Ways to boost your immune system
Vitamins and supplements that get your body through the winter
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - If there’s one thing that probably won’t change during these pandemic times, it’s the desire for healthier practices.
Topping many people’s lists is something we’ve been trying to do a lot these past few years: strengthening our immune system against COVID-19.
It’s common knowledge that maintaining a strong immune system is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick.
Before COVID-19, vitamins were a popular way to stay ahead of colds and other bugs. But these days, with so many options, you have to know what’s best for you.
Now, more than ever, your immune system needs to stay in tip-top shape during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as new variants continue to emerge.
One of the best ways to stay healthy is to maintain a nutritious diet.
“Food is the best source therefrom a nutrition stand point. Food is medicine,” said Henrico Doctors’ Hospital’s nutritionist, Travis Chandler.
Chandler says certain foods can help boost your immune system.
“The fresher, the better. Think of the rainbow. Fruits and vegetables, lean meats are super important, and things like salmon,” said Chandler. “Really, what you get from food is you get lots of things really; a lot more bang for your buck than one nutrient here and there.”
And if you can’t fit all those foods into your diet, Chandler says vitamins are a good substitute.
“They act to support specific immune functions, immune functions that do fight the virus or cold, flu or COVID-19,” said Chandler.
So what are some good vitamins to take?
“Vitamin C is a good one. Vitamin D is something we look at with importance. DHA is something you get from oily fish, and Zinc is another thing we look at,” said Chandler.
But is there such a thing as taking too many vitamins? And the answer is yes. It’s not the more you take, the better. If you’re taking more than the body’s daily value, it’s doing more harm than good.
“So, if you see Vitamin C 1000% of the daily value, then that’s probably too much. And depending on the vitamin, so Vitamin C may have some crappy, bloating, diarrhea, all things that aren’t very much fun, and other vitamins can be more severe,” said Chandler.
Chandler recommends a multivitamin that does not exceed 100% of daily values in the setting of one being unable to meet their needs in their daily diet as long as approved by your physician or health care provider.
Outside of food and vitamins, sleep and hydration are some of the other big-ticket items many slacks on.
“One recommendation might be to do just have a water bottle and set a personal goal that you’ll finish one water bottle by lunchtime and then another water bottle by dinner,” said Chandler.
Of course, it’s important to remember that any vitamin regimen doesn’t guarantee you won’t get COVID or any other illness. And if you have questions, you should always consult your doctor.
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