7 Ways to Strengthen the Body’s Immune System to Prevent COVID-19 Infection

A prime immune system has an important role in preventing COVID-19 infection. There are several ways you can do this, from getting enough rest time to managing stress well

The Indonesian Ministry of Health recorded an increase in positive cases of COVID-19. Apart from the XBB variant, Indonesia has also detected new subvariants, namely EG2 and EG5. Based on data from the Ministry of Health as of December 6 2023, the average daily COVID-19 cases increased by 35-40 cases.

So, there are various ways you can do to prevent transmission of COVID-19. One of them is by improving the immune system. So, how do you improve your immune system to avoid COVID-19 infection?

1. Get enough rest

A quality night’s sleep is the simplest way to strengthen the immune system. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need at least 7-9 hours of sleep every day.

Without enough sleep, the body cannot produce large amounts of cytokines. In fact, cytokines are a type of protein to fight infection and inflammation which effectively creates an immune response. Well, these cytokines are produced and released while we are asleep.

Adequate rest can also foster the production of T cells in the body. T cells are a group of immune cells that play an important role in the immune system against viruses. T cells will attack and destroy virus-carrying cells. Apart from that, quality sleep can also improve the immune system’s response to disease threats.

2. Exercise regularly

You can also strengthen your immune system to fight the corona virus through exercise. The benefits of exercise are very diverse, one of which is that it can improve the body’s immune system. Exercise can stimulate the performance of antibodies and white blood cells. White blood cells are immune cells that fight various diseases.

Through exercise, white blood cells can circulate more quickly. As a result, these cells can detect disease earlier. Interestingly, exercise can also help remove bacteria from the lungs and respiratory tract. This condition can reduce the risk of contracting flu or other illnesses.

What about the intensity? According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Physical Activity and Adults, adults (18–64) should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity in one week. It could also be 75 minutes of high intensity aerobic physical activity a week.

3. Consume balanced nutritious food

Balanced nutrition is a daily food composition that contains nutrients in types and quantities that suit the body’s needs. This is done by paying attention to the principles of food diversity, physical activity, clean living habits, and monitoring body weight regularly, in order to maintain a normal body weight to prevent nutritional problems

4. Foods that support the immune system

You can also strengthen the immune system through foods that are good for the immune system. For example, broccoli and spinach. Broccoli is rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E. This nutritional content can strengthen the body’s immune system.

Meanwhile, spinach is almost similar. This green vegetable is rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin A. These nutrients are also needed by the body to strengthen the immune system.

Apart from spinach and broccoli, there are still other foods that we can consume. For example, garlic, turmeric, fruit (oranges, lemons, kiwi, berries, guava, and papaya), seafood (fish, shellfish and oysters), and yoghurt.

5. Avoid or do not smoke

Whether nicotine or electronic cigarettes, whether passive or active smoking, exposure to nicotine is very detrimental to the immune system. Nicotine can increase levels of cortisol (stress hormone) which reduces the formation of B cell antibodies and T cell antigen responses (a group of cells in the body’s immune system).

6. Limit alcohol consumption

Alcohol can indeed kill the corona virus, but on the surface of inanimate objects, not inside the body. Excessive alcohol levels in the body can affect the immune system. Therefore, limit or avoid excessive alcohol consumption.

7. Manage stress well

Stress can trigger the body to continue producing the hormone cortisol. High levels of the hormone cortisol in the body can weaken the immune system. Therefore, when stress attacks, try to manage it well.

You can spend time doing hobbies, being active in socializing, doing relaxation techniques, or exercising. Make no mistake, exercise can also slow down the release of stress hormones, you know.

So, you already know how to strengthen your immune system to ward off the corona virus that causes COVID-19 Infection. You can also consult a doctor to find out the right treatment and prevention.

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