The novel Corona virus, officially named SARS-Co2, has wreaked havoc around the world.
And we know that this virus is not going away. As stores, restaurants and businesses re-open, a high degree of uncertainty prevails concerning our personal health and the health of family and friends.
What lies ahead in the next 2 months?
Will there be another surge of new cases in the fall?
Will we eventually develop “herd immunity?”
More and more data is now emerging about the virus–some from actual research and some data that’s anecdotal. We know for sure, from statistics in Italy, France and the U.S., that elderly people seem especially vulnerable to the virus, and 50% of the deaths have been residents living in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities.
But we also know that roughly 20% of the population seems susceptible to contracting Covid-19–based on data from New York City and the Princess cruise ship–while 80% of people appears to be at low risk for getting sick.
According to Dr. Insoo Kang, M.D., from the Yale School of Medicine, the health of one’s immune system seems to be a major contributing factor. The immune system is very complex, but most of us understand the basics: Our body detects an intruder–a virus, bacterium or foreign object–and produces white blood cells to combat the problem.
The health of our immune system is very much under our control, and can be modified and improved with lifestyle changes.
Here are 4 essential strategies to boost your immunity and help you feel protected:
- Wear a mask in public places. A regular non-surgical mask may not protect you directly from Covid, but if we ALL comply with mask-wearing, it reduces the spread of the virus by asymptomatic carriers, and therefore reduces the prevalence of the virus in the community. And this then indirectly protects you.
- Get your ZZZZZZ’s. Night time is when the body restores itself and produces white blood cells, which fight infection. Most people need 8 hours/night (even though you may have convinced yourself that you only need 5). Turn off all devices at least 1 hour before bedtime, and it’s best NOT to have your phone in the bedroom. If you need an alarm, try an old fashioned alarm clock.
- Fine tune your diet. If you haven’t been getting at least 4 servings of fruit and vegetables/day, NOW is the time to step up your game. Research from the Yale School of Medicine has shown that ample amounts of vitamins A, C, D, the B vitamins, iron and selenium help boost the production of white blood cells. Avoid refined sugar and processed foods, which lead to internal inflammation. Chronic inflammation dampens the immune system.
- Enhance your gut health. If you suspect your gut health is not 100% up to speed (due to repetitive antibiotics or using NSAID’s), you may need to add fermented foods such as kombucha, kefir, or a probiotic yogurt, or supplement with a probiotic.
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immunity to fight off Covid,
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