I think it’s important to note that the odds of dying from the coronavirus is extremely remote, especially if you are healthy and under the age of 60, and the vast majority of folks that are contracting the coronavirus are recovering. So, most healthy people should not be in a state of fear or panic regarding this epidemic and if you are not sick now, you still have time to shore up your defenses and work on improving your immune system. The following advice can help with that.

In light of the coronavirus, it’s a good time to “boost” your immune system.

Question: Will doing my best to revive, improve and boost my immune system keep me from getting the coronavirus?

Answer: Yes and no.

Yes, doing what you can to be as healthy as possible will boost your immune system and position it to ward off an attack from a nasty mob of microscopic foreign invaders. It’s just another good excuse to switch to a whole food plant-based lifestyle which creates a stronger, better working immune system — you rarely, if ever, get sick.

And no, no one can promise that if you follow some straightforward basic health tips, known to enhance your immune response, you are guaranteed that you won’t contract the virus. However, wisely supporting your immune system will increase your odds of fighting off and winning the battle to defeat the virus — at the gate. Let’s be clear: right now, nothing can guarantee you’ll be totally safe from this new deadly virus. No one can be sure if one’s body will have the necessary reserves to win the internal battle that may be going on inside you.

When the virus (of any kind) makes it to your neighborhood, you’ll want to be in the best position possible to fight the “internal battle” to fend off these microscopic menaces! So, it makes sense to do what we can do to be well prepared. It could be a matter of life or death.

Here are my top-five recommendations of things you can do to improve your immune system and give yourself the best chance to win your personal battle against the coronavirus or any virus, for that matter.

1. Get enough sleep: If you’re feeling tired, go to bed earlier — starting tonight. You don’t know how much time you’ll have and once the virus shows up in your neighborhood, it’s too late to prepare. The National Sleep Foundation recommends: “To stay healthy, especially during the influenza season, get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night. This will help keep your immune system in fighting shape.” And, remember: Even if you become sick with the virus or catch the seasonal sniffles, you’ll be able to bounce back faster if your body is well rested. Easy to understand and makes sense. So, enjoy getting your restorative rest!

2. Eat fruit every day: Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin well known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system. Because your body cannot make vitamin C, it must come from the foods you eat every day. Go to the store today and buy oranges, apples, pears, plums or cherries, any good thing that will make us all healthy and looks good to you. Focus on citrus fruit if possible. Take a couple of fruit breaks during the day. Vitamin C helps to stimulate both the production and function of many types of white blood cells that fight infection and foreign microscopic invaders that mean us harm. Fruit containing Vitamin C also helps your body to produce important antibodies: proteins that bind invading microbes to neutralize them. In other words, Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for healthy immune system response. So, eat some fruit every day.

3. Eat vegetables every day: Vegetables provide nearly everything the body needs to keep it functioning at the highest level and in turn will make sure the immune system is ready for war. Veggies contain vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and some protein. Vegetables provide all the building blocks necessary to build a “great wall” designed to keep out the evil invaders. So, remember to eat more fruit and vegetables every day and you’ll be better fortified against any disease, including the coronavirus. A salad a day is a good start.

4. Exercise: Just 20 minutes of walking a day will help keep your circulation and lymph system in good working order — which is critical to your immune system. Helpful hint? Always park your vehicle in the back of the parking lot, forcing you to take some extra steps — and here is a bonus of unintended consequences. You’ll notice now that you’ve removed all the pressure and possible frustration associated with trying to find a “good parking spot.” Instead — relax, go where there is no competition, to the area where the cars aren’t and where you’ll find plenty of room. It’s smart! Walking a little helps a lot.

5. Eat mostly a whole food plant-based diet: This lifestyle will lead to your best overall health, strengthen your immune system, and provide the strongest protection against pathogens. Add some local wild salmon if you like. Homework: Research plant-based healing on the internet.

And, of course: Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and avoid touching your face and avoid large crowds when possible. One more thing: Be kind, don’t worry and keep a positive attitude!

Pacific County resident John Wilkins is author of “To Thine Own Health Be True” and founder and CEO of Our Passion For Health, a nonprofit public health organization dedicated to providing public health solutions for the betterment of mankind. For support and encouragement go to www.ourpassionforhealth.org. Send your questions and comments to john@ourpassionforhealth.org

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