Boosting Your Immune System
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to persist, there are several strategies that can help boost your immune system and can help prevent COVID-19.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. A healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods is vital for a strong immune system. The vitamins and minerals within fruits and vegetables play a role in boosting your immune system, too.
- Get enough sleep. Your body needs rest to recover from everyday stress and lack of sleep negatively affects the immune system. Try to establish a sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day and getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise increases your resilience so you can fight off infection. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, or 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. Remember that some activity each day is much better than none at all. See more information about how much physical activity is needed for adults.
- Limit alcohol and quit smoking. If you smoke, find support by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. If you drink, do so in moderation. Tobacco and alcohol both negatively impact your immune system and can contribute to complications if you do get sick.
- Find ways to minimize stress. Develop good coping mechanisms to combat stress. Try walking, going outside, meditating, and focusing on doing things you enjoy.
- Wash your hands frequently and especially before eating or touching your face.
- Consider vitamin supplementation. Vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Zinc, play an important role in supporting a healthy immune system. Adequate nutrition can supply the recommended intake of vitamins and minerals, but some people may benefit from supplementation. For information on the recommended intake of vitamins and minerals, see our Vitamins and Minerals Chart (PDF) or talk to your healthcare provider.
More on Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be vital in keeping you strong and healthy. The health benefits of Vitamin D:
- Boosts your immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses
- Promotes calcium absorption and bone health
- Reduces inflammation
- Assists nerve function throughout your body
Foods that naturally contain Vitamin D:
- Fatty fish - salmon, trout, or tuna
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
Other foods with added Vitamin D:
- Cow, soy, oat, and almond milks
- Many breakfast cereals, yogurt, margarine, orange juice, and soy products
The body also makes Vitamin D when it is exposed directly to sunlight.
Vitamin D deficiency is common, check with your healthcare provider to see if you should add a Vitamin D supplement to your daily routine.