven into our social lives so making changes to your alcohol consumption can feel challenging. Make an effort to cut back on drinking and when you do drink, drink in moderation. Moderate drinking looks like 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.
6. Catch some rays. We get vitamin D, an important nutrient for immune function, from the sun. Being outdoors is also a natural stress reliever, which we all need right now! Whether you are outside for a walk or basking in a sunny window, expose your face, arms, and lower legs in the sun for 15 minutes if you have light skin and at least 30 minutes if you have a darker complexion. Wear SPF 30+ when outside for longer periods to avoid intense sun exposure.
7. Practice steps to avoid infections. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with warm water and soap. Use hand sanitizer after touching any surface you personally have not cleaned.