Tips to improve your immune system amid COVID-19

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Vitamins have been flying off store shelves with people using them to boost their immune system.

However, Dr. Rupal Gohil, an internal medicine doctor, tells KHON2 that eating right can do much more than what a supplement or vitamin can.

“Right now, we’re at a time where a lot of us are not leaving our houses. When we get bored, sometimes we eat a lot of maybe not so healthy foods,” said Gohil. “But this is the time that you want to be eating as healthy as possible, so that you are keeping these vitamin levels as optimal as possible.”

Gohil said not much is known about COVID-19 and what it takes for our bodies to fight it. However, two of the vitamins she said have been proven to boost your immunity for cold viruses are vitamin C and Zinc.

“So if we take other viruses like the cold virus, which can sometimes be a type of coronavirus, we do tend to see improvements in the duration of a cold with vitamin C supplementation,” said Gohil.

However, she said you shouldn’t just focus on these specific vitamins and minerals. You should focus on getting all of them.

“When I say well balanced, we’re not focused on one specific nutrient or one specific vitamin,” said Gohil. “It’s trying to get everything so you’re not deficient in any one specific vitamin or nutrient.”

Some foods that she suggested could give you a boost include fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and beans. But eating healthy is just part of it.

“Anytime we’re sick, nutrition is very important. Keeping active is very important. Hydration is also very important,” said Gohil. “Right now, since we are a lot more sedentary than we usually are, I would try to aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day.”

Another important thing to keep healthy is water. She suggests drinking at least two liters a day to keep you healthy and hydrated.

But when it comes to supplements and vitamins, she does have a word of warning.

“At a time like this, I know folks are looking for ways to help their immunity and looking for ways to prevent themselves from catching this infection. However, you have to be very careful with supplements that are out there because a lot of them, most of them, are not proven.” said Gohil.

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