GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Dr. Tammy Born Huizenga of the Born Clinic in Grand Rapids has a few simple ways that you can boost your immune system during the COVID-19 outbreak.
*Take Supplements, including Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Zinc
Dr. Born Huizenga said most Michiganders are likely deficient in Vitamin D.
"I really think Vitamin D is a key player," she told FOX 17 News. "So many of us walk around with nutritional deficiencies. and especially in Michigan in the winter. I rarely find someone with enough vitamin D."
She recommends getting your Vitamin D levels tested before taking high doses of the supplement.
As far as Vitamin C, she advises taking 1,000mg twice a day. She recommends 30mg of Zinc per day.
She also recommends Elderberry, Echinacea, or a good quality multi-vitamin.
*Eat a healthy diet
Dr. Born Huizenga stresses the importance of well-balanced diet, with lots of fruits, vegetables and lean meats. She also advises to stay away from processed foods.
"If our immune systems is primed, if our bodies are primed, you know every cell needs enough nutrients or enough nutrition to work, and really most Americans don't have such a great diet these days," she explained. "I think we should all stay away for dairy products, especially ice cream right now, limit the sugar intake, especially simple sugars that don't really have any nutritional value. But instead eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I always say eat a rainbow a day."
She said avoiding sugar will cut down on inflammation, while eliminating dairy will cut down on mucus production.
"Diet is key. You know 70% estimated of our immune system is in our intestinal tract. So right now you don't want to eat something that might have an inflammatory effect."
*Focus on a healthy lifestyle
Dr. Born Huizenga says that involves reducing stress, getting good sleep and spending time with loved ones.
"Make sure you're staying connected. Those social connections are so important. Take time to do something that makes you happy. Just think about anything you can do for stress reduction. Whether it's read a book, watch a happy movie," she told FOX 17 News. "But get your sleep, stop smoking, keep your sugar levels low, get a little bit of exercise every day, don't over do, but get out and go for a walk, get some sunshine, all those things are very helpful."
While there is no medicine to prevent or treat COVID-10, having a strong immune system can beneficial, no matter the illness.
"We really want our immune systems to be on guard and really vigilant right now," she explained. "I think to put this whole picture together, eat right, get your exercise and enough sleep everyday, if you have a weakend immune system consider taking some nutritional IVs, take a good multivitamin and mineral, and stay happy, stay connected, pray a lot, with all these things together I think we're going to get by all right."