How to Build Up Your Immunity During the Pandemic

May 14, 2020
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Now that many states are slowly reopening, and most people will be exposed to more people, it's more important than ever to keep your immune system strong.

Dr. Donna Casey with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas says hygiene is your first line of defense. Washing hands frequently and wearing a mask in public is important now. 

"There are two large studies showing that vitamin D3 and Zinc can lower your risk of death by almost 50%," said Dr. Casey. 

Sunshine is the easiest way to get Vitamin D, but Dr. Casey says if you can't get outside, you can take a Vitamin D3 supplement. Zinc is found is many foods, such as meat, beans, nuts, seeds and dark chocolate.

"We're recommending people take a Zinc supplement. 25 mg for children and 50 mg for adults and that can even be the lozenges you see at the check out counter at the supermarket," Dr. Casey said. ​

Since stay-at-home orders began, many folks have been turning to comfort foods and alcohol, but Dr. Casey says that can have a negative affect on your immune system. 

"Alcohol is a toxin to your bone marrow where you make your white cells to fight infection, so we recommend against drinking too much," said Dr. Casey. "People are eating too much sugar and sugar is not good for your immune system." 

Uncontrolled stress can suppresses your immune system as well. 

"So going for a walk outside and just getting a little sunshine can do wonders for you," said Dr. Casey. "When you exercise and move around, you circulate your lymphatic system which is part of your immune system, so you don't want to sit around and watch movies all day. We really want to circulate your lymph system and just walking will do it."

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