Why isn’t anyone talking about building up our immune systems? A healthy immune system will, in most cases render a virus as a temporary pathogen, break it down and expel it. That’s what most of us will do. As we’re hearing/reading current news, many people may get symptoms, feel unwell for a few or several days and get better. People with compromised immune systems are of course, at greater risk.
Most of our immune system, 70-80%, is in our guts (stomach and intestines). If we give our body “right and proper” fuel, REAL FOOD, a variety of fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, healthy protein (vegetarian or healthy beast), and supplement what we don’t get in our diets, we are stimulating and strengthening our immune system and decreasing the risk that a pathogen/virus will take hold and do damage.
Immune building foods
Aim for a diet high in plant-based natural foods with plenty of phytonutrients and avoid overly processed, sugary and heavy meat diets.
Probiotics/Fermented foods create a healthy microbiome/gut: yogurt (sugar-free), kefir, kimchi, miso, tempeh, kombucha, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar. Foods that enhance our internal environment and feed probiotics are prebiotic foods: beets, leeks, bananas, tree fruits, soybeans, burdock root, asparagus, maple sugar, whole rye and whole wheat to name a few. Rye and wheat contain gluten, so are not advisable for everyone.
Mushrooms: shiitake, Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane (just to name a few) all stimulate the immune system.
Foods with antioxidants strengthen our immune and help to detoxify: whole grains, tomatoes, watermelon, garlic, onion, peppers, apple, berries and other fruit, greens. Fresh pineapple, beets, cucumbers, apricots, almonds, zucchini, artichokes, avocados, beans, collard greens, celery, coconut, cranberry, watercress, dandelion greens, grapes, raw honey, kale, mangoes, oats, broccoli, okra, papaya, parsley, radishes, walnuts. Notice, ALL REAL FOOD.
When our diet is deficient in amino acids, phytonutrients, antioxidants, then by all means, supplement. At the top of my list of valuable supplements would be a probiotic. If disease starts in the gut, then so does health. A diversified microbiome helps our body to break down, manufacture and utilize nutrients that our body needs. Probiotics have been found to “induce an immunologic response that may provide enhanced systemic protection of cells from virus infections by increasing production of virus neutralizing antibodies.”
Vitamins C, A, D, and E help to reduce inflammation. I would keep Lyposomal C handy to take right away if any symptoms occur. C and quercetin tend to work well together.
Zinc assists our cells in the uptake of nutrients. Good zinc foods include: cowpeas, beans, lima beans, milk, brown rice, yogurt, oats, cottage cheese, bran, lentils, wheat, again, to name a few. Again, wheat/gluten and dairy may not be right for everyone. Zinc lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking viruses. Use them several times a day in the event of ANY cold-like symptoms. Lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx.
Green/Superfoods such as wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella and barley grass will give you a big bang for your buck as they are alkalizing, stimulate red blood cells and help to neutralize radicals.
Other health factors
Adequate rest, hydration (half your body weight in ounces), exercise, hugs, play, laughter all contribute to a healthy individual. I would add daily meditation to this list (vitamin M :-).
And of course, wash your hands, bump elbows instead of shaking hands, follow the CDC recommended behaviors to reduce risk of exposure. But you don’t need to see this again from me.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.