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Adlen Robinson: Boosting your immune system during this time of uncertainty
orange juice

You can’t turn on the television, radio, or open any news site on your computer without seeing an update on the latest numbers with regards to the coronavirus. While it’s unsettling, it’s important not to panic. Someone should tell that to the hundreds of people I have seen lately rushing to stock up on toilet paper and water among other things.

I do understand the fear of not being able to find what we need to take care of basic necessities. I think the most important thing all of us can do right now is to focus on staying healthy and keeping our immune systems strong. 

I know the experts keep talking about the importance of washing your hands with soap and water, and of course that is important — it also happens to be something I thought we all learned as children and then taught our children. Still, there are lots of other things you can do to stay healthy and boost your immune system. Here are just a few things you can do and make sure your loved ones are doing.

Stay hydrated. When you are healthy, drink plenty of water. If you get sick, drink even more water. Water is essential for keeping your body healthy. And remember, if you are thirsty, you are likely already dehydrated.

Eat clean. Try to eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible, along with lean meats and wild caught seafood. Avoid processed and fast food as much as possible. If you usually eat lunch out, start bringing your lunch to work. Since the health experts are encouraging us to stay home as much as possible, why not make cooking dinner and eating together a priority in your family?

Drink lemon water and ginger tea. Lemons have so many properties that can help boost your overall health. Fresh ginger is also so good for you. Making ginger tea is simple. Just peel some fresh ginger and cut it into coins. Pour boiling water over the ginger and let it steep for several hours or all day. Strain into a glass container and refrigerate. Drink shots of the ginger tea first thing in the morning and throughout the day.

Drink turmeric tea or take turmeric supplements. There are so many health benefits to turmeric, they are almost too many to list. Turmeric fights inflammation and helps your body fight off infections. Make turmeric tea with fresh turmeric root the same way you make ginger tea. Just peel, cut into pieces and pour boiling water over. Allow to steep and then strain and store in the refrigerator.

Exercise. Even a brisk walk is good for you and can help boost your immune system. Spring is just around the corner, and we are lucky to live in a county where we have so many lovely parks and walking trails.

Get enough sleep. So many people just don’t get enough sleep at night. Health experts say you need at least eight hours of sleep at night and some say as much as nine hours is optimal. When it comes to getting a full night of sleep, make sure your bedroom is not too hot — the colder the better. Also make sure your room is completely dark. I have to have white noise when I sleep and an overhead ceiling fan.

Get some vitamin D. It seems like all we have is rain, but soon spring will be here — Friday, to be exact. Natural sunlight is so good for us. Plus, it just feels good. After all of the rain we have had, I am so looking forward to some warm days filled with sunshine.

Get enough vitamin C and zinc. Both have been shown to help boost immunity and help shorten certain illnesses. Of course citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C — try juicing your own and mixing the juice with sparkling mineral water for a refreshing and healthy drink. Lots of foods are rich in zinc — raw oysters, lean meats, beans, yogurt, pecans and seafood, just to name a few.

I know we are living through some strange and even scary times right now. My thoughts and prayers are with our readers — I hope all of you stay healthy and if you do get sick, I hope you recover quickly. Let’s do what we can to give our bodies what they need to fight off illnesses. 


South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” Email her at adlen@adlenshomematters.com.