Coronavirus: How to Help Your Immunity

What can you do to bolster your immune system and stay in your best health? We have ideas.

Keeping your immune system healthy and functioning at its best is important for your ability to fight viruses.

We sat down with Dr. Hakim Bouzamondo, head of R&D for our Nutrition business, to find out what we all can do to enhance immunity and keep you and your loved ones in the best health.

First, we’ve all seen the best advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the global health community. It’s as simple as it is powerful: Wash your hands thoroughly. If you’re sick, stay home. And if you’re not, keep your distance from those who might have been exposed to, or are infected with, COVID-19 while they recover.

I’ve washed my hands. Now what?

The best pieces of advice for general health are applicable here too.

Get your rest. Exercise regularly. Eat right. Stay hydrated.

The last two are especially crucial.

Seventy percent of your immune system resides in the gut. Supporting immune health through good nutrition, proper rest and hydration is important for fighting off infections.

How can I eat healthier?
Choose prebiotic and probiotic foods that support a healthy gut flora. This includes foods such as fruits, vegetables, kefir, yogurt and kimchi, to name a few.

What else is on my plate?
Vitamin and minerals — particularly A, C and E, as well as zinc — play an important role in keeping the immune system strong so that it can fight off foreign invaders. Fill each plate with produce, lean meats, dairy and healthy fats, and you should get what you need to help keep your immune system strong.

Now that I’m eating well, best way to wash it down?
Your body needs fluids and electrolytes to function at its best. That’s especially true when you’re suffering symptoms like fever, coughing, diarrhea and vomiting, which can easily dehydrate you. Proper rehydration helps with recovery.

Got it: Hydration helps alleviate dehydration symptoms.
That’s not all. Healthy hydration levels can help your nose by maintaining the mucous membrane and decreasing irritation when coughing, sneezing and even just breathing.

How Hydration Can Help You Recover From a Virus

What’s my best option?
Drinks with electrolytes like our own Pedialyte have been recommended by the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics for decades to relieve symptoms associated with virus-related mild to moderate dehydration in both adults and kids.

Sodas and drinks with a lot of sugar like sports drinks aren’t good choices for combating dehydration symptoms of flu-like viruses because their higher sugar content can make stomach problems like nausea and diarrhea worse, and they are not scientifically designed for rehydration with an optimal balance of glucose and electrolytes.

OK, but how do I know if I have COVID-19?
The CDC says if you’re experiencing symptoms of coronavirus — including fever, cough, shortness of breath 2-14 days after exposure — seek medical attention immediately.

Anything else?
Today is a great day to start taking the best care of yourself. Don’t skip on great nutrition, hydration, rest and exercise. Help others do the same. And, for the latest information from the CDC, please click here.