It’s All About Protection & Prevention

As news of the novel coronavirus continues to make headlines, I am reminded daily of how vitally important it is to PROTECT yourself. While washing your hands and avoiding large crowded areas is a great idea right now, there are many other things you can do to boost your immune system that will help your body fight back.

The immune system is designed to fight off infection and its job is to detect and destroy anything it recognizes as foreign to your body, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and even cancer cells. Because viruses can only replicate inside of a cell, the most powerful way to kill them is with the activation of natural killer cells.

So you ask…how do you activate killer cells? That is where the protection and prevention come in! Below are my suggestions on ways you can start boosting your immune system starting today!

Reduce Stress

With all the daily headlines showing doom and gloom about the coronavirus, it is easy to stress over it. The main thing you can do to reduce stress is by achieving a balance of work, play, self-care, and family. Just remember (if you haven’t read my book, Brilliant Burnout yet) the stress hormone cortisol can boost immunity by limiting inflammation. But if cortisol crosses a certain threshold and you have too much or too little in your blood, this can open the door for more inflammation, and eventually lead to the burnout of your adrenals and immune system.

Stress also negatively impacts the production of lymphocytes, the white blood cells that are the body’s first line of defense against infection, making you a fast target for illness. So, keep things in perspective and don’t take life or every situation so seriously. Learn to move through your life without constantly saying, “I am so STRESSED.” Lighten up, do what you need to do, and start introducing more fun, laughter, gratitude, and lightness into your daily routine.

Exercise Every Day

Regular daily exercise improves your blood circulation and allows the immune system cells to move through your body. Daily heart-pumping exercise is so key to not only preventing sickness, but also boosting your mood, reducing body weight, and calming the mind. It is also one of the most effective ways of controlling stress and helping you keep things in perspective. Take your walking shoes to work and walk for your break outside as quickly as you can to get your heart rate up, even if you only have 10-30 minutes! Every minute moving your body helps your immune system fight harder!

Eat a Colorful Diet!

The immune system is like an army and your army needs to be fed foods that fight the war against illness, disease, and viruses. There is now evidence that micronutrient deficiencies such as Vitamin B12, B6, C & E, selenium, zinc, copper, folic acid, and iron have a direct impact on the immune response and lower amounts in the body leave you as an easy target for sickness. These important vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and essential nutrients help prepare your body for battle and will keep it well equipped to win. Strive to make 40-50% of your total daily intake from veggies. Pack on the color to your plate and go for veggies as often as you can at each meal! Along with extra dosing of vitamins, all found at OnePeak Medical.

Get Enough Sleep

There are thousands of studies that show the direct correlation between lack of sleep, quality of sleep, and how easily you get sick. Sleeping allows us to release cytokines which are the natural killers of infection, viruses, and inflammation. Immune cells, hormones, and antibodies are all made while we sleep and go down significantly with wakefulness and limited quality of sleep. I recommend getting at least 7 or more hours of sleep, with children and teens needing 9+ hours, and strive for limited wakefulness at night. If you are not sleeping this well or this much, make an appointment at OnePeak for help. We specialize in good sleep!

Don’t Smoke

Smoking tobacco has a detrimental effect on the immune system such as greater susceptibility to colds, flu, pneumonia, and bacteria. The infections will be more severe and last longer. Smoking inhibits the protective nutrients in your body like B-vitamins, Vitamin C, and magnesium. If you smoke, stop! You need to protect your life, and this is one of the most powerful ways to do it.

Vitamin C

I have forever touted that Vitamin C will kill just about anything at a certain dose. I have had a long-standing obsession with Linus Pauling’s work and it never ceases to amaze me what IV and oral Vitamin C can do for you.

China also released an announcement that high dose Vitamin C is protective against the Coronavirus and potentially an important ingredient in curing it! So, let’s all get serious about protecting ourselves and our families and start dosing up with Vitamin C. I would suggest that adults take at least 4,000mg a day (with food) to prevent flu and other bugs that are floating around out there.

I hope these easily achievable tips will bring you all some peace of mind during these uncertain times. We will get through this together!

Originally published April 2020 in North Gilham Living