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How to Strengthen Your Immune System
There's a lot to see, do and enjoy this fall in the Kansas City area and as kids return to school. As you keep your family's health in mind this month, these easy steps can help boost your immune system naturally — and they go right along with your healthy lifestyle.
Vitamin A to Zinc: Where to Start
Getting a variety of essential vitamins and minerals is important for a strong immune system, and eating a well-rounded diet gives you much of what you need. Make sure your family eats plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
Instead of worrying about getting lots of each letter of vitamin, incorporate these immune-boosting foods:
- Vitamin B6: Found in chicken, salmon, bananas and hummus
- Vitamin C: Found in citrus fruits, strawberries, watermelon, bell peppers, tomatoes and greens
- Vitamin D: Found in fish, cheese and milk — and sunshine!
- Vitamin E: Found in peanuts, almonds and sunflower seeds
Most importantly, talk with your primary care doctor if you're worried that you aren't getting the nutrition you need. Plus, read more about vitamins and COVID-19 on our blog. Can supplements protect against coronavirus?
4 Tips to Bolster Your Body's Defenses
In addition to what you eat, other lifestyle factors can affect how well your body fends off illnesses. Put these tips into practice to give your immune system a boost:
- Don't skimp on sleep. Getting your eight hours is important for overall health — and may also have a powerful effect on how your immune system functions.
- Kick habits that don't serve you. Smoking (and drinking alcohol in excess) can make your body less effective at fighting off disease, so now's a good time to quit.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can affect how your body functions, and obesity has been linked to weakened immune functioning.
- Stay active. Physical activity may also help your immunity, and we recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate activity (such as brisk walking).
Of course, despite our healthiest habits, we sometimes still catch colds and bugs. If you or a family member is sick, AdventHealth Centra Care offers rapid strep, flu and COVID-19 tests, and the support you need to get back to life. Visit Centra Care to make an online reservation. If you need to find a primary care provider who's right for you, visit our primary care page.