Should I be worried about Coronavirus?
By Jennifer Simmons, MD
Like many of you, I am at home with my family trying to navigate this new reality in the best way that I can. As the Coronavirus continues to raise anxiety and fear, I firmly believe that this is an opportunity for us to reevaluate the way we live our lives and make better health choices for our future.
For me and my family, I see this as a time to strengthen our relationships. This is also a wonderful opportunity to improve health. Health is not found in a hospital or a doctor’s office. Real health is created at home; use this time quarantined at home as an opportunity to improve your health.
With regard to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), research shows that Coronavirus has a far more profound effect on the elderly and people with chronic diseases like lung disease, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Now is the time to take steps to improve these conditions and strengthen your immune system.
As we all ask ourselves, “should I be worried about Coronavirus?”, here are 10 tips for how everyone can make their immune system stronger.
Coronavirus Health Tips to Improve Immune Function:
A good night’s sleep is one of the best medicines for the immune system! Sleep deprivation actually depresses our immune systems, which is why it’s so important to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep per night.
It’s best to fall asleep by 10 pm since your body makes the most melatonin from 10 pm to 2 am. Avoiding blue light from your screens will also optimize melatonin production, which is required for healthy immune function. I recommend wearing blue light blocking glasses when the sun goes down.
As a society, we have vilified the sun. In doing so, we have become a vitamin D-deficient society. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D, which helps to strengthen the immune system and is vital to proper immune function.
Getting outside during the day has profound immune-boosting benefits. So, leave your phone behind and try to get out for a walk outside every day!
3. Whole food, plant-based diet
An anti-inflammatory diet will help to strengthen your gut microbiome and ensure that your gut bacteria are well-balanced. The health of your gut bacteria directly affects the health of your immune system as 80% of our immune system lies in our digestive tract. It is important to maintain a healthy diet for healthy gut functioning.
This means eating a whole food, plant-based diet, and avoiding processed and highly-processed foods like sugar, gluten, and dairy, which can deplete important immune-supportive nutrients like vitamin C and zinc. Alcohol also suppresses the immune system so be sure to moderate your alcohol intake. Focus on eating 6 to 9 servings of colorful vegetables and fruit every day. Fermented foods are a great natural source of probiotics and they help to diversify the gut bacteria, which helps to strengthen the gut.
4. Meditation or mindfulness practice
Meditation and mindfulness help reduce cortisol levels and make us more resilient to stress. When we lower cortisol in our bodies, our immune system functions better. Increased stress has been shown to decrease immune function so it’s crucial for our health to become more resilient to stress.
Meditating just 10 minutes a day is all you need to make a significant difference in your stress levels and resiliency.
Fasting helps to induce a process in the body called autophagy. Autophagy is the process by which the body eliminates dead and damaged cells. Fasting-induced autophagy also helps get rid of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
One effective and sustainable way to fast is following the 16/8 regimen. During this type of intermittent fasting, you can eat during an 8-hour period of time every day and fast for the following 16 hours. It’s actually easier than you might think, and the health benefits are profound!
6. Cold showers
Cold showers put us in a state of hormesis. Hormesis is when we expose our bodies to something that can be harmful to the body but, at low doses, actually produces a benefit to the body instead of harm.
Cold showers help to increase natural killer cells, which strengthens the immune system. We recommend showering in cold water a few times a week for up to 2 minutes at a time. You can start slow and work your way up to 2 minutes!
7. Medicinal Mushrooms
Chaga and Reishi are two medicinal mushrooms that are scientifically proven to keep the immune system strong. Both of these mushrooms are immunomodulators so they boost the immune system when needed and also slow it down when it is overactive.
Chaga helps with the formation of beneficial cytokines that help to regulate the immune system. Chaga also helps to stimulate white blood cells to fight off bacteria and viruses. Reishi helps to increase the activity of natural killer cells that fight infections in the body. These mushrooms can be consumed as supplements or infused into your favorite beverage like coffee, tea, or cocoa. Among my favorites are the reishi coffee and tea by Organo Gold. I also love mud water (MUD/WTR), which is a coffee or tea substitute. You can purchase these items with exclusive discounts here:
8. Vitamin C, Zinc, and Liposomal Glutathione
Vitamin C, Zinc, and Liposomal Glutathione each help to support the immune system.
Vitamin C helps to improve immune health and is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C can be found in peppers, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, mango, oranges, lemons, limes, spinach, and strawberries.
Zinc is a required mineral for the proper functioning of the immune system. Zinc helps in the formation and development of immune cells such as natural killer cells and neutrophils. Studies have shown that zinc shortens the duration of the common cold and flu. Zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds, legumes, nuts, and animal proteins.
Liposomal glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants produced by the body. It helps protect the body from oxidative stress due to dietary and environmental free radicals. Liposomal glutathione is available as a supplement.
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9. Infrared Sauna
Using an infrared sauna raises the core body temperature and increases the production of white blood cells, both of which help fight off pathogens such as viruses.
Plus, there’s nothing like a sweat session in a sauna to get you feeling more peaceful and relaxed!
Washing your hands thoroughly (back, front, in between fingers, and under nails) with soap for a duration of at least 20 seconds is the best way to keep pathogens from entering your body. Sing the happy birthday song twice while washing your hands to hit the 20-second mark.
Implementing these practices on a daily basis will not only help to keep your immune system strong but will also help to increase energy, decrease inflammation, and reduce unnecessary weight.
Bonus tip: Minimize EMF exposure!
A lot of research is showing that EMF (electromagnetic fields) exposure is actually causing viruses to replicate. Easy ways to minimize EMF exposure are to turn off your WIFI router before you go to bed and to minimize cell phone use as much as possible.
Even though we can become overwhelmed with the 24/7 news cycle, we can all choose to stay calmly informed while using these Coronavirus health tips we have right at our fingertips to strengthen our immune system.
The products, supplements, vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc. mentioned in this post or any of my videos and articles are not intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, or prescription or over the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The information above is provided for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice.