As businesses across the country slowly begin to reopen, it is crucial to continue strengthening your immune system as preparation for your re-emergence into life outside of quarantine. With some states already open and others planning to soon, there comes a false sense of security. In our desire for life to return to normal, we cannot stop practicing immune-boosting strategies or we risk further contributing to a potential second spike in COVID-19 cases. There is certainly much to look forward to with life resuming on the outside, but we must proceed with caution.

There are several immune-boosting strategies that you can be practicing right now to adequately prepare and protect you as you continue to face the threat of Coronavirus:

Diet: what you eat can directly affect the strength of your immune system. Consume primarily vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and whole grains and add in immune-boosting foods whenever possible. In my book Eat to Beat Disease, I discuss the foods that are most effective in strengthening the immune system. Some of those foods include white button mushrooms, aged garlic, 100-percent pomegranate juice, broccoli, guava, and oranges.

Physical activity: evidence shows that a sedentary lifestyle negatively impacts immunity. Be sure to continue exercising a minimum of 30 minutes every day – and yes, walks around your neighborhood count!

Stress management: reduced stress levels have shown to positively impact immune function, so I urge you to start a mindfulness practice if you do not already have one. Experiment with meditation, gratitude journaling, yoga, or any other strategy known to help limit stress.

Smoking: research shows that smoking can compromise the equilibrium of the immune system. Even if you consider yourself a “light” or “social” smoker, you may still be damaging your immune health. If you have been waiting for the perfect time to quit, now is it.

Sleep: poor sleep can negatively contribute to immune function, so be sure to get seven or eight hours of sleep every night.

We will get through this together and practicing proper immune health will help!

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