This is not a health blog but a food and travel blog. But – when the possibilities of traveling are affected so much by the fact that so many people are affected by a virus, I have to write about one thing I am really passionate about. To strengthen one’s immune system and ways to strengthen the immune system – to be able to live a long and happy life with as little diseases as possible.
Had everyone lived better, we would certainly not have had the large risk groups that we have today – and the coronavirus would probably not have affected us at all to the same extent. Sure, really old people in retirement homes would still be a high-risk group no matter how they live. But they don’t travel anyway.
Already when I heard about the first cases of Corona in Wuhan, I began to google on previous influences and ways to strengthen the immune system. It turns out that surprisingly little research money is being spent on this – and is reported even less in the wider media. But there are many articles on the subject, including one from Harward Medical School in the United States that was published back in 2014. No news really – but more relevant than ever. They summarized these 8 ways to strengthen the immune system, many that it made or currently ongoing studies around.
8 Ways to Strengthen your Immune System
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, you should only drink in moderation.
- Get enough sleep.
- Take measures to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently
- Try to minimize stress.
Nothing you’re surprised about, huh? But why isn’t more of the media’s reports focused on this? It notes that smokers and obese people are among the most affected groups in the case of Covid-19, that one should wash their hands frequently and keep their distance. Not travel at all, not even within the country. But there is little talk about the importance of sleep, minimizing stress, eating nutritious or not drinking too much alcohol – for the sake of the immune system.
Based on these 8 points, I have been looking for more, more recent research, which is summarized and linked below. A little more detail, then, for those who want to strengthen the immune system – and as a result reduce the effects if you are infected with Covid-19 or any other virus.
Working to strengthen one’s immune system is for me a clearly better strategy than isolating oneself forever or hoping that a vaccine might come sometime…. And if there is one thing we can be sure of, it is surely that Covid-19 is not the last virus the world will suffer from, but that there will be a new flu in some form in a year or two.
8 Ways to strengthen the immune system – with links to more reading
Want to put yourself in a little more background as to why these 8 things strengthen your immune system – read more below!
1. Do not smoke
That it is bad to smoke knows well everyone, but I actually did not know how bad it was before I read a little forskningsartiklar It is not only lung cancer and a number of other diseases you are at risk, but smoking also gives a worse immune system, which then makes covid-19 particularly hard hit. Read more in an American research report here,
2. Eat a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
There are so many different theories around food, but there are some things that most people agree with. Like avoiding junk food, candy & soda. That gluten is believed to drive inflammation in the body and that meat from countries that use a lot of antibiotics should be avoided. Some countries that really stand out for their extremely high use of antibiotics are Cyprus, Spain and Italy. Buy Swedish – organic – meat instead!
The body also needs minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper and various vitamins. It is best, of course, to get it through your food, but otherwise good supplements are recommended. It is especially important if you have chosen a diet without meat. which in itself contains a lot of what you need.
3. Train regularly
Exercise up to 60 minutes is considered only beneficial to the immune system. Here you can read a little more about it. There is also research showing that longer exertion, such as marathons, can lower the immune system when there is a great strain on the body., above all, this is important to consider for risk groups who, for example, already have a chronic inflammation in the body. Read more in this report.
4. Keep a healthy weight.
Being overweight, like smoking, has more negative aspects than previously thought. Obese people are more likely to suffer from inflammation and have a lower immune system than normal weight and are now included in the covid-19 risk groups. Strange that not overweight was already a red flag for viruses. Research has shown this since much before. An example here. Another longer study in Canada showed the same thing – obese people were clearly worse affected by the flu and required intensive care to a much greater extent than normal weight. Read more here,
5. Drink alcohol in moderation – and fill with minerals
Some research shows that moderate alcohol consumption may be ok for health but overconsumption is undoubtedly bad for the immune system. Read more here, In addition, too high alcohol intake often has other bad effects the next day such as poorer sleep, greater craving for junk food and lack of exercise – which lowers the immune system even more.
So is there sometime you should drink in moderation it is in these times! If you still go to a party at some point, be sure to stock up on vitamins and minerals as well as a large glass of water before going to bed. Another tip that my wife nowadays always makes even if she only drinks two glasses of wine is to simultaneously take tablets with activated charcoal. Read more about the theory behind this.
6. Get adequate sleep.
People generally sleep the former hours a day – and it negatively affects the immune system. Studies show that people who sleep on average less than seven hours a night are three times as likely to fall ill compared to those who sleep more than seven hours. In addition, sleep deprivation causes changes in hormone levels which in turn can lead to obesity and overweight. So, you don’t already sleep at least seven hours, be sure to create routines so you get enough sleep. Read more here,
7. Take steps to avoid infection
This is probably the point that is raised most in the Swedish media – ”wash your hands often”. Perhaps because it is by far the easiest action you can do and does not require annoying things like changing your diet, starting to work out or going to bed on time. But of course it’s important. If you against all odds still do not know how to wash your hands 🙂 so there is a description here.
8. Try to minimize stress.
Easier said than done – ”stop stressing”. But if there’s one thing that really lowers the immune system, it’s stress. So all the media reporting that frightened the life of readers about the danger of corona may also have increased stress, lowered the immune system and aggravated the situation. And what is worse – the effect of stress worsens if you are already a little sick. Read more in this study. The Public Health Agency also has tips on how to reduce its concerns here.
What do you think?
How do you think about the importance of active living to improve one’s immune system compared to waiting and hoping for a vaccine? Please comment!