SPONSORED BY PURA VIDA
Our immune system is a complex biological response to external threats that keeps us safe. Now, in the face of Covid-19, our focus is on our own immunity and what we can do to boost our resilience to infection. Our immunity is affected and regulated by many factors. You have heard some of these recommendations before, and may already follow them, but this is a chance to review why these immune boosters are important.
Stress. Stress diminishes your body’s ability to respond to a threat. If your body is always ready for a fight or flight response, you can’t function optimally, because resources are directed at a threat that doesn’t actually exist outside of your mind. Move your body, go out in nature, meditate, do something you love, read a book, paint, bake, do whatever it is that makes you lose track of time.
Diet. You are what you eat. If you don’t give your body the best fuel, it can’t do its best for you. This means eating mostly plants, whole foods, minimizing what is found on the inside aisles of the grocery store aka highly processed foods. Water helps your metabolism run correctly and helps to eliminate toxins. Keep water with you and sip on it all day long if you can.
Probiotics. Because most of us didn’t grow up with the greatest diets, and because of the widespread use of pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones in our food sources, our guts aren’t able to function optimally. Did you know that your first line of defense to invaders lies in your gut? Help it do its job by giving it the helpful bacteria and yeast it needs to help us digest our food to get the necessary nutrients. Your best bet is to take a probiotic that is kept in the refrigerated section of your health food store. Look for as many different strains as possible, and start them slowly, only one a day to start until your GI system gets used to the extra help.
Vitamins and Minerals. Specifically, Vit C is a powerful antioxidant and helps maximize your resistance to threats. Vitamin D also supports your immune function and is created in your skin when exposed to sunlight. Zinc is important in fighting viral illnesses and many of us are zinc deficient. There are many daily vitamin supplements available over the counter, and these days you can even find IV immunity supplements given by trained medical professionals.
Love. Connect with somebody, or your furry friend. If you don’t already own a pet, this might be the time to consider it, given how many of us are now working from home. Whether you love your best friend, your spouse or your cherished pet, the boosting effect of love on your immune system is profound. What do you have to lose? Slow down, smell the roses, and take that new dog or your loved one on a walk outside using the sun’s rays to create vitamin D, while you munch on a veggie wrap! Be well.
By: Leslie Apgar, M.D.