There is a lot of fear, stress, and angst rapidly spreading around the world at present. The World Health Organization (WHO) has just recently declared coronavirus a global pandemic and while adding to media hysteria is the last thing on our agenda, we have been talking with our wider community about ways we can protect ourselves from any virus by doing what our bodies do best; boosting our natural immunity system. What’s really scary about COVID-19 is the unknown, but giving in to fearmongering and panic should be the last thing we’re doing.
First of all, let’s talk about Fear & Stress. These emotions, according to Bruce Lipton in Episode 2 of Transcendence, serve to suppress our immunity and also make us less intelligent and easier to control. While we cannot control what is happening externally, preserving your own mental sanity is of critical importance at this time and we have some tips on that below.
While the numbers are fluctuating, scientists, experts, and health officials are saying that if you do happen to contract coronavirus, the chances of it being a fatal case are, according to WHO, currently around 3.4%. However, what needs to be considered when we read these statistics is that it is based on total diagnosed patients to deaths. And it is reasonable to assume that there are many people who have not been formally diagnosed so this would serve to reduce the death rate significantly. This is highlighted in a recent article from The New York Times with a mathematician who studies disease outbreak.
What we can’t quite understand is why everyone is bulk-buying toilet paper, to the point of chaos in supermarkets, but not stocking up on Vitamin C. So here are 11 ways to boost your immunity during the coronavirus outbreak.
1. Reduce Stress & Fear
Bringing calm to your inner environment in a time of panic and fear is a critical strategy. The easiest way to do this is to regularly practice deep diaphragmatic breathing and extend the exhalation of your breath. According to Dr Libby Weaver from Transcendence, Episode 2 this is a scientifically verified practice that will help calm your nervous system and bring peace and calm to your mind and body.
2. Replenish Your Stores of Vitamin C
Let’s start with the basics, when was the last time you had Vitamin C? You might have had an orange for breakfast, or a tablespoon of our favorite Camu Camu powder in your morning smoothie, but when boosting your immunity a little extra never hurts. This essential vitamin is a potent antioxidant that supports epithelial barrier function against harmful pathogens at a cellular level. Impaired immunity and susceptibility to infections is a common symptom of Vitamin deficiency, so whatever you’re protecting your body from this season, it’s wise to up your dosage. There’s plenty of sources for the water-soluble vitamins, so we’ve broken down a few that we love to absorb.
3. Up Your Zinc Intake
Our bodies require minerals, organic materials that cannot be synthesized within our body, for essential functions. Zinc is one of these minerals, important to the body in a wide variety of roles. It is needed to make proteins and DNA, our genetic make-up, but also aids the immune system in fighting off invasive bacteria and viruses. Zinc can come in tablet or supplement form, but there are great sources of the mineral available in our diets, such as sustainably-caught fish and legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and beans.
4. Dose Up On Immune-Boosting Herbs
Instead of panic-buying the country’s supply of protective masks, why not add a few of these tried-and-true herbal remedies to your cabinet. Echinacea, Elderberry, Andrographis, and Astragalus have all been praised for reducing the severity and duration of illness when a disease takes over, however, it is vital to note that no research has currently been conducted in regard to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
5. Serve Nourishing Meals To Make Your Immune System Flourish
Hippocrates famously said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” and we don’t disagree. By eating nourishing foods rich in all the essential nutrients for boosting immunity, our bodies can develop the tools they need to ward off sickness. Turmeric-based recipes are great to use for warding off any nasties. We also love this Immunity-Boosting Strawberry Smoothie as a healthy dose of superfoods and tonic herbs for breakfast, or our Immune-Boosting Hearty Root Vegetable Soup for the whole family to enjoy.
6. Revitalize Your Hygiene Habits
Did your mother ever drum into you to cough into your elbow rather than your hand?
Now’s the time to brush up on that. Make sure you wash your hands, regularly, as disease is often passed on through touch. Do not use a hand-drier, but opt for a paper towel or clean cloth. WHO advises staying at least 3 feet away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth – this is habitual and hard, we know! Australian authorities even recently recommended using your EFTPOS or credit card where possible, rather than manually handling cash. If you are showing signs or symptoms of any fever or illness, it’s best to get checked out by your doctor or local fever clinic.
7. Knock Back A Glass of Fire Cider
Jalapeno, horseradish, onion, and apple cider vinegar isn’t my cocktail of choice, but the immune-boosting benefits of this nutrient-packed fire cider are worth drinking. It has broad-spectrum antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, praised for centuries for warding off colds and cases of flu. A shot a day keeps the doctor away, so make up a big batch of our recipe to keep in the family fridge.
8. Channel Wim Hof and Embrace Cold Exposure
There is no evidence to suggest that cold showers will cure coronavirus, I must stress that this is a preventative measure for general conditions, but channeling your inner Wim Hof can do wonders for your immune system. What may begin as 30 seconds of a cold shower first thing in the morning can build to running Mount Kilimanjaro in nothing but your shorts. The Iceman, as he is otherwise known, has been the subject of many medical trials that show his combination of cold exposure and breathwork influence Autonomic Nervous System activity and innate immune response.
9. Meditate to Avoid Stress and Anxiety
Meditation is a wonderful tool for avoiding stress and anxiety, this is becoming common knowledge. What is less known, is that long-term stress and anxiety can have disastrous implications for our immune systems. When we are stressed, our bodies release adrenalin into the bloodstream but lose efficacy to fight off antigens like viral infections. No studies have been conducted to measure if this will have an effect on COVID-19, but the range of benefits coming from meditation makes it a practice worth adopting all the same.
10. Embrace Old Wives Remedies
They’re tales passed through time, that you probably picked up from your grandmother, but they’re still around today because they actually work. Include a tablespoon of Manuka honey and coconut oil in your daily routine for powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties, just as you would drink hot lemon, honey, and ginger drink when you’re feeling under the weather. A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water before your meal is good for probiotic gut bacteria, which in turn can aid in immunity. You can even make your own essential oil spritzer with eucalyptus and tea tree or lavender to spray on yourself and your kids in public areas. This natural concoction is strong enough to destroy pathogens and viruses.
11. Avoid Hysteria and Fact-Check Your Sources
With the global population swept up in the distress of coronavirus, and many media outlets doing little to help, it pays to avoid the hysteria at any costs. Fact check any information you see online with reliable sources, and if you’re seeking out information make sure you return to these same places. The World Health Organization has up-to-date information, advice on self-isolation and mask-usage, an entire section dedicated to myth-busting, and every other piece of information you may wish to know. If you’re traveling anytime soon, make sure to check out advice and restrictions from your local border authorities.
Take caution, plan carefully, act responsibly, and look after yourself and keep calm!
It’s more important than ever to be taking care of you physical and mental health. If financial stress is starting to impact your well-being now is the time to contact the Sunlife team – we are here to help.
Written byfor Food Matters