• Stephanie

Keeping Your Immune System Healthy

Washing our hands, disinfecting, and social distancing are at the tops of our minds right now. We’re taking so many precautions to stay clean in order to stay healthy, but now is also the time to take care of these bodies we’re sacrificing so much to protect. Yes, we’re taking care to social distance and stay safe, but we also need to take care of ourselves to truly stay healthy!

What the professionals recommend:

1. Focus on a healthy and balanced diet

Focus on eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables: the CDC recommends a total of 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day to keep our immune systems healthy. This can be tough since we’re trying to go to the store as little as possible, and produce doesn’t usually last too long. This is why the American Society of Nutrition recommends buying frozen fruits and vegetables as a great alternative. They also mention how fruits and vegetables are frozen at their peak ripeness, and contain the same nutrients as fresh produce! (and they’re great to use in smoothies! )

Eat food high in nutrients known for supporting your immune system. Make sure the foods you’re eating have:

o Protein

o Vitamin A

o Vitamin C

o Vitamin E

o Zinc

o As well as a few others…best practice, just eat lots of fruits and vegetables!

Keep eating a balanced diet. The Association of UK Dieticians put together a Healthy Eating Food Fact Sheet to help with this!

2. Exercise!

Keeping your body healthy overall is the best way to support your immune system, and staying physically fit is a huge part of that. The National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends 150 min of moderate-intensity cardio exercise a week. Time to get creative with those workouts, or follow online workouts from your favorite gym. The pros are working hard to keep us active, take advantage of all of these online workouts!

3. Stay Positive!

The American Society for Nutrition has a few ideas:

Talking with friends helps so much in times like this. Thankfully, we have the internet at our fingertips and our phones always in our pockets. Keep talking to your loved ones!

Stick to a routine as much as you can. Wake up at the same time, schedule time to exercise, plan your meals, plan time with loved ones. If you’re struggling, let others hold you accountable!

Think about what really makes you happy, and make sure you’re committing time to that. Whether it’s an old hobby, a book you’ve been dying to read, calling an old friend, trying a new recipe…anything that keeps a smile on your face!

We’re taking so many precautions during this COVID-19 outbreak to keep as many people healthy as possible. Make sure you really are taking care of yourself by staying nutritionally, physically, and mentally healthy as well!

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