With the continued threats of both the Corona Virus and the flu, it is more important than ever that we put our health first. We have been hearing that the COVID-19 virus is most dangerous to those with compromised immune systems. The problem we are facing now is that the majority of our population has put themselves at risk by their lifestyle choices. Smoking, drinking alcohol daily, being overweight, eating or drinking large amounts of sugar and processed foods, and not exercising all put extra strain on the immune system.
The good news is that there are many things you can do right now to start protecting yourself, starting with your diet:
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. These foods will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs. A study in older adults showed that boosting fruit and vegetable intake improved antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine, which protects against certain strains of the pneumonia virus.
Get rid of the sugar. Eating or drinking too much sugar shuts down certain immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks.
Go for the garlic. Garlic is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent and immune booster. Because heat deactivates a key active ingredient, add garlic to foods just before serving.
Eat medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake. A recent study showed that a concentrated extract of shiitake enhanced immune function in women with cancer.
Eat foods high in Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and zinc. Go for a wide variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, peppers, and carrots.
Besides diet changes, there are lifestyle modifications and a few supplements that can also help protect our respiratory system which is where the Corona Virus attacks:
Avoid tobacco smoke. It undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone, as well as middle ear infections in kids.
Drink less alcohol. Excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections.
Catch some rays. Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D. In the summer, a 10-15 minute exposure (minus sunscreen) is usually enough. However, depending on where you live, the sun might not be strong enough to get you what you need. Low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infections. Supplementing with a minimum of 2000 IU daily may be necessary if you live in areas with little or weak sunlight.
Consider probiotics. Studies show probiotic supplements, aka the good bacteria, reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. This type of bacteria can also be found in certain fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
Taking certain supplements in the following amounts can also help:
Daily: 1000 mg
When sick: 3000-4000 mg / day
Daily: 400 mg /d
At start of feeling sick: 2400 mg, 3 times per day
At start of feeling sick: 75-100mg as zinc gluconate lozenges once per day
Use Immune boosting essential oils. Designed to support healthy immune functions, Mindful Mixtures SHIELD contains a proprietary blend of essential oils known for their anti-viral and anti-microbial effects. Ginger Grass, along with Niaouli, Oregano, Black Pepper, Frankincense and Thyme offer a fragrant, natural and effective way to help boost and protect overall body wellness.
Lastly, do your best to get regular, moderate exercise … even a 30 minute walk each day can help your immune system fight off infections. Work on getting 7-7.5 hours of sleep each night and watch your stress levels. Watching the news on TV or reading about the latest virus outbreak on social media is not going to help … instead, put on your favorite ROM-COM or other lighthearted film as laughter has also been shown to keep that immune system healthy and strong!
Stay safe and healthy!
XOXO – Tami
PS: If you have any questions or would like some recommendations on the best supplement brands to use, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.