Boost your immune system

Power up with these tips

Disclaimer: The following is in no way intended to indicate treatment for or immunity to COVID-19.

By Dr. Darci Davis, WAC Naturopath

What can I do to boost my immune system? No sooner had the first whispers of novel coronavirus started to circulate than I began to hear this question. The answer begins with understanding what you can and can’t control.

First, wash or sanitize your hands often. Also, wash your clothing after just one wear. Practice social distancing. And obey the “stay home, stay healthy” mandate. If you’re feeling ill, wear a mask and know how to use it. See the World Health Organization’s mask guidance here.

The following tips can help fortify your immune system. That’s a good thing all the time, not just now. (Dosage notes are general guidelines. For personalized dose recommendations, please contact a healthcare provider.)

  • Sleep more! Aim to get at least eight hours a night. This will be easier the less time you spend in front of a screen. Instead, pick up a book or a magazine and read a little. Do this right before bed. It will help.
  • Eat well. Skip the sugar and alcohol. They both decrease the power of your immune system.
  • Exercise. Get 30–60 minutes of movement daily. Do this outside if you can. It will help decrease “cabin fever.” Don’t push yourself to the point of failure, however. This isn’t the time for that.
  • Stay hydrated. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds then you should drink 80 ounces of water daily.
  • Vitamin C. Take 1,000–4,000 milligrams daily but not all at once. Split it up between morning, afternoon, and night.
  • B-complex. B vitamins can support your immune system in so many ways.
  • Vitamin D. When we’re sick, our bodies draw on vitamin D stores to supply the increased needs of our immune system. Supplementation with 4,000–10,000 IU/daily for a few days after an illness can replenish those stores.
  • Zinc. Try 25 milligrams daily and make sure to take a multivitamin with at least 2 milligrams of copper in conjunction with your zinc intake.
  • Echinacea and astragalus. Both are great for helping decrease the intensity of the flu.
  • Mushrooms. They can be quite helpful in supporting your immune system. Try incorporating shiitake and maitake mushrooms into your diet.
  • Elderberry. You can find this in syrup, capsule and tea form. Elderberry is rich in antioxidants.

—For more information and a personal consultation, contact WAC Naturopath Dr. Darci Davis by email at drdarcidavis@gmail.com.

More Athletics & Wellness

Weight loss and you
Moving Well to Manage Arthritis
How stress impacts our health