There is no time like the present to build your immunity.
Your body relies on the food and beverages you consume to do EVERYTHING it does for you. There is no way to get around the fact that nutrition is the single most important thing you can do to keep yourself healthy. This will not be the last virus of our time so now is the perfect time to start cooking and eating real food.
You know the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
I know what you are thinking? What about hand washing and staying in?! Yes, these are also key but it all starts with nutrition. Use this multi-pronged approach to cover all your bases.
Add good, clean food (and hands) + fresh air + balanced exercise + adequate sleep + positive attitude
Subtract (excess) news – stress – sugar
Equals better immune health!
The equation is simple and self-explanatory but if you want more details on the nutrition aspect, keep reading…
General immunity is linked to your ACESZ: Vitamins A, C and E + Selenium and Zinc.
These nutrients have been scientifically proven to assist in building immunity. All are involved in numerous processes throughout the body, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. When you reduce inflammation, free radicals and oxidative stress, you help your immune system stay strong. Plus, these nutrients work in concert with all vitamins and minerals.
Your body needs everything all the time.
So, get COOKING (you now have the time) and consider these tasty ingredients:
Vitamin A: Eggs, liver, carrots, dried apricots, broccoli, collard greens, kale, sweet potatoes, parsley, spinach, mango (think yellows and oranges)
Vitamin C: All peppers, guavas, kale, parsley, collards, green peppers, broccoli, watercress, strawberries, oranges, cauliflower, cantaloupe, blueberries
Vitamin E: Seeds, nuts, whole grains with the bran intact, spinach, broccoli, peanuts
Selenium: Brazil nuts are one of the best + fish & meats, eggs, brown rice, sunflower seeds, oats, dairy, lentils, cashews, bananas
Zinc: Oysters and other shellfish, meat, eggs, hemp and pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, almonds, whole grains and legumes
And it never hurts to add in these delicious things as well:
- Turmeric – curcumin acids are anti-inflammatory
- Oily Fish – omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory
- Ginger – anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
- Garlic and Onions – sulphur compounds aid the immune system
- Green Tea – polyphenols reduce inflammation and catechins are natural antioxidants
- Tulsi (aka Holy Basil) – broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, a long history of being able to aid in physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stressors, a protector of organs and tissues
- Unrefined (virgin or extra virgin) coconut oil contains lauric acid which has been shown to have anti-viral effects (please use in moderation for cooking and as you like on your skin and hair)
And what about the beverages? You know you need to stay hydrated for numerous reasons but remember, your body uses fluids to move nutrients in and toxins out. You must stay well hydrated to build immunity. In addition to water, sip the teas noted above or make a soup or some bone broth. Consider “spa water” by adding mint or cucumber slices to plain water for an added treat.
Now is NOT the time for added sugar and refined carbohydrates. These are devoid of vitamins and minerals and can easily lead to blood sugar spikes. When you spike your blood sugar your body automatically leaps into action to remove excess sugar from your system leading to excess fat and potentially low blood sugar, cravings, mood swings, and more poor food choices. A vicious cycle of bad things and lowered immunity.
Alright, hopefully you are inspired and agree that building your immune system can be delicious and nutritious.
A word on hand washing which appears to be like tooth brushing: short and distracted. Wash your hands for as long as it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday” TWICE. And do this often and then wash that phone. Better yet, disconnect from the phone in public places thereby keeping it cleaner and reducing your exposure to viruses and too much news and social media.
Now for a few cautions:
Zinc is getting a lot of press for the research linking it to new (unfinished) studies with COVID-19. Zinc lozenges are especially at the forefront as they bath the upper respiratory system as they dissolve. IMPORTANT: many lozenges contain high amounts of zinc and high zinc intake can cause a copper deficiency which can also suppress the immune system. It is a delicate balance you need it but not too much. Zinc can also impair the absorption of antibiotics. DO NOT use lozenges for more than a few days. Better yet, eat zinc (and copper) rich foods.
Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) is being sold on the internet but is dangerous to drink and does not combat coronavirus. The seller has received a warning from the FDA.
Colloidal Silver has been shown to have some health promoting properties (none related to coronavirus) but can have serious side effects. Do not consume this.
Bottom line: Eat a rainbow of foods to cover your ACESZ 😊, get fresh air and quality sleep, and reduce stress and known stressors. If you take a multi-mineral and vitamin, continue to do so. Adding extra supplements may help but quality is key and everything needs to be balanced. This should be viewed as a way of life, not a temporary solution because you need a strong immune system period.