Now that the Covid vaccine is becoming more widely available, you’re ready to take the plunge so you can get back to spending more time with your loved ones. The great news? These easy steps ensure the vaccine triggers higher immunity with fewer side effects.
Munch on some Brazil nuts.
These tasty nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral crucial for immune function. In fact, one study revealed that taking 200 mcg. of selenium for 30 days made participants’ vaccinations 54 percent more likely to be protective. And all it takes is two Brazil nuts to get that amount!
Schedule your shot for the morning.
Book your appointment before 11 am, if possible. Research at the U.K.’s University of Birmingham found that people who received morning vaccines produced up to four times more protective antibodies than those vaccinated later in the day. Experts suspect that higher morning levels of certain hormones help optimize the body’s immune response.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Plenty of solid sleep in the days leading up to your Covid vaccine appointment can make your immune system response 44 percent stronger, per University of Pittsburgh research. For a sleep assist, try 3 mg. of melatonin. British research reveals it reduces nighttime awakenings by 30 percent and boosts antibody-producing cells. One to try: Irwin Naturals Melatonin plus 5-HTP & Rhodiola (Buy on Amazon, $16). Note: Check with your healthcare provider before supplementing.
Crack a joke or two.
In a British study, cheerful folks were 66 percent more likely to produce antibodies post-vaccine than less-happy people. Experts say a sunny outlook enhances activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which boosts immunity.
Work your arm muscles.
The day of your appointment, make time for some exercise — and be sure to get in a few bicep curls! British researchers found that women who stimulated their arm muscles before getting vaccinated had a stronger antibody response — meaning their virus protection was more robust and longer-lasting.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.