Friday 14 January 2022

Surefire Ways to Boost Immunity Right Now, Say Dietitians

 As we continue to barrel through a pandemic and do our best to fight off the highly contagious Omicron virus, many of us are continuing to look for easy, healthy ways to boost our immune systems.

That's why we talked with some expert dietitians to get their advice on easy changes we can make to our daily routine to care for your immunity right now.



Increase your antioxidant intake

pomegranate seeds

One of the best food-related adjustments you can make to help your immunity is adding more antioxidants to your diet.

"Antioxidants are nutrients that buffer free radicals, or fight the bad guys, in your body and keep free radicals from causing damage to your cells," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, "and you can find these antioxidants in lots of fruits and vegetables like citrus fruits, pomegranates and pomegranate juice, and berries." 


Sip on green tea

green tea

Green tea has a number of health benefits, like helping your metabolism, reducing your risk of cancer, and helping your brain health. And on top of all of those things, it can also help boost your immunity!

"Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which is a type of plant-based compound called a catechin that helps protect against cellular damage done by free radicals, or the bad guys that cause harm to the cells," says Goodson, "and research suggests that catechins like EGCG may also help prevent inflammation and some chronic diseases."


Load up on green veggies


Many people think of vitamin C when they think of immunity and for good reason. "Vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells, known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection," says Goodson, "and many people don't know that green veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, green beans contain vitamin C." 


Get plenty of sleep


While it's important to incorporate healthy foods into your diet to protect your immunity, it's also crucial to make sure you're getting enough good-quality sleep.

"It's important to understand how much sleep your body needs every night to optimize your overall health in order to give your immune system the best possible chance at fighting off illness and infection," says Courtney D'Angelo, MS, RD, author at Go Wellness, "because when sleeping, important infection-fighting molecules are being created, and if you aren't getting enough sleep, those molecules are getting interrupted, which can cause weakened immunity."


Stay hydrated

glass of water

And lastly, an important note to remember is that staying hydrated is key to the foundation of a healthy immune system. "Water is such a key component to living healthy and plays a vital role in your immune system, because being dehydrated slows your immune system down, thereby not creating infection-fighting immune cells around your body at the rate you need them," says D'Angelo.

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