What is happening?
COVID-19 is spreading fast. As I am writing this, over 140,000 people have died and there are over 2 million cases worldwide. Everyone is wondering, “what is happening?” Besides wondering about daily life, and how in the world am I going to teach both of my children, and work, and keep my house clean, and cook meals…??? I am also wondering, how can I reduce my risk of severe illness or even death from this deadly virus? What are some easy (because let’s be real, I don’t have a lot of mental capacity for big change right now) ways that I can increase my immunity? I am sure many of you are asking the same questions!
COVID-19 enters the body through a very specific metabolic pathway. The virus binds itself to a protein which then affects multiple systems in the body including blood pressure and blood sugars. As soon as the virus gains entry, there is a cascade of metabolic reactions that cause inflammation. When we have high blood sugars, high blood pressure, or pre-existing inflammation (like arthritis), the effects of the virus are highly multiplied. This is what makes hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and inflammation risk factors for severe symptoms related to this virus.
There are many ways to increase our immune systems in the midst of this pandemic. One of the most important ways is by using good, nourishing foods. Much of your immune system is in your gut. Some experts say up to 95% of our immunity is in our digestive system! There are some easy ways you can help your gut health today!
- Eat a little bit of a probiotic containing food EVERYDAY!
- Eat tons of fruits and vegetables for an antioxidant and phytochemical immune boost! Think fresh, but frozen works well right now if you are trying to stock up.
- Limit sugar. All of our body systems are weakened when we include too much sugar too often.
- Use a lot of herbs and spices in your cooking!
- Vegetables in the broccoli and garlic family may have extra benefits for immunity. Eat lots of cauliflower, brussel sprouts, onions, and garlic!
- Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement to help you fill in the gaps!
- Reduce exposure to toxins. You may also want to read this article about helping your body detox!
What can you do TODAY to help reduce your risk?
There are so many simple changes you can make to help your body stay well! If you have diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome or inflammation, make sure your numbers are at goal. If they aren’t, consider simple ways to change your diet. Switch from processed carbohydrates and sugar to whole grains. Maybe increase the amount of fresh vegetables you are eating. Possibly reduce the amount of sodium you are using and use fresh herbs and spices instead. Pick one or two of the above options to improve today! Your health will thank you!