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Boost your immune system: Steps to stay healthy during pandemic

Jun 5, 2020

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The coronavirus pandemic has left many feeling that so much is out of their control. The virus has affected the lives and livelihoods of people across our region and around the world.

Something we can control is our ability to make smart choices to boost our immune systems and stay healthy.

  • Choose fruits and veggies. An expert at the Cleveland Clinic suggests foods rich in Vitamin C such as oranges, kiwi, broccoli or cantaloupe to boost the immune systems. Fruits and vegetables full of antioxidants such as berries, spinach and carrots can also help. Dried cranberries and raisins, frozen berries and canned corn and carrots all deliver health benefits, too.
  • Stay active. Physical activity can also help fight infections. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day as well as mixing aerobic exercise and strength training.
  • Get rest. Getting enough sleep is an important part of staying healthy and directly affects your physical and mental health. Seven to nine hours of sleep each night is recommended for adults, while children should sleep anywhere from eight hours for teens up to 17 hours for newborns.
  • Keep a positive attitude. The Cleveland Clinic also notes that positive thinking has been shown to reduce stress and increase the body’s ability to fight infection. Similarly, meditation can also lower the heart rate and blood pressure and reduce anxiety.

Healthy behaviors along with social distancing, regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds and proper mask wearing are actions we can all take to protect ourselves and others from spreading the coronavirus.

Fortalezca su sistema inmunológico: pasos para mantenerse saludable durante la pandemia

Algo que podemos controlar es nuestra capacidad de tomar decisiones inteligentes para estimular nuestro sistema inmunológico y mantenernos saludables.

  • Elija frutas y verduras. Un experto de la Clínica Cleveland sugiere alimentos ricos en vitamina C, como naranjas, kiwi, brócoli o melón para estimular el sistema inmunológico. Frutas y verduras llenas de antioxidantes. Como bayas, espinacas y zanahorias también pueden ayudar. Arándanos secos y pasas, bayas congeladas y enlatados de maíz y las zanahorias también brindan beneficios para la salud.
  • Mantenerse activo. La actividad física también puede ayudar a combatir infecciones. Los expertos recomiendan al menos 30 minutos de ejercicio moderado al día, así como la combinación de ejercicio aeróbico y entrenamiento de fuerza.
  • Descansar. Dormir lo suficiente es una parte importante para mantenerse saludable y afecta directamente su salud física y mental. Se recomiendan siete a nueve horas de sueño cada noche para adultos, mientras que los niños deben dormir desde ocho horas para adolescentes hasta 17 horas para recién nacidos.
  • Mantenga una actitud positiva. La Clínica Cleveland también señala que se ha demostrado que el pensamiento positivo reduce estrés y aumentar la capacidad del cuerpo para combatir infecciones. Del mismo modo, la meditación también puede reducir la frecuencia cardíaca y presión arterial y reducir la ansiedad.

Comportamientos saludables junto con distanciamiento social, lavado de manos regular durante al menos 20 segundos y usar mascarillas adecuada son acciones que todos podemos tomar para protegernos a nosotros mismos y a los demás de la propagación del coronavirus.

Dr. O’dell Moreno Owens is the president and chief executive officer of Interact for Health and InterAct for Change. Dr. Owens is a reproductive endocrinologist. He earned an MD, an OB/GYN residency and a master’s of public health degree from Yale University School of Medicine. He also obtained a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Harvard Medical School. In recent years, Dr. Owens has served as the Hamilton County Coroner, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College President, and Interim Health Commissioner and Medical Director of the Cincinnati Health Department. 

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