Maintaining and even boosting our immune system is important not only during this time of COVID-19, but also because before you know it, we’ll be approaching cold and flu season. The good news is there are home remedies to boost our immune systems. A healthful diet and moderate exercise will certainly help, but there are additional things we can do, such as supplementing with certain vitamins and minerals, to maintain our health and build our immune system naturally as we inch closer to fall.
In this episode of Ask Our Experts, Bonafide Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, discusses some tips and best practices on how to support our body's defenses to naturally increase our immunity, keeping us healthy.
The Basics of How to Increase Immunity
Hi. Dr. Alyssa Dweck, OBGYN in New York and Chief Medical Officer at Bonafide. I thought I would take the opportunity today to discuss how we might boost our immunity, not only because we continue to live through a historic pandemic, but also because before you know it, cold and flu season will be quickly approaching. So, clearly, in order to best fight disease and optimize our immune system function, a healthful diet and regular exercise are going to be helpful. In addition, stress reduction is key. Consider mindfulness exercises or even meditation for this.
Make sure your vaccines are up to date. Speak with your healthcare provider about getting a flu vaccine or a vaccine for some of the other chronic diseases if you are a candidate for such.
It’s also incredibly important when building our immune systems naturally, to get enough sleep. I recommend 8 hours of good quality, uninterrupted sleep, in order to refuel, revitalize and repair the cells that we are putting through so much wear and tear on a day-to-day basis.
And be careful when it comes to some environmental stressors that might weaken our immune systems, including excessive sun exposure, alcohol use and smoking, which of course, should be avoided altogether if at all possible.
What Are Some Over the Counter Immunity Boosters?
What about supplements that can help to build our immune systems? Well, there are three that come to mind, especially since the world of supplements is somewhat overwhelming.
First, I think about vitamin D, which for women especially, is vital for supporting bone health. In addition, vitamin D happens to be a really strong immune booster. I recommend about a thousand international units daily of a vitamin D3 supplement.
Zinc is another supplement that has gotten quite a bit of press lately, and we used to think of zinc in the form of lozenges to help us prevent the common cold. But a supplement of zinc might be helpful as an over-the-counter immune booster. And since oysters are not on the menu every day, a supplement might be helpful.
Finally, vitamin C is a trusted standby when it comes to supporting the immune system. It is a strong antioxidant and I recommend taking vitamin C as a daily supplement, especially when you feel that cold and flu season is coming about. So, continue to stay safe and stay healthy. And remember, not all supplements are created equal when it comes to increasing your immunity and I hope the above tips help!