Keep calm. As news reports intensity and the threat of the Coronavirus grows nearer, calm is key.
Your health is in your hands. You have many tools to control your health, your stress, and your inflammation. In this blog, we will focus on the best foods to support a healthy immune system during this stressful time.
Cooking for yourself is also relaxing and therapeutic. Learn to enjoy creating healthy options for feeding yourself with optimum nutrition. To help with this, check out the yummy recipe below.
8 Foods to Support Immune Health during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Before we talk about the “great eight” – be sure to eliminate refined sugar, processed foods, refined oils, artificial ingredients, and junk food — and while you’re home with your family — focus on creating a diet rich in vegetables, greens, healthy fat, fermented foods, fruits, herbs, and spices.
Try to eat at least 3 servings of the following eight Immune-Supporting Foods every day.
Whether you are sick or not, eat these daily for immune support and disease prevention. Certain foods are particularly beneficial for your immune health. This is because they have higher immune-boosting properties than others.
- Olive oil is a great source of monosaturated healthy fats. These are fantastic for your immune system.
- Bone broth is soothing for respiratory conditions and rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Garlic fights infections, reduces inflammation, and supports the immune system.
- Onions are powerful infection fighters. They reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.
- Apple cider vinegar provides great disinfectant qualities. It fights against the most resistant bacterial strains and viruses and offers antioxidant support.
- Lemons and limes are some of the best sources of vitamin C and antioxidants. They help to alkalize and cleanse your body.
- Ginger is one of the most potent medicinal spices. It helps reduce inflammation, boosts your immune system and health and improves sore throats. It also eases pain.
- Medicinal mushrooms are excellent immune-boosting and inflammation-fighting superfoods.
Drink 8-10 glasses of clean water a day. If you are exercising or doing physical labor or sweating a lot in a sauna or hot tub, drink more. Also take in more water if you are spending time in the hot sun. Stay hydrated if recovering from an illness or infection.
Drink high-quality, clean water. Reverse osmosis systems that purify your water are key. They remove all the toxins and dangerous chemicals. I recommend the iSpring or the Berkey system. The best is the Synergy Science hydrogen water. It reduces oxidative stress in the body and improves immune function.
Good Sleep, Fresh Air & Daily Movement
Getting good sleep, fresh air, and daily movement are all crucial for a healthy immune system. Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep on a regular basis. If you are sick, make sure to honor your body, and rest plenty. Daily fresh air is key.
Do some daily movement. Go for a walk or play with your kids. Just move!
Also, do some grounding by standing or walking barefoot on grass or dirt. Open your windows and let the stuffy air out the rooms. Exercise for 20 to 30 minutes 5 days a week. Keep an active lifestyle through walking, stretching, yoga, dancing, or walking your dog. Even if you’re feeling sick, try to do some mild stretching or some small movement. Do what you can handle.
Keep Stress Down & Practice Gratitude
Low-stress levels are key to good immune health. Here’s a list of things you can incorporate into your daily activity to keep your stress managed and spirit lifted.
- Practice gratitude daily when you wake up.
- Think about the things that you are thankful for.
- Stop and appreciate the small things throughout your day.
- Keep an evening gratitude journal.
- Say a daily prayer or engage in the spiritual practices that uplift you.
- Try meditation and breathwork.
- Say daily affirmations.
- Practice positive thinking.
- Make sure to schedule ‘me-time’ into each day.
- Surround yourself with positive people and uplifting activities as much as you can.
Additional Remedies for your Health
Homemade Garlic Salve for Respiratory Illness
This home remedy is great for any cold, flu or coronavirus. It’s also easy to make!
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 10 drops lavender oil (it’s calming and soothing)
Blend ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. The garlic cloves should be completely blended.
How to use it:
- Rub it onto the soles of feet. Apply generously. Put socks on to help hold the salve in place.
- Rub it on your chest.
- Repeat every 2-3 hours until your condition improves.
Vitamin C for Immune Support
Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins when it comes to illness. Research has shown that it has incredible benefits for lung infections. It is one of the most important vitamins for your immune system.
Vitamin C rich foods include lemon, lime, oranges, mandarins, grapefruits, guava, strawberries, papaya, pineapples, kiwi, sweet green pepper, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Remember that sugar is the enemy of Vitamin C. So make sure to cut any food with refined sugar. Reduce your natural sugar (carb) intake as well.
Vitamin C supplements such as Super C are also great. Take 500 mg, 2 times daily for prevention and do 3-5 grams, 2-4 times daily if you are feeling symptomatic.
Vitamin D & Zinc
These are both essential for immune system health. Sunshine is the best way to improve your Vitamin D needs. Take a daily Vitamin D/K2 supplement for both prevention and treatment. Zinc deficiency can lead to immune dysfunction and more infections and illness. I recommend that you eat lots of zinc-rich foods. These include pumpkin seeds, asparagus, salmon, chicken, and grass-fed beef. Also supplement with Zinc Charge for prevention. If you are sick, take every 2 hours until you feel better.
Use Astragalus to Support Your Health
Astragalus is great for coughs, congestion, and other respiratory illness symptoms. It defends against colds, the flu, and other viruses and infections. It is a great aid for recovery as well. While there is no need to panic, it is important to stay informed and up to date with new developments. Since we are in the midst of a pandemic, it is particularly important to support your immune system. Take preventative measures against all infections. Follow my natural strategies to help boost and protect your immune system.
The healthcare system will be increasingly swamped and resources will decrease. Use these tools to speed recovery and support your health.
RECIPE – Anti-Inflammatory Carrot and Lemongrass Soup
During these uncertain times, comfort foods are key. This delicious, anti-inflammatory carrot and lemongrass soup is sure to calm.
Stress causes inflammation. Let’s keep inflammation down!
2 T of coconut oil
1 ½ cup of peeled and diced onions
1 ½ lb. of carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 T of minced ginger
1 two-inch piece of pounded lemongrass
4 C of chicken bone broth
Dash of sea salt
- In a pan, over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and add the onions. Cook until the onions are translucent then decrease the heat to medium-low.
- Add the carrots, ginger, and lemongrass, stirring to coat all the ingredients in the oil. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, then add the broth last.
- Raise the temperate back to medium and simmer the soup for 20 more minutes.
- Add the entire mixture to a blender and process down to your desired soup consistency.
- Serve immediately.
Your health is in your hands. Wishing you health, peace, and strong immunity!
Board Certified in Integrative Medicine
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner