COVID-19 & IMMUNITY
COVID-19 has greatly impacted all of us. With rising cases of the delta variant, I wanted to address safety precautions and health measures that can be taken to combat the spread of COVID-19 variants and protect the wellbeing of our communities. Please note that these are only recommendations and following them still allows for the possibility of exposure to the virus. Nevertheless, there is definite value to considering any of the following as they do help limit the spread and likelihood of contracting coronavirus.
GET VACCINATED… IF YOU CAN
If you’re in a position to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please schedule an appointment to do so! The vaccine is proving to be effective in minimizing the spread of coronavirus and its delta variant. The more of us who receive the vaccine, the faster the transition will be to normal life with less limitations. However, we are far from that as vaccine rates are not high enough and the delta variant continues to spread. Further, making the choice to get both doses protects our youth because the vaccine has not been approved for children under 12. By receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, we are also protecting those who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons like autoimmune disorders or previous history of allergic reactions, among other reasons.
Whether or not you’re vaccinated, continuing to wear a mask is a tried and true safety measure – especially while in indoor facilities like schools, stores, gyms, cafes, and public transportation. Many public and private schools have implemented a mask mandate for this reason. Wearing a mask protects you and everyone around you. You can stop at your local pharmacy to pick up a box of single-use masks and keep them in your car at all times! This way, you don’t have to remember to bring them every time you leave the house. Following safety measures can be easy, and even fun! Invest in a colorful cloth mask that puts a smile on your face or maybe a favorite character-inspired mask for children! Cloth masks are washable and reusable.
As flu season approaches, it is wise to continue wearing masks. If you feel under the weather or are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, please put on a mask to protect the health of those around you. It’s easy to do and only a minor inconvenience for a great benefit. Remember: the safer we are, the healthier we can be!
GET THE FLU SHOT
Flu season is upon us. Now is the time to schedule an appointment to receive this year’s flu shot at your local pharmacy or doctor’s office. Not only will this help prevent you from getting the flu, but it will likely keep your immune system strong against other ailments, notably COVID-19. Basically, if you catch the flu, your immune system will be busy fighting off the flu rather than protecting you against COVID-19. Overall, keeping the immune system healthy and strong is the best way to fight off anything that might make us sick. There are many other ways to do this, which we will discuss next!
EAT NUTRIENT-DENSE FOODS
While I highly HIGHLY suggest following the first three recommendations mentioned in this blog post as a starter kit to protect our health this fall, there are also some dietary ways to support immunity. Immune-boosting foods are nutrient-dense foods that naturally fight inflammation and other harmful agents due to their antioxidant capacity or vitamin and mineral profile. If you need a refresher, check out our blog post series covering vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are naturally occurring components of some foods that prevent free radical damage and protect our health on the cellular level. Here are some common foods that you can include in your diet this fall (and all the time) for a natural immunity boost.
Citrus fruits, like grapefruit and oranges, are high in vitamin C which is known to support immunity. Adding half a grapefruit to your breakfast or eating an orange as a snack is a delicious and easy way to incorporate these fruits into your lifestyle.
Bone broth is kind of like chicken soup, which we all know is the best cold remedy! This is because bone broth, which comes in chicken, turkey, or beef varieties, is high in many vitamins and minerals. It also contains collagen, which is the main structural protein in our bodies. Treat bone broth like a hearty chicken soup and drink up!
Garlic and ginger are great additions to meals that can boost immunity and flavor! Both of these foods contain nutrients that help fight off infections. Garlic is very versatile and can be added to almost any savory meal made at home. Scroll through our recipes and I’m sure you’ll find more than one that uses garlic. As for ginger, make ginger tea by steeping a piece of ginger in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. It’s a warming nightcap and may even soothe stomach pain! Adding lemon (another citrus fruit!) adds more healthful properties and pairs well.
Finally, whole-milk Greek yogurt can support immune health. This is because it contains probiotics, friendly gut bacteria that help maintain overall health. Make a yogurt parfait with berries and granola as a healthy breakfast or snack. Packing a yogurt in your child’s lunch box is an easy way to provide them with these nutrients as well.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP AND LIMIT STRESS
So much of our health and wellbeing starts with our sleep patterns! Making sure you’re getting adequate amounts of sleep (6-10 hours) is crucial in feeling energized and supporting immune function. Limiting stress is also highly beneficial to overall immunity. With the unexpectedness of the previous year, I think it’s safe to say that we are all a bit shaken up. However, trying to minimize stress in any way can significantly help our mental wellness and extend to overall physical health. Amidst the craziness of busy schedules and new lifestyle adjustments, do something for yourself. Whether that’s taking a walk, reading a book, watching a show, or cooking something delicious, small joyful activities like these can help lower stress levels.
STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY
Our main goal is always to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Evaluate your circumstances and do what you can to protect the health of others as well as your own. Remember that this is a team effort. The more we work together and take adequate measures to stay safe, the healthier we can all be.