Wellness Wednesday: 6 Ways To Strengthen Immunity
Dr. Cori, pharmacist and wellness expert, is chiming in on what to do in the midst of the corona chaos to strengthen your immunity.
There is much fear surrounding COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus. So I wanted to write this post to help you identify easy ways to strengthen your immunity in addition to all the hand washing precautions. Especially given you might not be able to find soap to wash your hands with! Let alone a bottle of hand sanitizer.
As you likely know, my audience is mainly women. Women who don’t get enough rest, work incessantly, and are constantly taking care of everything and everyone but themselves.
Now is the time to stop. Now is the time to take care of your health to protect not only the people you love, but to focus on protecting yourself.
And now there may be additional stressors that you haven’t yet had to deal with, like your kids’ school closed indefinitely, being quarantined or confined to your home for 14 days, and a shortage of soap and hand sanitizer.
It’s an interesting reality, it’s life interrupted, it’s time to take care of you in ways that extend beyond social distancing.
So I know you already know to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, practice social distancing of at least 6 feet, and stay home if you don’t feel well, but do you know how to prevent COVID-19 by building up your immune system?
Probably not because we seldom talk about it. We tend to focus on being reactive instead of proactive. We respond to the chaos instead of actively being engaged in our health daily on a proactive basis. Doing the 6 things I am providing below are just for the corona craze, it’s what you should be doing anyway to protect yourself and your family.
Here are 6 ways to a stronger immunity:
Sleep! For the love of all things holy, go to bed! When you don’t sleep, you lower your immunity. Simple as that.
Eat your greens! Now is not the time to deprioritize your food. I know you’re busy, I am too, but don’t compromise your immunity by eating refined carbohydrates and loading up on alcohol because the stress of corona chaos is driving you to drink. Eat more vegetables, natural fruits, whole grains, (i.e.) more whole foods. The best way to do this is to prepare your food at home. I know we are often rushing and need food quick, but slow down enough to take some time to plan in advance. Be proactive about what you put in your mouth.
Focus on your gut. A significant portion of your immune system is in your GI tract. Fiber is going to be really important here. In particular, soluble fiber. Soluble fiber, the part of dietary fiber that dissolves in water, is mostly a prebiotic. Prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria in the gut and improve your immune system. And if you follow way #2, eat your greens, you are well on your way to achieving that fiber goal of about 25 grams for women and almost 40 grams for men. And if not there’s always psyllium husk fiber supplements. I add a scoop of fiber to my morning smoothies.
The second way to take care of your gut is with a high quality probiotic. Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer a benefit on their host, you being the host. So that’s why they are called healthy bacteria. Probiotics are known to support the immune system and overall digestive health.
Practice yoga. The benefits of yoga are two-fold. One, you can reduce the impact of stress on your life. We’ve talked before about how stress hormones both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term), epinephrine and cortisol, Those same stress hormones can also affect your level of immunity. The second benefit of yoga, is that moving your body or exercising can actually strengthen your immune system.
Nix the coffee and opt for anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial teas. Think ginger, cayenne, turmeric. My favorite are cinnamon turmeric lattes. Cinnamon for balancing blood sugar and turmeric for anti-inflammation and antimicrobial properties.
Take a high-quality multivitamin including a high-quality vitamin C. This one is kind of a no-brainer to me, but pretty controversial otherwise. Here’s the deal though, we no longer live in an environment that provides us the proper nourishment we need in our soil to even produce foods that offer the same nutrient density it did many years ago. So even the healthiest diet will lack many nutrients. Now don’t get me wrong, people can over-supplement, so it’s important that vitamins can be customized to what you need. That’s why I use customized vitamin packs in my online programs and recommend supplements based on what people need for their unique circumstances. I do, however, always advocate for a high-quality multivitamin that gives you the basics, everything else is an optimizer. So there’s minimal good health and optimal health. You get to decide which you want.
The most important point in all of this is to be proactive about taking care of your health.
So if you like this content and find it helpful, please share because it’s not enough to just focus on our own health, we have to help the people we love and create a lasting health legacy for our families and our communities.
And if there is a topic you want to hear on Wellness Wednesday, let me know and if I can help, I will discuss live on my Facebook page or catch the replay on IGTV, Vimeo, or on my blog with the notes at CoriCooper.com.