Silver Lining of the Coronavirus & Boosting Your Immune Health!
from our printed April 2020 edition
by Beth Guidry Hoffman
Because of the uncertainty of vaccine safety, many people choose to arm themselves against disease by boosting their immune systems. Eating a supercharged, healthy diet, adding natural supplements, along with quality sleep and cutting down on stress are some of the ways.
Remember, fear and panic are negative emotions that will only tax your system. Go for a walk in the fresh air to boost your mental health and lower stress. Your pooch will benefit by having more walks, too. When forced to spend more time indoors, try simple yoga postures or basic stretching. If you’re used to being more active at a gym, a mini trampoline can easily be delivered and is a low-cost alternative to exercise equipment. Spending time with family, baking, watching movies, and reading are great de-stressors. Understand the things that are within your control that can boost your odds against this virus if you were to encounter it.
For those not familiar with food as medicine, or how exactly to boost your immunity, perhaps this is the silver lining of the covid-19 crisis. It’s time that insider health information moves into the mainstream for all. The elderly and immunocompromised, especially, stand to gain from learning this, if they or their caregivers don’t already know. Protect your elders. Protect yourself. We don’t need to be sitting ducks living in fear or playing Russian roulette with a potentially deadly virus. The following food and supplement tips can boost immunity now.
When it comes to diet, watch the junk food, especially sugar, at this particular time.
Eat whole foods as much as possible. Avoid processed foods and generally anything that comes in a box. Also know there is a delicate balance of bacteria and viruses that already exist in and on your body (your microbiome). “Good health starts in the gut. Your digestive system is full of bacteria that belongs there.”(1) To keep it that way, you’ll want to eat probiotic foods daily. The first and foremost probiotic food is yogurt, of course. Add fruit, seeds, and nuts to plain yogurt (avoid yogurt with added sugar). Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink that is more potent than yogurt. Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), the Japanese seasoning Miso, and the increasingly popular fermented green or black tea drink, Kombucha, are other probiotic choices.(2)
Glutathione plays a crucial role in immune function. Foods known to produce glutathione in the body are part of a healthy, healing diet, and are especially recommended now: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and of course, kale! Radishes, turnips and watercress are a few more. Milk thistle and selenium come in supplement form and can be obtained at a health food store.(3)
Avoid processed sugar. Especially elders and the immune compromised! During these next few weeks, try to satisfy your sweet tooth naturally with fruit or maple syrup sweetened treats. Your immune system will stay stronger longer.
There are so many non-pharmaceutical immune-boosters — use any or all of them, in any combination: high-dose vitamin C, vitamin D, turmeric, elderberry, astragalus, echinacea, goldenseal are just a few you may recognize. The covid-19 threat is the very situation where these can be most helpful. Please visit the New England Biomed Center website for a dosing chart and more supplement suggestions.(1)
There’s a reason cases of flu spike in winter. In addition to being in enclosed spaces, lack of exposure to the sun reduces vitamin D levels. Don’t be afraid to supplement beyond winter this year, since covid-19 may be hanging around awhile. It’s the prudent thing to do right now. The same for taking extra vitamin C. ♦