OrthoCarolina Presents: 8 Tips to Strengthen Your Immune System

When it comes to staying healthy, boosting your immune system is wellness 101. Better yet, it’s simpler than you might think (and tastes great, too!). In addition to washing your hands thoroughly and avoiding people who may be sick, follow these tips to protect yourself against viruses and support a strong immune system.

  1. Drink plenty of fluids, especially warmer fluids.
    Consuming adequate fluids supports all your bodies’ functions including your immune system. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times. Enjoy soups and broths throughout the week. Drink herbal teas like ginger and Echinacea daily. Limit how many concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages you drink, as the sugar content can strain your immune system.
  2. Avoid simple sugars as much as possible.
    Simple sugars include not only sweet treats and desserts but also white-flour and refined-grain products that turn into sugar quickly. Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after you eat them.
  3. Eat protein with each meal.
    Proteins are the building blocks of your body, including your immune and detoxification systems. Incorporate lean animal proteins and/or plant-based proteins (e.g. legumes, nuts, seeds) with each meal and snack.
  4. Cook with garlic, onions, ginger, oregano and turmeric.
    These ingredients have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, and garlic and onions offer wide spectrum antimicrobial properties. Add them to soups and vegetable dishes, as well as bean dips and sauces for a flavorful boost.
  5. Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables.
    Choose leafy greens (e.g. kale, collards, spinach), cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes and squashes. These fruits and veggies are high in vitamin C, vitamin A and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Aim for 3-4 servings of fruits and 5+ servings of vegetables.
  6. Get sufficient sleep.
    Sleep restores and heals the body – without enough of it, optimal immune function is next to impossible. Incorporating relaxation and breathing techniques throughout the day to soothe stress can help your body and mind rest deeply at night. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  7. Exercise regularly.
    Mild to moderate exercise (for approximately 30-45 minutes) helps boost your immune system. Avoid overexertion, such as training for endurance events, when you feel run-down. Pushing yourself too hard will lower your immune defenses.
    YouTube has thousands of free workouts, and working out from home is easier than ever. Set up your phone, tablet, or laptop in a room with extra space and get moving with any of the free options on YouTube below.
    1. GymRa
    2. Fitness Blender
    3. Sydney Cummings
    4. POPSUGAR Fitness
  8. Add supplements to your diet.
    It’s best to have your blood levels tested by a healthcare professional before incorporating additional supplements to your diet.
    1. Vitamin D3: Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is critical for optimal immune function and can help you fight off infections. Studies show adequate vitamin-D levels also reduce your risk of developing bone abnormalities, like osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether adding a supplement to your diet is best for you. 
    2. Buffered Vitamin C: Vitamin C boosts your immune system by encouraging the production of white blood cells, protecting your white blood cells and strengthening your skin’s barriers. The recommended dose is 500 - 1,000 mg throughout the day, to be taken with meals and snacks.
    3. Zinc Citrate: Since our bodies do not naturally produce zinc, it’s important to either consume more foods high in this powerful immune-supporting nutrient or take an additional supplement. Red meat, poultry, oysters, whole grains, beans and nuts are all great sources of zinc.
    4. Probiotics: Your gut is an integral part of your immune system, and a healthy GI tract provides a strong barrier against pathogens. Probiotics support healthy gut flora to keep your gut and immune system in top shape. Look for probiotic brands that offer several species of good bacteria and contain at least 5 - 10 billion organisms per capsule.

This blog is brought to you by the OrthoCarolina Sports Training Center

We're here to help you stay healthy, informed and uplifted as we navigate unprecedented change in our communities together.


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    Comments

    April 14, 2020

    Validated my thoughts on certain foods that help with strengthening the immune system, and aid in inflammation. Thank You for reaching out.
    - Donna Jones
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 14, 2020

    Thank you Donna

    April 09, 2020

    Thank you so much for this information. Very much appreciated.
    - Lisa Austin
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    Thank you Lisa

    April 09, 2020

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INFORMATION AND PLEASE BE SAFE!
    - Tina Way
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    Great, you are welcome Tina.

    April 09, 2020

    Gracias mil!! I knew some of your advise but learn more today...greatly appreciated!!!
    - Nelson Mendoza
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    You are welcome Nelson.

    April 09, 2020

    Thanks l appreciate it.
    - Cythenia Gleaton
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    Thank you Cythenia.

    April 09, 2020

    Thank you so much for this info. I too have read about some of these given recommended suggestions. But, it is good to see it all in one listing. And, to have it suggested from a reliable course. Thanks - a - millon
    - Kathy Harris
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    You are welcome Kathy.

    April 09, 2020

    Good advice. I am doing most of the list. It re affirms my decisions and gave me a few new ideas. Thanks
    - Jack M
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    Thanks Jack.

    April 09, 2020

    Thanks for the information . This shows me how much OrthoCarolina cares for their patients. I want to thank all of the health care providers for their hard work during this time. You are the heroes! My heart goes out to all that are affected during this difficult time.
    - Leisha F.
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    We truly appreciate that Leisha.

    April 09, 2020

    Thank you for this info. Some of it I knew some I didn’t. This info helps keep me aware of what I eat. Thankfully I checked off most of the foods.
    - Lh
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    Great to hear, thanks.

    April 09, 2020

    This newsletter is really well done. Happily we adopted these practices years ago, with the excepton of probiotics which seemed a bit trendy to our 70+ year old psyches!
    - Bonnie & Randy Sweeting
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    Thanks so much Bonnie & Randy!

    April 09, 2020

    Great summary of healthy advise, Thank You
    - Brenda Hsrrid
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    Thank you Brenda.

    April 09, 2020

    Thank you for sharing this great information.
    - Becky Griffin
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    Thanks Becky.

    April 09, 2020

    This information about boosting immune systems is so important right now! Thanks for making the points so concise !
    - Debra Blanton
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    April 09, 2020

    We appreciate it, Debra.

    March 27, 2020

    Thank you. I knew some , but not all of this information and it’s connection to immunity. Good and timely information. Please continue to advise and instruct us. We need it.
    - Carolyn Auman
    Reply From: OrthoCarolina

    March 27, 2020

    Thank you Carolyn.

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