With Coronavirus dominating the headlines and being classified as a global pandemic, people are looking for natural ways to boost immunity and/or lessen the severity of cold and flu-like symptoms. My philosophy has always been prevention so here are some of the things I do to keep my immunity level functioning at its peak.
- Sleep – This is a simple solution but not easy to achieve for many including myself. I have trouble staying asleep so some of the things I do to try and get as many hours of sleep include:
- No drinking liquids after 7:30pm (to minimize middle of the night restroom visits)
- Turning off all electronics and wi-fi (or put on airplane mode to listen to an Audible book)
- Putting blue-light protectors on my iPad (I use my iPad at night to wind down)
- Taking melatonin and GABA supplement (when I need it)
- Shutting down all work-related emails/chats after 8pm
- Immune booster supplements – I’ve been taking 3-4 grams of vitamin C (buffered or liposomal), lysine powder (good anti-viral), beta-glucans (like those derived from Reishi mushrooms – Swanson brand reishi mushroom has been tested by ConsumerLab along with New Chapter LifeShield Reishi), elderberry extract (I recommend New Chapter Elderberry force – shown by ConsumerLab to have the highest amount of anthocyanosides; for a syrup, I recommend Sambucol Black Elderberry syrup), liposomal glutathione, selenium, zinc, vitamin D, a good probiotic (see product recommendations here) and a whole-food-based multi-vitamin for starters. Here’s an interesting study on how beta-glucan boosts immunity: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31877995)
- Exercise – I lift weights twice a week, work at my standing desk for 3-4 hours a day and stay active with walking. I don’t track my steps as I can get obsessive about these things so I will eat less when I am not as active. I no longer do high-intensity exercise like running – because of my low thyroid and adrenal function, this makes my body crash.
- Eating right – I’ve been trying a mainly fish and vegetables diet over the past month and think cutting down on meat has been easier on my digestion. On days when I lift weights, I will have some animal protein which helps me recover more quickly. Also, I’m a big fan of bone broth. I buy grass-fed beef bones at the local co-op and cook it in the instant pot. I make soups and use it as a base for everything. I also keep the fat layer and use it to stir-fry veggies, eggs, and meat. I feel best when I avoid wheat, most grains, dairy, sugar – even most fruit except for some berries as I’m insulin resistant. For carbs, I love air-fried purple and sweet potatoes and also indulge in cassava root chips, cauliflower crackers and an occasional gluten-free pizza. Since I’m Asian, rice has been one of the easiest forms of carb to digest.
- I love taking Epsom Salt baths with essential oils (lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus). It is very relaxing and also helps me sleep. I’m thinking about a homemade sanitizer spray (equal parts aloe vera, grain alcohol and essential oils including lemongrass, clove, eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary) and then fill the rest with distilled or reverse osmosis water. It’s nice to have around the house and smells awesome. Or, I may just do a diffuser if I don’t have time to make the sanitizer recipe.
- Avoiding toxins and stress – I don’t drink alcohol and do my best to stay away from sugar, dairy and processed foods. I was told that I juggle too many things in my life so it’s important for me to minimize unwanted stress. Meditation and massage have worked well for me.
- I feel fortunate to have a full spectrum infrared sauna at home so use it religiously 2-3 times a week. It’s important to replenish the trace minerals and salts (I use Nuun electrolyte tablets and Trace Minerals Research drops).
This may seem like a lot of work but over time, it will become second-nature. Wishing you the best of health and calm during this crazy time.