How to Stay Healthy During Self-Isolation

Portrait of smiling young woman with glass of orange juice Kiko Jimenez/Westend61

Dr. Yusra Al-Mukhtar shares the quick and easy lifestyle changes you can make to stay healthy and bolster your immune system.

Our balanced diets and exercise routines have probably gone out of the window as we try to adapt to this new normal.

However, now is an important time to protect our health and boost our immunity.

Dr. Yusra Al-Mukhtar, dental surgeon and aesthetic clinician at The Dr. Yusra Clinic, has come up with some quick and easy changes that you can make to your diet and lifestyle to stay healthy and bolster your immune system during this unprecedented time. 

Reduce your levels of stress

“Stress increases the levels of cortisol in the body – and high cortisol leaves your body more vulnerable to chronic and autoimmune diseases,” said Dr. Yusra. “Reduce stress by exercising to release endorphins and serotonin, by going for a walk to raise your heart rate and limiting your exposure to negative energy – which may mean reducing your time watching the news or reading worrying articles online.” 

Increase your intake of vitamin C

Vitamin C is the antioxidant that deals with collagen production and regulates immune responses. It can also help neutralize free radical damage to the skin. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 90mg.

Increase your levels of vitamin D

Getting 3000IU of vitamin D each day has been shown to reduce the progression of a viral illness to acute respiratory distress. It can be found in fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, cheese, and foods fortified with vitamin D, such as some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.

Boost melatonin 

Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that is produced in the night to help us sleep. It has been demonstrated that melatonin can improve outcomes in influenza and reduce the progression of viral infections to acute respiratory distress syndrome. So, make sure to prioritize getting a good night’s sleep! 

Incorporate selenium into your diet

“Dietary supplements containing selenium up to 200 μg/d have the potential to be used as safe, inexpensive, and widely available adjuvant therapies in viral infections,” the expert noted. “Dietary supplementation with selenium-containing multi micronutrients may also be useful in improving supportive care and strengthening the immune system of patients suffering from newly emerging viral diseases.”

Amp up your intake of immunity-boosting foods

Examples of a few foods that are great at boosting our immune systems are garlic, ginger, turmeric, spinach, broccoli, citrus fruits, and almonds.

Choose kindness

“Compassion and kindness are both forms of medicine – boost your immune system by sharing positivity. Your mind is powerful; empower your mind to empower your body,” added Dr. Yusra.


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