With cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading across the world, you may wonder if there are certain immunity-boosting vitamins or medications you can take to decrease your chances of catching COVID-19. Some common immune-boosting supplements consumers turn to are zinc, vitamin C, green tea, or echinacea. No recent evidence has suggested that taking these items will help prevent people from catching COVID-19. Additionally, taking high doses of certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C or zinc, can even cause nausea and diarrhea especially if they exceed the daily recommended doses.
The strength of your immune system depends on many factors, including your stress levels, sleeping habits and diet. Instead of spending money on supplements, the best way to avoid catching this virus is to avoid exposure and maintain a healthy lifestyle. While there currently is no vaccine or medication that will decrease your chance of getting COVID-19, there are certain steps you can take to protect yourself. Here are five ways to protect yourself against catching COVID-19:
- Clean your hands often – The biggest protection against catching COVID-19 is maintaining good hand hygiene. Hands should frequently be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or long enough to sing Happy Birthday twice. Be sure to get the front and back of your hands, in between fingers and underneath your fingernails. Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may also be used if soap and water is not available. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub in the sanitizer until dry.
- Avoid touching your face – COVID-19 is spread person-to-person through respiratory droplets that can enter your system through your mouth, nose or eyes. Avoid touching your face so you don’t spread any virus droplets that may be on your hands.
- Avoid close contact with those that are sick – Distance yourself from other people in your household and community. Try to maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and others. For more social distancing recommendations, read up on some of our tips.
- Clean and disinfect – Frequently used objects should be disinfected regularly. Some items include countertops, door handles, light switches, electronic chargers, phones and computers, toys, water bottles, purses or bags, etc. Try to avoid using the same utensils, plates or cups with others unless they have been thoroughly washed. Consider keeping disinfectant wipes in areas you visit frequently such as your house, car, and office.
- Reduce stress levels, maintain good sleeping habits, and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet – While following these guidelines don’t guarantee you won’t catch COVID-19, maintaining a good balance of each can help to improve your immune system and improve your overall health. Aim to get six to eight hours of sleep each night, try to get all vitamins and minerals directly from food sources, such as fruit and vegetables, and reduce stress levels by exercising, meditating, or picking up a hobby.
As always, Ochsner cares about your health and safety. If you start to feel any symptoms that cause concern, reach out to your doctor or primary care provide via MyOchsner.