NEW YORK (CBSNeweYork) - While there's a lot of hype on the internet about what to do about the coronavirus, experts say put that aside and instead focus on common sense scientifically proven ways to boost your immune system now.
"If you're not sick right now you are ahead of the game," said Dr. Rosanna Perretta of Urgent Care of New York. "You can be starting to do these things right away."
Perretta told CBS2's Mary Calvi the best time for immune boosters to work is before you feel symptoms. Doing so today can heighten your defenses against viruses.
There are a number of steps to do take:
1. Optimize your Vitamin D levels through sunshine exposure, vitamin-rich foods and supplements at the 1,000 IU level.
2. Promote the growth of natural antibodies through probiotics.
3. Give your body a boost with minerals like zinc.
Studies have proven vitamin C can help boost our immune system, but unfortunately our bodies do not produce it naturally. We have to get it through a supplement or ingest it through our foods.
"Some things that have shown to be helpful in some studies are vitamin C supplementation, that's 200 milligrams or higher," said Perretta. "They sell 200, they sell 1,000, it really doesn't matter which one as long as it's supplemented above the normal level in like a once-a-day vitamin."
Vitamin C rich foods are also recommended, including broccoli and oranges. Ginger is considered a strong antioxidant and natural boost.
Local doctors and neighborhood pharmacists have been inundated with questions about the best techniques.
Their answer is to stick to what we know works best.
"Practicing the things that people should have been practicing all along to avoid the regular flu virus," said Anthony Ciarletta, owner of the Grassy Sprain Pharmacy. "Washing your hands, if you're sick stay home - things that public officials are telling us to do. We're kind of scared into doing them at this point."
"Do these things in advance, think about these things in advance and you'll be at your top level," said Perretta.
While no quick fix or cure, these steps can help keep immune systems in as peak condition as possible.
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