Since being discovered in 2019, the coronavirus has mutated several times. The latest is a strain found in South Africa:
The C.1.2 strain, which is linked to ‘increased transmissibility’, is more mutations away from the original virus seen in Wuhan, experts at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform said.Read more HERE.
Will this be the last variant? Time will tell.
Several vaccines are being produced, with millions getting vaccinated around the world. How effective will the vaccine be against any new strains we might encounter in 2022 and beyond? Will other mutations appear as well? Time will tell.
The covid situation is very fluid: we are hearing about the many side effects and symptoms the virus may cause in some, while others experience totally different symptoms or none at all. Surprisingly, two people in the same household with the virus could even have different symptoms. While getting the vaccine is a wise option for some, it’s not the only thing a person can do to protect themselves. It’s critical we are proactive and make strengthening our immune systems a top priority. Here are the top ways to keep the immune system healthy.
The First Line of Defense: A Healthy Immune System
Covid has been shown to attack the body in many mysterious ways. With that said, many experts believe the virus has a greater impact on those who have compromised immune systems. The following foods are known to help keep the immune system healthy:
|Top Immune Boosting Foods||Top Immune Boosting Spices|
|Nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds, etc.)||Turmeric|
|Berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc.)||Elderberry|
Check out an assortment of spices here:
Spices contain many nutrients and have been used to treat a variety of health issues for centuries. Here are a few great spices and how they are believed to help the body:
Worst Foods For the Immune System
On the flipside, there are foods that can weaken the immune system if consumed in excess:
- Fast food
- Alcoholic beverages
- Soda/diet soda
- Sugary snacks
- Processed foods
- Refined oils (corn oil, vegetable oil, etc.)
- Fried foods
- Foods with MSG/pesticides/artificial flavors, colors, etc.
It’s critical a person get the majority of their calories from healthy foods and limit their intake of unhealthy foods.
Other Ways To Strengthen The Immune System
In addition to the foods we eat, there are other ways to keep the immune system strong:
Decrease stress. Stress can cause the body to increase cortisol levels, which if left unchecked, can damage the immune system. In addition, many people eat “comfort foods” to feel better (fast food, processed foods, desserts, etc.), but many of these foods have little nutritional value and weaken the immune system as well. Popular ways to decrease stress include the following:
- Watching funny movies
- Getting a hobby (crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, playing a musical instrument, etc.)
Jigsaw puzzles are an excellent way to relieve stress. They also provide a nice break from social media and provide a nice, relaxing way to escape from everyday life.
Get a pet. Pet owners tend to have lower levels of high blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-pet owners. One potential reason is dog owners take their dogs outside daily for walks, which is great exercise. Another potential reason is pets can be great companions, which can help a person feel better. Watching colorful fish swim in aquariums can be relaxing as well.
Go outside. Getting fresh air and vitamin D can help strengthen the immune system. Indoor air can be up to 60 times more polluted than outdoor air. Studies indicate a vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased susceptibility to colds and flu.
It may be harder to get vitamin D from the sun during winter months. Vitamin D supplements are available as well:
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This covid situation may get worse before it gets better. Seeing how its a virus, there may be even more variations coming in the near future. While many will opt to take a vaccine, it’s critical we remember to strengthen our immune systems as well.
The immune system is the first line of defense against illness and disease. By making an effort to eat nutrient-dense foods and keep our immune systems strong, we are one step closer to maintaining good health.
A strong body and mind go hand in hand. Pick up a copy of my books The Diet of Success: Healthy Eating Tips For Hard Working Professionals, and The Three Pillars of Strength: Increasing Your Physical, Mental and Spiritual Fitness. Both available on Amazon in paperback, eBook and audiobook formats.