The latest headlines on the Coronavirus are a good opportunity for us all to assess where our own health is. Pandemics have happened many times through out human history. And they will continue to do so, making it important to do what we can to protect ourselves from contracting these diseases. And there is much that can be done.
The good news is we are built so beautifully by design, that our body has our back. We have a physical and psychological immune system that is designed to keep us well, or bring us back to good health when we are sick. The problem is so many have moved so far from living an optimal lifestyle – we eat nutrient poor foods, we don’t move enough, we don’t get enough sunlight, we suffer from anxiety and way too much stress – that our body just doesn’t have what it needs to fight off invading viruses. The other good news is that it’s never too late to turn things around.
Let’s look at what we can all do to help our immune system fight off this and many other viruses that abound.
As Dr Phil Maffetone writes, this is a good reason to avoid the hype and hysteria that we’re experiencing now with this Coronavirus. If you’re highly stressed and anxious by what you’re reading or seeing, you are not helping your immune system.
“Most of the information promoted by the media is not helpful, and promotes panic.”
Stress caused by a physical, biochemical or mental-emotional stress (what you think) is a primary cause of a compromised immune system. Traditional models of stress management often exacerbate the symptoms of mental-emotional stress too – they add more ‘work’ to the system and induce more guilt and anxiety when we’re not doing what we think we should be doing. Instead understanding how our psychological system works gives us a greater chance to find peace from anxiety, guilt, worry etc. This is the majority of the work that I do, and I’ve just released a video series on this, you can check this out here: http://bit.ly/healthcoachcourses
EAT A NUTRIENT DENSE, REAL FOOD DIET
If our bodies are constantly struggling to get the nutrients it needs, our immune system will be impacted. Too many of us are eating processed foods that are devoid of nutrients, yet full of inflammatory causing ingredients such as sugar, vegetable oils, and the myriad of toxic chemicals. Plus as a whole we are not eating enough quality protein – too little animal protein – that our bodies love and thrive on. It’s not that hard. Eat real, quality food most of the time, and your body will thrive. Ditch the pasta, bread, sugar, wheat, processed or package foods. These can only negatively impact not just your immune system, but your metabolic health (and lead to fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, obesity, some cancers…).
Nutrients for Immunity? I’ve been bombarded with posts saying to eat copious amounts of Vitamin C. Well thanks to the man I trust more than the Instagram ‘influencer’, I will take my vitamin D thanks. According to Dr Maffetone, the problem with Vitamin C is that most are made from synthetic Vit C, which has been shown to have no use against infection. They can in fact even impair immunity. Even though there can be benefit to natural Vit C that occurs in foods, vitamin D has been proven to be an even more important immune booster.
Sitting in the sun, being out for a walk – all without anything on your skin, and you will get a good dose of D. Unlike synthetic Vit C, Vit D supplements are effective. But again, eating real food (especially animal based proteins) will see you get all you need of immune boosting nutrients A, B & Zinc.
I have a number of free resources on my website to help anyone wanting to improve their diet. http://bit.ly/healthcoachcourses
Incorporating movement in to your day is vital for immune health. If you sit all day at a desk, you need to counter balance that with regular movement. If you get outside in some sun you will get the double benefit of the moving, and the Vit D. Incorporate lifting some weights, and you will not only positively impact your immune system, but also stave off sarcopenia and osteoporosis. Both of these happen when our body doesn’t get enough quality protein, and has to break down our muscle and bone to get what it needs. Of course more doesn’t equal better, and if you do too much and it puts too much stress on the body to recover, then the immune system will be compromised. I used to see really fit people who exercise every day get sick often – colds etc.. because they were doing too much and not giving their bodies adequate rest. So find your right balance, and find a way to move that you love.
“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued – when they can give and receive without judgement.” Brene Brown.
Being connected with others, doing things for others, seeing others beyond their thinking all bring health infinite health benefits. While social media is great for connecting on one level, it can’t replace physical connection.. and the levels of loneliness being felt by so many is huge. It takes courage to put yourself out there and connect with others. It requires you to show up as you are, and risk being accepted or rejected. But simply showing up as who you are is all that you need to do. We’re designed to connect.. in fact it is essential to our health.
Wash you hands.
Stop watching and reading the news. You will hear what you need to know.
Talk to your neighbours.
Eat real food.
Let anxious and stressful thinking pass.
Focus on what’s right in front of you today… right now.
And know that whatever comes your way, you will know how to handle it.