Is your immune system as ready as possible for Covid 19?
Although most who get the virus will make a full recovery, we are nevertheless right to fear Covid 19. The government has put in place measures to limit the spread. Despite this we need to face the uncomfortable fact that many of us will contract Covid-19 sooner or later. It is naturally very worrying as there is no medical ‘cure’ for this novel virus, and a vaccine has yet to be developed.
I really wish the Government would give more advice on how to boost our own immune systems
The only line of defence we have at present is our body’s own immune system. The government and its medical experts are offering sound advice on preventing the spread of the virus, through measures such as hand washing and social distancing. I really wish they would add more advice on ways we can boost our own immune system’s resilience at this crucial time.
You can keep your immune system healthy and give it a boost – right now
There are ways to keep your immune system healthy and to give it a boost – right now. I have listed some ideas below. In an ideal world you would do most of these every day. I suggest to start with, you perhaps do the ones indicated as ‘daily’ and then try and include some of the others each day for some variety:
Rest and Relaxation
- Sleep 8 hours a night (do this every night)
- Oxygen Advantage breathing techniques – nasal breathe (in and out) at all times
- Reading (not on a computer)
- Regular exercise, however keep very strenuous exercise down to no more than 3 times a week
- Calming exercise such as yoga, pilates, tai chi
- Walking/cycling daily, ideally in a calming green space
- Reduce sugar consumption
- Reduce processed food
- Drink at least 1 litre of water daily
- Increase vitamin C rich foods (peppers, tomatoes, lemons, limes, broccoli, oranges, strawberries).
- Increase vitamin D rich foods – oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, tuna
- Increase food high in zinc (eg oysters, meat, chickpeas, lentils, beans, seeds, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese)
- 2 cups of dark green leafy veg (eg – rocket, spinach, kale, broccoli, spring cabbage, fresh parsley, coriander, basil)
- Have at least 6 servings of different vegetables daily
- Foods high in fibre (beans, flaxseeds, chia seeds, raw vegetables, oats)
- Fermented foods – (plain Greek yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir)
- Oily fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel)
- Prebiotics (blueberries, leeks, onions)
- Get out in nature, if you can – eg garden, parks,
- Listen to inspiring podcasts/music
- Do something fun (eg virtual meetups with friends for a chat, quizzes, games)
- Learn something new/develop a new skill/do something creative (eg art, baking, sewing, online ballet)
- Mindfulness Meditation, ‘Journaling” etc
- Practise gratitude every day (3 things you are grateful for) – I find this practice very powerful.
- Reduce alcohol consumption – the occasional glass of red wine perhaps?
- Order a veg box once a week – it’s quite exciting not knowing what you will get
- Home cooked meals
- My husband swears by a 5-minute cold shower (this is a bit niche however)
Keeping our immune system in tip top shape is the best thing we can do right now
What we refer to as our ‘immune system’ is in fact a complex set of physiological and mental factors. We are learning more about it all the time. This is why I have avoided getting ‘sciency’ in this blogpost. Our immune resilience is influenced by our gut microbiome, the condition of vital organs, our nervous system, our breathing, our blood, and ultimately our entire physical and mental structure. Reducing anxiety, relaxing and maintaining a positive and optimistic outlook is enormously important – I sometimes need to be reminded to include these in my daily life. Keeping our immune system in tip top shape is the best thing we can do now to help should we be unlucky enough to pick up Covid 19.
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Loliya Harrison is a registered nutritional therapist, personal trainer and pilates teacher from London. She helps menopausal/perimenopausal women reclaim their confidence, feel amazing in their clothes and enjoy their life more.
Source of statistics: thebms.org.uk