How to Protect Yourself From Coronavirus
As everyone takes action to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we want to remind you of the importance of taking care of your immune system.
Physical distancing and washing your hands are important, but let’s not forget that a strong immune system is critical for protecting your body from infection. We all need to focus on proper nutrition, sleep, stress management, and gut health to maintain our health.
But let’s first look at what COVID-19 is and how it is different from regular FLU Virus.
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is one of seven types of known human coronaviruses. It is important to understand that different types of related viruses can cause chickenpox, smallpox, and monkeypox. Further, different coronaviruses cause different diseases in people.
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus causes SARS and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus causes MERS. COVID-19, like the MERS and SARS coronaviruses, likely evolved from a virus previously found in animals. The remaining known coronaviruses cause a significant percentage of colds in adults and children, and these are not a serious threat for otherwise healthy adults.
All viruses accumulate mutations over time and the virus that causes Covid-19 is no different. Therefore mutations, now changed, are harder to identify and control.
How is Covid-19 spread?
This coronavirus Covid-19 is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing.
This means that the air will not infect you, but all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average. Everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious.
The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs).
The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.
What You SHOULD NOT DO
Obviously, we all are affected by the mass hysteria created with consistent media coverage. However, perhaps more hysteria should be placed on both how our immune systems can be strengthened to avoid/fight off this and other viruses and why immune systems are compromised, thereby rendered more defenseless.
It is no secret that immunocompromised persons are more likely to have serious effects from any virus. On the other hand, those with younger and more robust immune systems generally get sick less, have less severe symptoms, and recover faster.
So how does a person get immunocompromised? Here are some definite contributors:
- Consistent consumption of the standard American diet consisting of highly processed and refined foods which contain little to no nutrients while at the same time containing likely toxic carcinogens. Specific examples include breads, grains, sugars, MSG, soda, fried foods, and soy.
- Multiple drug therapies, including chemotherapy.
- Lack of adequate sleep
- Uncontrolled stress
- Sedentary lifestyle
On the flip side, how does one go about improving the immune system, creating an amazing war machine, which is able to defend your body with effective and appropriate aggressiveness?
15 Ways to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus
1. Eat Right.
If the gut is healthy, the immune system will be healthy. During a time when grocery stores are facing shortages you want to make food choices that are as nutrient dense as possible, as opposed to foods with empty calories and high carbohydrates.
Avoid foods that come in a box and reduce your sugar and alcohol consumption. If selection is limited, look to canned foods like beans, vegetables, meats, fish (sardines are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids), chicken/beef broths, and rice. Foods that are high in antioxidants are a great choice.
2. Stay Active.
Staying home doesn’t mean forgetting your exercise routine. Keeping active reduces stress hormones and stimulates endorphins, so make time for working out indoors or taking a walk outside. Natural sunlight will also help regulate your circadian rhythm and promote a good night’s rest.
3. Sleep Well.
Turn off your devices at least an hour before bed, and maybe read a book instead. Blue light from laptops and phones suppress melatonin and mess with your sleep. Listening to relaxing music and taking a warm bath are other good ways to “wind down” and help you relax.
4. Manage Stress.
High cortisol and increased stress weaken the immune system. This is a pervasive problem among adults, and recent events are not helping.
Meditation and breathing exercises are the best approaches to lowering cortisol, and there are several apps and methods out there to help. The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a great way to immediately lower stress. Remind yourself to focus on the things you can control right now — how you react to situations and the actions you can take.
5. Boost your immune system to help fight the virus.
You could additionally boost your immune system by adding essential vitamins and supplements to your daily intake. Use these supplements to help bridge nutritional gaps in your diet and support stronger immune system function.
6. Take Vitamin C as an antiviral boost up to 3000-5,000 mg per day is recommended. Higher doses up to 10,000–20,000 mg per day may also be helpful in acute situations as an IV Drip vitamin C.
7. Zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx.
8. Vitamin D (5000-10000 IU daily) – helps to boost the immune system, decreases episodes of upper respiratory infections and milder flu symptoms. Vitamin D works in part by promoting the body’s production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial peptide.
9. Probiotics. There is more immune tissue in the GI tract than anywhere else in the body. Crucial to optimal immunity is the “cross-talk” that takes place between healthy bacteria in our intestines and lymphoid tissue that lines the gut wall.
10. Garlic. Supplementation with Aged Garlic Extract has been shown to enhance the function of critical defensive white blood cells and shorten the duration of colds and flus. Garlic may also enhance immune system surveillance against cancer.
11. Echinacea. Perhaps the most widely used Western herb for immune-enhancement. Echinacea compounds have been found to boost production of immune chemicals that stimulate macrophages, the white blood cells that track down and engulf microbial invaders.
12. Astragalus. A traditional Chinese herb used for viral infections, studies have confirmed its effectiveness in preventing and shortening the duration and intensity of common colds.
13. Omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids like those found in fish oil have been newly embraced for immune support. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in particular has been shown to enhance the production of infection-fighting antibodies and cytokines.
14. B Vitamins. A deficiency of B6 has been shown to depress immunity; lack of adequate vitamin B12 and folate can cause megaloblastic anemia that depresses white blood cell counts; and thiamin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid each play a supporting role in optimal immune response.
15. Colostrum/Transfer Factor. The “first milk,” critical for priming immunity in newborns, has found application to immune support in adults. Used extensively in agriculture to safeguard young livestock, bovine-derived colostrum and transfer factor can help reinforce human defenses.
Also, it is important to eat real food containing plenty of fruits and vegetables. When selecting, use the following criteria: organic, grass fed and finished, hormone/antibiotic free, free range, wild caught.
The above immune strengthening suggestions should not be used only reactively. Rather, a robust proactive and preventive approach is urged.
Our bodies are unique, strong, and amazing in the ability to protect us from the many dangers we face simply existing as a human. Let’s do all we can NOW to NOT be weak and become victims of anything.