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There's no cure for COVID-19, but these health tips may give you a better chance at fighting it

An ODU dietitian suggests several things you can do to strengthen your immune system.

NORFOLK, Va. — There are a lot of unknowns surrounding COVID-19.

Without a vaccine for it, you might be wondering how you can protect yourself from the virus.

Tracey Conder, a Dietitian at Old Dominion University said right now especially, people should focus on their nutrition.

“Sometimes we lose focus on our nutrition when other things are happening, but it’s when those other things are happening that we really need to focus on our nutrition,” said Conder.

Here’s her advice:

1) Make sure you’re getting enough fiber and protein. 

“Our protein builds our immune system. It helps build out antibodies, so if we’re not getting enough protein in, we’re not building our antibodies to help our immune system be strong,” said Conder.

“A great rule of thumb for protein is to consume half your body weight in ounces of water and grams of protein. For example, someone who weighs 150 pounds should have 75 ounces of water and 75 grams of protein.”

Conder recommends eating foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as almonds, avocados, walnuts, flax seeds, and salmon.

2) Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

“That’s gonna help flush out toxins. Anytime we can help get rid of the things in our body that don’t belong there, then we’re doing a positive thing for our body and we’re building our immune system, we’re making ourselves stronger,” said Conder.

3) Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.

“Sleep changes hormones that make us hungrier and crave foods that we shouldn’t have,” said Conder.

Lack of sleep limits the number of nutrients our bodies consume in order to combat things like a cold or the flu. 

Conder said it’s never too late to create healthy habits, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I feel like people are looking for something that they can control,” said Conder. “I know for me and my family, I wanna give us the best chance that we have of coming out of this as healthy as possible.”

One more tip: try not to stress too much. Instead, focus on the things you can control, such as following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, social distancing, and focusing on nutrition.

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