COLUMBUS, Ohio — “Immunity-boosting” has become a buzzword for many health products on the market. But can you improve immunity with a quick fix?
Some popular immunity-boosting myths are actually more of a bust, like chicken soup curing a cold or drinking orange juice for extra vitamin C.
"Sugar can actually shut down the immune system while your body processes it for up to 3 hours," says clinical nutritionist Sharon Brown.
"You never want to shut down your immune system.”
The immune system is getting a lot of attention these days as people try to ward off the coronavirus. But as nutritionist Sharon Brown explains, popping a pill or trying the latest trendy drink isn’t likely to do the trick.
"Most people don’t realize that 70% of our immune system resides in our gut," says Brown.
Food choices are by far superior to any other thing like a vitamin or a powder. Whole, natural foods have the power to improve the body’s immunity best. And the more colorful the better.
"If you’re going to approach foods and you’re looking for foods with vitamin C—stick with vegetables," says Brown.
"Things like bell peppers. They have 2/3 times the amount of vitamin C than a glass of orange juice does.”
Can the immune system be boosted? The short answer is no. There is no quick fix to improving it—instead, it’s a long game.
"Think about your immune system like a marathon you train for months ahead of time. That’s what you need to think about.” Long-term habits like exercise, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep is the golden ticket.
"This misconception of being able to take a pill or powder to fuel this body is just not true," says Brown.
"It’s fine to supplement once in a while, but your true immunity is a whole food, real food diet.”