Top 10 tips for building immunity against Covid-19 – and not just “hoping for the best”
By Mark Pettus, M.D.
If you ask anyone you know what they’re doing to protect themselves against the Covid-19 pandemic, they’ll probably recite the same list everyone else has heard: wearing a mask in public, washing their hands frequently and practicing social distancing. More often than not, they’ll probably add a fourth piece to that list: hoping for the best.
The first three pieces – the masks, the hand-washing and the social distancing – certainly are things everyone should be doing to safeguard themselves. But the part about hoping for the best frankly reveals a mindset of surrender that’s both troubling and unnecessary. The fact is, while we’re all vulnerable to infection, there are many things each of us can be doing, through our own nutrition and lifestyle choices, to dramatically enhance our immune systems and actively build our natural resilience against the coronavirus and other forms of flu and infection.
We’re learning a great deal about the metabolic risk factors that seem to place many at greater risk for covid infection and complications. These risks include being overweight, having a higher blood sugar, having a higher blood pressure and having other medical conditions that compromise our immunity. While healthy people still can become infected and very sick, the overall odds are much lower for those in good health and with consistent healthy lifestyle behaviors.
The following 10 tips can greatly improve your health, happiness, quality of life and immune resilience during these challenging pandemic times:
It’s all about self-empowerment. There’s no need to simply hope for the best and become completely helpless bystanders in the coronavirus pandemic. As is true of every big challenge that rattles our sense of stability, this is a time and an opportunity to take control of our own health and destiny in the best way possible, to consider how the food and lifestyle choices we make can truly boost our resilience against this stubborn virus and other infections in general.
Mark Pettus, M.D. is Director of Population Health and Community Care at Berkshire Health Systems