Supporting your immune system

Lifestyle habits

Healthy lifestyle habits are the best way to support a healthy immune system.

washing hands

Wash your hands

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • You can use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Don’t touch your face.
man sleeping

Make sleep a priority

  • Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule.
woman stretching outside

Make time to relax

  • Find a way that works best for you to engage your body in a state of relaxation for at least 10 minutes each day. Options include belly breathing, meditation, guided imagery, yoga or Qi Gong.
  • Learn more at: livewell.learnitlive.com
woman on a walk

Get up and move

  • Walk or move your body for at least 20 minutes each day. It’s best if you can be outside in nature while following the 6 feet of physical distancing.
  • Avoid over-training. More isn’t always better.
dad and kid cooking

Eat healthful, whole foods

  • Eat 7 different brightly-colored vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Eat immune boosting foods such as salmon, green tea, bell peppers, kale, oranges, apples, onions, celery, berries, carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kiwis and garlic.
  • Reduce foods and beverages that have added sugar such as soda, junk food and alcohol.
woman drinking tea

Check your mindset

  • Limit the amount of news you watch, read and listen.
  • Write down 3 things that you are grateful for each day.
couple with tablet

Connect in creative ways while maintaining physical distancing

  • Engage in a random, conscious act of kindness daily such as send a text, social media message or email thanking, complimenting or encouraging a friend or colleague.
  • Complete a social phone call or online meet-up once weekly with people who are a source of positive encouragement.

Supplements

There are several supplements that could be helpful to support your immune system.

While there are no specific studies on use of these to treat COVID-19, they do support general immune health, which may be beneficial.

Here are the supplements that have the most evidence for immune support, the least amount of risk, are the most cost effective and easy to find:

  • Vitamin C
    • 500 mg two times each day
    • Talk with your doctor if you have a history of kidney stones.
  • Zinc (citrate, picolinate, glycinate capsules or gluconate lozenge)
    • 25 to 30 mg each day with food
  • Vitamin D
    • 2,000 IU each day with food

Call 612-863-3333 or sign in to your Allina Health account to schedule a virtual visit with an integrative medicine doctor or nurse practitioner at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing. He or she can give you a personal recommendation and support.

Source:  Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine, Institute for Functional Medicine and International College of Integrative Medicine
First Published: 05/10/2020
Last Reviewed: 05/10/2020