Yolanda Huo - March 19 2020

What Should You Do At Home To Improve Your Immune System During COVID-19?

Eat a variety of foods

1. Only the diversity of food can meet the human body's needs for energy and various nutrients. It is best to eat a variety of foods including cereals, vegetables and fruits, livestock, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, and soybeans every day.

2. According to gender and age, daily energy requirements are generally between 1600-2250 kcal as shown below:
18-49 year-old males: 2250 kcal
18-49 year-old females:1800 kcal
50-64 year-old males: 2100 kcal
50-64 year-old females:1750 kcal
65-79 year old males: 2050 kcal
65-79 year old females:1700 kcal  

The recommended amounts of various foods under different energy requirements are shown in Table 1.

Table 1 :Recommended intake of main types of food in different energy levels
(g / person-day) 

Increase food intake that is rich in high-quality protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, and zinc. 

1. High-quality protein: Aquatic products, milk, eggs, lean meat, and soy products.
2. Vitamin A: Orange and dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, pea sprouts, celery leaves, and fennel. Red and yellow fruits, such as mango, citrus, papaya, and hawthorn.
3. Vitamin C: Fresh vegetables and fruits, especially dark vegetables and fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, and strawberries.
4. Iron: lentils, quinoa and red meat.
5. Zinc: seafood shellfish, mushrooms, animal liver, and lean meat. 

(Source from: Ruba, 2019)

Eat on time, ensure three meals a day, and reasonably allocate energy. 

1. The energy provided by breakfast accounts for approximately 25% - 30% of the total energy of the day, and the time is generally between 6:30am - 8:30am;

2. Lunch accounts for approximately 30% - 40% of the total energy of the day, usually between 11:30am - 1:30pm;

3. Dinner accounts for approximately 30% - 35% of the total energy of the day, typically between 5:30pm - 7:30pm. 

(Source from: Michael, 2020)

Drink a small amount of water for many times daily 

Drinking water can ensure the timely transportation and excretion of nutrients and metabolites in the body, as well as keeping the body temperature constant. Adults are supposed to drink 1500ml - 1700ml (approximately 7-8 cups) of water daily. Warm boiled water is preferred, and light tea water also works well.

Sleep on time and ensure adequate sleep

Reasonable sleep can effectively improve physical function and improve the body's immune system. The average daily sleep time for adults is 7-8 hours, 8 hours for high school students, 9 hours for junior high school students, and 10 hours for elementary school students.

(Source from: Brandon, 2019)

Moderate exercise to reduce sedentary 

It’s important to stay active and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day to maintain healthy living. With many gyms and recreational facilities closed during this time, you may find it difficult to stay active. However, there are a variety of apps, workout programs, and online videos to help guide you through an effective exercise routine at home. Many of them require little to no special equipment at all to get your exercise and this will help reduce static living. Exercise actually boosts energy levels and releases endorphins that make you feel good resulting in less stress and boredom.

(Source from: Michael, 2016)


Michael, G.(2016). ‘Effects of exercise on immune function and risk of infection’, Mysportscience, 26 September. Available at: https://www.mysportscience.com/single-post/2016/09/25/Strategies-to-reduce-illness-risk-in-athl
(Accessed: 19 March, 2020).

Michael, H. (2020). ‘The top 20 nutrition myths of 2020’, Examine, 18 February. Available at: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-can-a-night-owl-sleep-better-4173000
https://examine.com/nutrition/awful-nutrition-myths/ (Accessed: 19 March, 2020).

Ruba, E. (2019). ‘Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and make sure that your food is balanced’, RAK Hospital, 4 April. Available at: https://www.rakhospital.com/eat-right-eat-light-ramadan-2019/eat-a-variety-of-fruits-and-vegetables-and-make-sure-that-your-food-is-balanced/ (Accessed: 19 March, 2020).

‘How can individuals increase their resistance through diet during the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic?’,(2020). Leawell,13 February. Available at: https://www.leawell.net/new-20200213113649.html(Accessed: 19 March, 2020). 

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