How do i support my immune system naturally?
I was often asked in the last couple of months how do I support my immunity during COVID-19? Well, I haven’t really changed much about my daily food choices because I choose to live healthily before too.
Then they said: “how can you be so disciplined all the time?”
The truth is, I am not! Not anymore. Luckily my orthorexia (excessive desire to eat healthy 24/7) obsession is over and I am following the 80/20 rule. Yay, I am somewhat normal too, right?
For those of you who struggle to make the healthier choices, perhaps, these two bullet points will inspire you as much as it inspires and helps me to stay motivated and choose the healthier option most of the time:
Did you know that 70% of our immune cells are located in the gut? That is an astonishing number and shows that good gut health equals good immune health!
A French scientist Antoine Béchamp said that disease occurs from within the body as a result of an unhealthy "terrain". The terrain actually represents our internal environment, which we influence every day through our nutritional and water intake, stress levels, quality of sleep, and emotional and mental state.
So here is a snapshot of some of things I do.
I refrain from the following:
Refined Sugar: as it promotes inflammation and draws Vitamin C out of the cells
Dairy products: as it promotes inflammation and stimulates mucus formation, which may result in the virus getting caught up in it.
Alcohol-based mouthwash might destroy the antibodies in the saliva. Saliva is not only important to break down carbohydrates but also crucial for fighting microbes. It is really the first line of defence. Did you know that saliva contains opiorphin, which is a natural painkiller, actually much more powerful than morphine!
I give extra attention to the following:
Oral hygiene: as gateway players to the gut are the teeth and the mouth. Oral bacteria can translocate and influence the gut microbiome.
Prebiotic foods (feed probiotics) are essential for healthy colonies of bacteria in the intestines. The diversity of bacteria are most important for gut microbiome. Why? Just to name a few examples, bacteria help degrade the food we eat, help make nutrients available to us and neutralise toxins. We have more bacteria in our bodies than human cells.
Thyme & Oregano: these two help to clean the airways and assist breathing as well as providing anti-viral and anti-bacterial support. They contain substances such as thymol and carvacrol which helps to expel mucus by thinning and loosening it. I use either essential oil or make tea using the cooking herb. I drink 2 cups daily.
Garlic: Garlic is mostly known for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic properties along with improving cardiovascular health. Allicin is the main compound that is responsible for these healing properties.
Anti-bacterial support is equally important during these times, hence I choose thyme, oregano, and garlic. The reason being is that if the immune system gets busy fighting the virus it means the body will be more susceptible to bacterial and other means of infections. This can be very dangerous.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C levels are depleted when the body fights pathogens. There is an amazing book called Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins written by Dr Thomas E. Levy (who I personally met) about the power of Vitamin C. My main food sources are red pepper and citrus fruits and I also supplement with high doses on the side. Of course, let's not forget about Zinc & Vitamin D (please make sure you get your Vitamin D levels checked before supplementing!) which are also staples in supporting immunity protocols.
I start my day with a home-made ginger-based drink. We are talking a lot of ginger ladies and gents. Just sayin…Happy to share the recipe just drop me an email :)
I ensure I diversify my plate with colourful veggies with lunch and dinner while I eat most of my fruits from breakfast to lunch. Eat The Rainbow!
Overnight 12-16 hours fasting: I am a big advocate of intermittent fasting. But definitely don’t recommend it daily unless you are doing an actual cleanse for some time. Digestion uses up about 50% of our energy, this means the immune system has no chance of focusing on fighting pathogens and repairing the body.
Exercise: my other big obsession, daily movement is paramount in everyone’s life. Begin Anywhere. I like to do a variety of different things: running, walking, cycling, yoga, resistance bands, and weight training. My new favourite is the trampoline which is so good for the lymphatic system! It gets the lymph moving and so eliminating toxins.
I read books that empower me. I am reading Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant for the second time! I find it really helpful to feel resilient.
Lastly, but so bloody important as all of the above: SPEND TIME IN NATURE! In my narrow-minded view, nothing reduces stress more than that. No, this is not up for negotiation...
Let's stay connected, support each other and we will get through this together!
Sending you all virtual hugs, happy thoughts and best wishes.