According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), “The overall function of the immune system is to prevent or limit infection.” Amid this COVID-19 pandemic, the global human community is under attack from a single virus. There is no vaccine nor cure for this novel coronavirus yet, and the symptoms vary from unnoticeable, mild, to severe and fatal. To slow the spread and flatten the curve, we are all encouraged to practice social distancing, frequent and proper handwashing, and home isolation when advised. The British Dietetic Association (BDA) stresses, “Simply put, you cannot “boost” your immune system through diet, and no specific food or supplement will prevent you from catching COVID-19/Coronavirus. Good hygiene practice remains the best means of avoiding infection.”
However, the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF), does share that “maintaining a healthy balanced diet is the best way to support immune function.” WCRF suggests the following nutrients for optimal immune function: copper, folate, iron, selenium, zinc, vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D. Harvard Health offers the following general health guidelines that can help keep your immunity strong always:
- Don’t smoke or vape.
- Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Take a multivitamin if you suspect that you may not be getting all the nutrients you need through your diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Control your stress level.
- Control your blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation (no more than one or two drinks a day for men, no more than one drink a day for women).
- Get enough sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and trying not to touch your hands to your face, since harmful germs can enter through your eyes, nose, and mouth.
To speak with a healthcare provider at Primary Medical Care Center & Urgent Care Clinic to assess any non-emergency health concerns, including suspected COVID-19 symptoms, please call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic. For life-threatening emergencies, always call 911. For coronavirus updates and resources, please visit our website at www.primarymed.com.