7 Ways Black America Can Prepare Immune System For Fight Against Deadly COVID-19 Virus

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Black America
Here are 7 ways Black America can prepare immune systems to fight against the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus as they are at higher risk. Photo courtesy of Nappy.co.

With coronavirus cases on the rise all over the world, people are looking for ways to boost their immunity. With Black Americans having higher rates of pre-existing health conditions like asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure, boosting immunity is of utmost importance.

While home remedies ranging from teas and tonics to using food as medicine have been endorsed by the elders for as long as can be remembered. As with most things, it turns out they were on to something.

With doctors fearing Black Americans aren’t getting adequately tested for the virus, it is up to them to be diligent on their own behalf. While studies show there isn’t a specific scientifically proven way to boost immune systems, there are practices which can be implemented to improve overall health.

Here are 7 ways Black America can prepare their immune systems to fight against the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus.

Eat a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables

When your grandmother said to eat a green vegetable with every meal, she was spot on with health experts. According to an article published by Harvard, there’s a connection between proper nutrition and immunity.

Aside from fruits, vegetables and whole grains, tea, turmeric, ginger, garlic and raw honey are just some of the things that should be staples in Black Americans’ households.

“If you take care of yourself, the immune system will take care of itself,” Dr. Timothy Mainardi, an allergist and immunologist based in New York City, told health.com.

Exercise Regularly     

Again, this is not a new concept, but it is one many Black America as a whole doesn’t heed. According to Harvard’s article, exercise “improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases.”

By promoting good circulation, Harvard said exercise “allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.”

In school Physical Education wasn’t a requirement for no reason. You can get ready for your Hot Girl (or Guy) Summer (even if its indoors) and help your immunity at the same time.

Don’t smoke and if you drink, do so in moderation

It has long been known the health risks of smoking, but with the COVID-19 coronavirus attacking respiratory systems, it could be even deadlier for smokers.

According to Forbes, this is a good time for smokers to try and cut down or quit altogether. Dr. J. Taylor Hays is the Director of the Nicotine Dependence center at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

“There’s not very much data at this point on COVID-19 in smokers, but we do know from reports from China, smokers seem to be over-represented in groups of people who have severe or critical COVID-19,” Hays told Forbes.

Now is not the time to puff-puff pass people!

Wash your hands and practice good hygiene

You’re probably rolling your eyes and saying, “If one more person tells me to wash my hands …” It may seem simple and like common sense, but as the elders say, “Common sense ain’t always common.”

Despite this mandate being cited over and over by health officials BEFORE COVID-19 even made its appearance, many Americans don’t do a good job of it.

“Washing your hands is an extraordinarily good way of helping one from getting sick, but it’s something that we don’t always do very well,” Dr. Mainardi said. His statement was underscored by a woman being interviewed on the local news who said she does wash her hands, but didn’t have the patience to do so for 20 seconds.

Use soap and water, unless there is no access to any. In that case, keep hand sanitizer to help kill germs.

Get enough hours of sleep

Most American adults don’t get enough sleep – and its detrimental to their overall health. “There’s an association with lack of sleep and getting sick,” Dr. Mainardi told health.com.

“Medical and surgical residents who would notoriously work 100-hour weeks during their residencies were at a much higher risk of not only getting an infectious disease, but also reactivation of a past disease,” he added.

So instead of subscribing to society’s popular philosophy that you must be on #TeamNoSleep to be successful, go against the grain and make getting some shut eye a priority.

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Keep your stress level low through meditation and/or prayer

Humans are holistic beings and studies are showing more and more how stress on the mind impacts the body. Stress can manifest itself and contribute to physical maladies.

With a deadly pandemic floating around, stress and anxiety is understandable magnified. The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) released some suggestions on what people can do to decrease stress amidst COVID-19.

Their recommendations actually echo several of the aforementioned suggestions.

“In dealing with stress, the CDC recommends taking breaks from consuming new stories about the pandemic, taking care of your body, including taking deep breaths, stretching, and meditating, eating health, well-balanced meals, exercising regularly, sleeping, and avoiding drugs and alcohol,” MD Mag wrote.

For many Black Americans faith is extremely important. Therefore, praying and meditating can also decrease stress by tapping into the comfort of a higher power.

Beware of Being Scammed By Supposed Immune Boosting Products

While vitamins and other herbal supplements can be helpful, there are a lot of products on the market that claim to boost immunity. Be sure to do your research and assess your personal health and needs before spending so much money on products that may not work.

“The vast majority of nutrients we need we can get from the food we eat, and vitamins can get expensive.” Dr. Mainardi said, adding if one does need them, a multivitamin is a good place to start.

In an op-ed written by former CDC Chief Dr. Tom Frieden, he advises increasing one’s Vitamin D intake to help fight the coronavirus.

“Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of respiratory infectionregulates cytokine production and can limit the risk of other viruses such as influenza,” Dr. Frieden wrote. ” Adequate Vitamin D may potentially provide some modest protection for vulnerable populations.”