Practical steps to keep your immune system resilient
It has been a surreal few weeks and it will be a while before things return to normal, but we will pull through this crisis. Being healthy should be important no matter what is going on, but with the spread of the coronavirus, it is paramount that you take charge of your health.
The following are some partial steps you can take to stay healthy.
- Practice deep breathing. Those that engage in deep breathing tend to have longer telomeres than shallow breathers and longer telomeres support cell health and immunity strength. Inhale deeply through your nose into your stomach, hold for a few seconds and breathe out slowly. Practice this often and especially anytime you feel stress and anxiety rising. When you're stressed you naturally go into a shallow breathing state which increases stress hormone and blood pressure which compromise immunity.
- Load up on foods that are high in micronutrients such as nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, and veggies. You want an abundance of vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and fiber in your diet to nourish your cells and keep your gut health strong. As I am sure you have noticed if you have been to any grocery store recently, food is flying off the shelves and it may be harder to find healthier options so get a few bags of a high-quality meal replacement powder to ensure you're getting all the nutrients you need. The Kachava meal replacement powder is what I am using.
- Have a glass of lime juice in 12oz of distilled water with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt every morning. This supports liver health and hydration. If you don't have access to limes or lemons, use two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- Have two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water before all main meals. ACV supports glucose disposal, insulin sensitivity, and optimal cholesterol levels. Insulin resistance places a strain on your immune system and can increase cortisol levels so take measures to keep insulin sensitivity high and glucose in the ideal range.
- Keep c-reactive protein levels low (a marker of inflammation) by avoiding processed sugar, trans fats, and other low-quality garbage that is marketed as food but is at best oral entertainment and not the beneficial kind. Spices are an excellent method to turn healthy meals into super meals and ginger and turmeric in particular help mitigate excess inflammation. Add ginger powder to smoothies or hot water to make ginger tea which is fantastic after meals to support digestion. Systemic Enzymes such as Restorezyme. Restorezyme is also very effective for keeping inflammation in check. Systemic enzymes support healing which can lower the need for an inflammatory response.
- While there are many supplements that are marketed as immune system boosters, most fall short, to say the least, and offer few benefits if any. Especially if you already have a nutritious diet and sleep 7-9 hours every night. That said, there are a few that are worth considering. Number one is Vitamin D3. Vitamin D is actually a hormone and a very important one for immune system support and bone health. 5000 IU is a good starting point and you may need more to get into the optimal range (60-80 ng/ml). I take 10,000 IU daily and if I feel a cold coming on or feel worn out, I up it to 20,000 IU until I am back to normal. Vitamin C and glutathione also have potent immune system support properties. I don't take either daily but, keep both on hand to fight colds and the flu. The more impaired your immune system the more useful both supplements are. If you get sick often, then definitely ramp up Vitamin C and glutathione intake. IV therapy is the best way to take both but can be expensive and may not be available in your area. Liposomal delivery is almost as effective, much cheaper, and readily available.
- One more supplement I recommend for immune system health is glutamine. Glutamine powder is very inexpensive. While glutamine fell short for muscle building and workout recovery (was marketed heavily for both in the 1990s) it definitely supports gut health. The majority of your immune system is in your gut so when your gut health is compromised you are more prone to get ill. Five grams of glutamine first thing in the morning and before bedtime is a good starting dosage and if you have more serious gut issues such as IBS up to 20 grams per day may be useful.
- If you have low DHEA levels, taking supplemental DHEA is worth considering to get your DHEA levels into the ideal range. According to anti-aging expert Dr. Hertoghe, "DHEA can convert into other derivatives that are way more potent such as androstenediol which stimulates the immunity one hundred times more than DHEA." When you're under a lot of stress, DHEA levels become depleted and testosterone has less protection from excess cortisol levels. DHEA cream has enhanced absorption and is what I prefer to use. I don't take DHEA all the time but use it whenever I experience an increase in stress or increase the intensity of my physical training regimen.
- In the event that you pick up the virus or get ill (nasty colds and the flu are still omnipresent and thousands die every year from the flu) contact a company called Dispatch Health. They can bring medical care to you and provide treatment in the comfort of your home. I had a horrible flu last year which was followed by pneumonia and I used Dispatch Health for treatment. They were able to send over two nurse practitioners to diagnose, furnish prescriptions, and provide treatment. They even sent over a technician that took x-rays of my lungs in my garage!
- Keep active to keep your heart health optimal, your blood sugar levels in the ideal range, and to destress but now is not the time to ramp up the intensity of your training regimen and while I have been going to the gym up until this point, I am going to er on the side of safety and utilize my home gym to further avoid unnecessary exposure. We can't stop living and enjoying life as much as possible while we deal with this crisis but we all need to do our part to avoid being hit by the virus and utilize measure to prevent spreading it to other.