Five ways to boost your immune system amid coronavirus pandemic
DOT Desk:  It is definitely an eerie and trying time both right now. With coronavirus everywhere and more and more sections of the community going into social distancing and self-isolation mode there has never been a more important time to take care of yourself, reports The Advertiser.
 Essentially, our immune system is our body’s army; it works non-stop to protect us against foreign bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi, fending off illness and helping us to maintain our health.  And with so much uncertainty ahead of us, there has never been a more important time to take every measure possible in keeping our immunity strong.
Here are some ways to boost your immune system
1.Eat for immunity
 A real food diet is not to be underestimated when it comes to supporting and enhancing our immune function. Nothing is better than nutrient-dense fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices whole grains, legumes, quality proteins and healthy fats.
 Our program’s amazing nutritionist, Shahna, recently taught me that it’s also helpful to place a particular focus on foods that are high in immune-boosting nutrients and antioxidants like citrus fruits, berries and leafy greens.  Other foods that are particularly good for our immune system include raw garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, lemon, medicinal mushrooms and raw honey.
2.Manage/Reduce Stress Levels
 In such a stressful time, this is, of course, easier said than done. But always remember that prolonged periods of stress elevate your cortisol levels which can lead to inflammation. Stress can also decrease the number of white blood cells responsible for helping to fight infection, putting you at greater risk of virus and infection.  Stress is and always will be a part of life, but we need to have strategies in place to ensure it doesn’t get the better of us. Now is certainly a time to control the controllable and not be overwhelmed or overstressed by things out of our control.
 Regular exercise is vital for good overall health. Exercising improves your cardiovascular health, helps to lower blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of a number of diseases. It is important to note that exercising too intensely too often can have a negative impact on your immune system so it’s important to train smarter, not harder.
 Getting enough quality sleep is a critical factor in keeping our immune system healthy. As we sleep our body produces and releases cytokines – proteins that help to fight infection and inflammation. So to ensure you keep your immune system strong, aim for at least seven hours of quality sleep per night.
5.Practice good hygiene
 We have all been told to wash our hands properly with soap, use hand sanitiser and avoid touching our face. However, we should also be particularly mindful if we frequent places that are more likely to increase our risk of illness such as gyms, public transport and places with large crowds. Wipe down surfaces before you touch them, wipe equipment before and after you use it at the gym, avoid person-to-person contact. And perhaps now is a time to consider swapping your sweaty spin class for an home-workout.
 Of course there are no guarantees when it comes to avoiding coronavirus. It is simply a matter of making smart decisions that put the odds in your favour.