We're in a new reality with COVID-19, and while we all know to wash our hands, avoid touching our face, and practice appropriate social distancing/sheltering in place, what else can you do proactively to pump up your immune system during this time? I've aggregated the best tips I've read and included them from you below (from a variety of sources including Dr. Christian Barney, Dr. Joseph Mercola, and epidemiologists whose names I can no longer recall as I've now read so many articles and blogs! Captions, and any errors, are mine):
+ You're Sweet Enough Already: Avoid excess sugar and processed foods as these can create inflammation in the body and suppress your immune system’s ability to fight off potential infections. Focus on vegetables and clean proteins.
+ Sweet Dreams, Darling: Try to consistently get 8 hours of quality sleep to allow your body proper time for recovery and optimal immune function
+ Move It, Baby! Exercise helps boost the function of the immune system which will help your naturally fight off any potential infection.
+ Nature, Baby! Time in nature can not only restore one's soul, but can also offer protective benefits when it comes to reducing stress and bolstering one's immune system.
+ Chill Out, Cutie-pie! Stress is one of the biggest things that weakens your immune system. Using things like meditation or anything else that helps you de-stress can significantly increase the function of your immune system
Beyond these basic hygiene and lifestyle recommendations you can also use the following things to naturally boost your immune system and make your body better able to fight off any ‘bugs’, including viruses.
Here are the top performers:
- Zinc: Supports "effective function and proliferation of various immune cells," lowering mortality in the elderly by 27%. Also keep zinc lozenges on hand at the first sign of a sore throat.
- Vitamin C supplementation: A LOT. I like time-released 1000 mg per day. I take 2 with each meal, for a total of 6000 per day. Increase further if feeling under the weather (see: Dr. Marik's Sepsis Treatment Protocol).
- Vitamin D supplementation: 5000 IUDs per day (preferably in combination with K2).
- Beta-glucan: Reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies.
- N-acetylcysteine: Encourages glutathione production, thins mucus, lowers your chances of influenza infection and reduces your risk of developing severe bronchitis.
- Elderberry extract: Known to shorten influenza duration by two to four days and reduce the severity of the flu.
- Spirulina: Reduces severity of influenza infection and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies. In a human trial, spirulina significantly lowered the viral load in patients with HIV infection.
- Moringa: This superfood supplement is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help treat cancers, prevent disease, and protect your brain.
- Glucosamine: Upregulates mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS), reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies.
- Lipoic acid: Helps boost type 1 interferon response. As explained in a 2014 paper:31
If you can only afford a few or you hate taking supplements, based on my research (NOTE: I am NOT a doctor), I recommend prioritizing Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc and Beta-glucan.
It's also a good idea to have an oral thermometer as well as a fingertip pulse oximeter (blood oxygen saturation monitor) at home so that you can monitor both if you do start to feel sick. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Harvard Medical Center: Coronavirus Resource Center
Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization
To your health! Let's all love and support one another through these trying times. XOXOKate
Certified Professional Coach Kate Buckley is committed to facilitating personal growth and systemic transformation. An intuitive and deep listener, she specializes in helping both individuals and organizations reframe their stories in order to reclaim their life—transforming circumstances in order to thrive!