Friday, March 27, 2020 / by Vinny Steo
We are in the middle of a pandemic. As we start to adjust to life in the age of novel coronavirus, we are all looking for ways to help our bodies combat infection and boost our immune system. Doctors around the world are working hard to create antivirals and vaccines. The question is what can we do as individuals to stay healthy?
Sleep when you’re tired. By not sleeping enough we hurt on the immune system. When we sleep, our bodies produce a protein called cytokine. We sleep less we produce less cytokine. This protein targets infection and inflammation which helps in the immune response. When we sleep less, we lower our body's ability to ‘respond’. If sleep escapes you, try taking a couple of short 20-minute power naps to help mitigate sleep deprivation’s effects on the immune system. Taking naps and getting proper rest is one of the easiest ways to boost your immune system. If your looking for help there is a great YouTube channel by Jody Hatton using binaural beats.
A healthful diet and are important to maintaining a strong immune system. Getting rid of sugar biohacks your immune system by removing a food source for the “bad” bacteria in your gut that can kill off your good bacteria. Autoimmune problems and digestive issues are telltale signs of gut imbalance. Ideally, your gut should be 85 percent good bacteria or probiotics. The health industry preys on a lack of knowledge. We already know reducing foods with processed sugar, salts and preservatives will help in weight reduction and overall wellbeing. Sugar, processed meat, vegetable oils, and alcohol tend to be inflammatory foods, so they busy the immune system, leaving other problems in your body unaddressed. That's why it can be helpful to remove these inflammatory foods if we want a healthy immune system. Being at home for extended periods is a great time to try new recipes and use fresh ingredients. Trying fresh fruits and veggies, lean sources of protein is a good place to start.
A healthful diet and are important to maintaining a strong immune system. Exercise can be one of the best things to do to boost immunity. But we must be careful because too much exercise is stressful on the body and can be tough on our immune system. So just keep the other tips in mind: Keep stress low, and if you're tired, then rest. If you haven’t exercised in a while consult your doctor first. Stretching is a great way to ward off stress. Low impact walking is a great way to break the monotony of being at home while enjoying spring.
To support your immune system, you can eat immunity supporting foods like citrus fruits, garlic, broccoli, and spinach. If your immune system is already weak, it can also be helpful to supplement with key vitamins and minerals that may have become depleted like Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, and Zinc. The most effective way to get high doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin B and Zinc is intravenously (IV). It is important to note that people have found vitamin D helpful in relieving stress through more clinical studies are needed.
Our bodies have a stress hormone called cortisol which is released when we have a flight or fight response. Stress will cause this inflammatory response which leaves us more vulnerable to disease and infections. I have been fortunate to study martial arts my entire life. One of the great tools in martial arts is breathing. We call it diaphragmatic breathing or belling breathing. When stressed I have found it extremely helpful to stop and concentrate on belling breathing. There are many meditative techniques out there to try. Start slow, make it enjoyable, and do it regularly.