There are many theories on boosting the immune system to ward off diseases, particularly during cold and flu season, when people are most concerned with avoiding illness when everyone around them seems sick.

But is there any truth in these theories? Let’s look at a few of the most common myths about your immune system and the facts you need to stay healthy all year round. Are they true or false?

True or False?

Eating more fruits and vegetables can keep your immune system strong.

True. It is not simply an old tale that eating fruits and veggies will keep you strong. Studies have shown that people who eat them regularly are healthier than those who do not. They offer a range of nutrients that can help your immune system fight viruses and bacteria.

Try to eat fruit and vegetables of all the colors of the rainbow every day to ensure you’re consuming a variety of antioxidants and phytochemicals, or plant-based nutrients, to fight off disease.

True or False?

Vitamins and supplements can help prevent illness and make you feel better faster.

This is partly true. A good multivitamin can help fill in any gaps in an otherwise healthy diet, but it is no substitute for high-quality nutrition from a range of all-natural foods.

Some people take high doses of Vitamin C to ward off colds, which can be very beneficial. Vitamin A is also important to the immune system, though it’s important not to take too much because the body can store it, leading to Vitamin A toxicity in larger doses.

Many companies are now selling cold prevention remedies with zinc, which promise to ward off colds or relieve symptoms more rapidly. Many of them are used in the nostrils.

While some of these products are beneficial in warding off colds, they have also been shown to cause potentially permanent loss of smell. Plus, not all colds and flu enter the body through the nose.

True or False?

Getting enough sleep can boost your immune system.

True. There’s a strong link between sleep and a healthy immune system. The main point is that it should be high-quality sleep—deep sleep that offers the body and mind refreshment and healing.

Most studies agree that the average adult needs 8 hours of sleep a night. However, recent studies have also shown that sleeping too much can negatively affect health.

Occasional insomnia should not be an issue, but if it becomes chronic, you should improve your sleep quality and duration. Otherwise, sleep deprivation can lead to feeling run down, weakening your immune system and making you vulnerable to disease.

Get into a good sleep routine of regular bedtimes and rising times, and see what a difference it can make to your health.

True or False?

Covering your mouth when you cough can curb the spread of germs.

False. This can help you stop the spread of illness but do little to help you ward off disease unless everyone in your household and immediate environment does the same.

Don’t forget that viruses like cold and flu germs can also survive on surfaces, such as doorknobs, phones, countertops, and more. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face, especially your nose, mouth, and eyes, when sick and around sick people.

True or False?

Looking on the bright side can boost your immune system.

True. A good outlook may be supportive of your overall health. One study of law students showed that their immune system was directly affected by their thoughts about their studies. People’s immune systems were more robust when they felt things were going well. When they were worried, their immune systems slowed. Therefore, having a positive attitude is good for not only mental health but also physical health.

Now that you’ve separated myth from fact concerning your immune system, you can use what you’ve learned to help strengthen your immune system and ward off disease.

We hope this information is helpful. At OC Sports and Wellness in Orange County, we understand the importance of balancing your health amidst a busy lifestyle. We offer convenient options for scheduling visits, texting, or video chatting with Dr. Sunshine. Let’s work towards your well-being! We invite you to reach out: 949-460-9111

Sports Medicine Orange County