Support Your Immune System During Virus Season and All Year Long

Written by Dr. Denia Tapscott, MD

On March 1, 2020
hand-washing graphic

With coronavirus occupying headlines these days, a lot of attention is focused on ways to prevent spreading the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) has issued recommmendations for reducing the spread of disease. They include washing hands, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and staying home from school or work when you’re not feeling well. But the most important thing you can do during virus season — or any time — is to support your immune system.

You can decrease the risk of catching a virus by following some essentials. These include getting enough sleep, managing stress, exercising or taking walks, and eating healthy and clean.

What is Clean Eating?

Clean eating is not about dieting, it’s about dietary habits that make your body more functional, including being able to boost its immune response. That means knowing what to eat, and knowing whether your body is properly metabolizing the nutrients it needs to function at its best.

Clean eating is an important way to protect yourself from virus. If you want to eat cleanly to help boost your body’s immune system, here are some basic habits to adopt:

  1. Increase fiber nutrients like fruits and vegetables that build the immune system.
  2. Decrease inflammatory foods like dairy and gluten. Particularly for those who are susceptible to illness or already have an autoimmune disorder, stay away from dairy and gluten.
  3. Decrease consumption of sugary foods and drinks.
  4. Eat nonprocessed, non-GMO, and organic types of foods.
  5. Hydrate and avoid alcohol.

In general, you need nutritients and supplements that support the immune system. This includes Vitamin A, Vitamin D, antioxidants, and Omega 3s. These are safe for pretty much everybody to take. Check with your doctor before starting any new supplemental regimen.

For a list of products that promote healthy eating, we suggest checking out the Environmental Working Group scorecard of foods. This list of thousands of items are ranked from most to least healthy. The scorecard is a a great way to check out what you’re currently eating and to see what options may be better.

At Capitol Rehab of Arlington, our functional medicine program conducts advanced testing to identify nutrient deficiencies and determine how healthy your immune system is, and we make available supplements and other products that are used to boost the immune system to help you get through cold and flu season.

Viruses come and go. The best way to protect yourself from virus, or many other types of ailments and disease, is to treat your body well. At Capitol Rehab we can show you how.

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