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Looking to Stay Healthy? Top Tips to Boost Your Immune System

Jul. 9 2024, Published 3:44 p.m. ET

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The old adage goes, “Physician heal thyself!”

And while you may not be a doctor, you can take the same steps physicians do to boost your immune system and help ward off everything from flu to colds to COVID-19.

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tips boost immune system

Even though their schedules are hectic, many MDs do their best to get in their 40 winks because they know that quality sleep is key to good health. If you can’t get seven to eight hours a night, a nap of 30 minutes during the day can help make up some of the deficit.

Maintaining a bedtime routine can help your body prepare for sleep. Try lowering the lights, turning down your bed, taking a bath and sipping some chamomile tea.

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tips boost immune system

Many doctors get plenty of exercise walking hospital corridors during daily rounds, but you may have to resort to strolling outside, riding a bike, lifting weights or finding an activity that you enjoy doing for 30 to 45 minutes at least five days a week.

Physicians realize that stress strains a healthy immune system, and one plan to banish it is to find your special place to relax, breathe and rebalance. It can be a quiet room where you can escape for a half hour or even a calming yoga class.

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tips boost immune system

MDs know that a balanced diet not only provides the body with needed nutrients, but it can also guard against inflammation that affects the immune system. Include foods with vitamin B6, which is found in chicken, salmon, tuna, bananas, green vegetables and potatoes. Also eat foods with vitamin C, which is found in oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli and spinach.

And don’t leave out vitamin E, which is found in almonds, sunflower and safflower oil, sunflower seeds, peanut butter and spinach. If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. One cocktail a day for women and two for men are recommended.

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tips boost immune system

Keep current with your vaccines. It’s important to get your annual flu shot, a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and vaccines to guard against meningitis, pneumonia and shingles. It’s important to get out and socialize. Connecting with folks, even over the phone, can lower stress and work wonders for mental and physical health. If you find you’re spending too many days alone, go to a park or library.

Take a multivitamin every day, plus a mineral supplement to keep in tip-top shape.

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