What’s Being Overlooked—Coronavirus and Boosting Immunity
There’s a lot we don’t know about the coronavirus. All my fellow control everything-anxiety ridden personality-types take a deep breath with me...
Before we take extreme action or feel helpless, let’s look at what we can do.
The goal is always to stay ahead of the curve and create some sense of certainty as we prepare for the likely spread of disease - this or any others, to be honest.
What we know is that protecting and boosting your immune system and practicing good hygiene is the best way to protect yourself and your community, no matter what age you are.
Having a strong reserve of white blood cells, high nutrient levels, low inflammation, and a healthy microbiome are all essential for the immune system. There are no negative side effects to getting in the practice of boosting your immunity!
Here are some of my best recommendations for what to add to your life and do your best to avoid:
Immune Boosters to Add
- Tons of nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich, colorful, fresh food. This may be a good time to get on that whole foods protocol you’ve been thinking about.
- High Vitamin C (did you know that the peels of organic citrus have the highest amounts? Grate these over your salad or in your porridge!). If you’re feeling sick, triple up on your vitamin C (up to 10,000 mg per day - that's over 10 packets of Emergen-C so skip the packets and get the pills or a concentrated powder of ascorbic acid vitamin C). Vitamin C doesn’t help to prevent a cold, but it will speed it up and boost immunity so you can get better quickly.
- Immune-boosting supplements like Elderberry, vitamin D + K, zinc, probiotics for babies, kids and adults (this one is specifically for respiratory health), and medicinal mushrooms like Lion’s Mane and Turkey Tail.
- Add superfoods to an already healthy diet (ie. spirulina, greens powder, chia and hemp seeds, etc.). If you want to add in juicing or other liquids to make this easier, check out what I do on a daily basis.
- Stress-relieving practices like meditation, yoga, and exercise. Remember: motion moves emotion, and as long as you don’t over-do it, it’s good for your immune system too!
- Even though you’ve heard this twenty times over, I’ll reiterate: wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds (and wash your phone too, since it’s pretty much your 3rd hand!) And since I’m sure you’ve never done this because we’re learning we are all yucky, here’s how.
- Get solid sleep. Sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to the immune system. One poor night makes a difference, but chronic depletion takes its toll. If you need help, we have excellent supplements and tools to help with sleep. (Did you know that inadequate sleep can increase inflammatory markers by 40%?!)
- Drink lots of water and add lemon! Hydration is key for maintaining a healthy immune system & flushing out toxins or bugs. Lemon gives an extra boost of vitamin C.
Avoid or Minimize
- Sugar. Science shows that sugar has been shown to deplete the immune system by down-regulating white blood cells and other immune markers. Even 1 teaspoon (4 grams of sugar) can deplete the immune system for up to 6 hours! Rethink that nightly chocolate.
- Dairy. Diary tends to be phlegm producing and compromising to the respiratory system and digestive tract. Coronavirus is a respiratory disease, so making sure your respiratory system isn't inflamed or congested is important.
- Wheat. Anything compromising to your digestive tract since it’s been shown that up to 70% of our immune system resides in our gut. Wheat has been shown to be one of the most difficult proteins to digest and causes inflammation in the gut, even when someone’s not “allergic” to it.
- Stress. Chronic stress depletes the immune system like none other. This is why we are approaching this preventatively rather than a state of panic. RIGHT?!
- Too many stimulants (caffeine, soda, etc), sugar, or processed carbs, which throws off your blood sugar. Science shows that we are much better adapted to handle stress when our blood sugar is balanced.
To get support around the nitty-gritty, whether to gain more specific tools to strengthen your immunity, improve your sleep, decrease stress, improve discipline with implementing healthy practices, or whatever else, please reach out to us.
My entire team at Nutritional Wisdom sees clients remotely too, so if you are holed up in your basement, we’re here for you. Please help spread the word of health and share this with loved ones!
The takeaway here is that there’s no better time to take your health seriously and be the most vital version of yourself!