Autumn is here!
Along with the drop in temperature and gradual approach to winter, it's a great time to get started in preventative measures to boost immunity.
Viruses! So the thing with viruses is they can be hard to get rid of if your immunity is compromised and not prepared. Antibiotics don't help - unless you have a bacterial infection as well, which can often happen, but they don't kill the virus.
Firstly a reference to the coronavirus. The coronavirus is actually a family of viruses that cause a common cold, but with complications including pneumonia and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), the elderly and comorbid are most likely to be effected. Knowing that this particular virus creates more of a respiratory distress than other coronaviruses is helpful because along with immune boosting we need our lungs to be robust and ready.
The main supplements that I would recommend to strengthen lungs are vitamin A, a liposomal glutathione and vitamin C. They're a great first-line lung defense.
Like any virus an upregulated immune response is vital, and with 70% of our immune system being in our gut, we must support this too. In our gut we have things called Peyer's patches and they form an important part of the immune system. What fuels them to do their job is something called butyrate - a short chain fatty acid. The bacteria in our gut take fiber from our food and turn it into SCFA's and this is the only way we can get them. The Payer's patches patrol our system for enemies and in order to fuel these with SCFA's we must consume lots of vegetable fiber, resistant starch, prebiotics and avoid foods that promote a leaky inflamed gut. Our natural killer cells (NKC) also reside in our gut and get stimulated by the beneficial bacteria.
Another thing that I can't stress enough in keeping your lungs strong is addressing any allergies that affect your lungs and/or lower your immunity. Often these are airborne things such as dust, mould and grass etc but plenty of foods can cause problems in some people particularly those with asthma or other lung problems. If you'd like help addressing these contact us here.
If you're somebody that generally keeps out of the sun you might want to supplement all year round with a good quality vitamin D. If you're a sun-lover on the other hand and have had plenty of late then you should be good for vitamin D until closer to winter. If you have no idea if you need some or not you can get your levels tested with a simple blood test.
Lung protective nutrients:
- vitamin A – really important for the lungs and especially essential if you're one of those people that when you get sick it you produce a lot of mucous or it goes straight to your lungs, and it's the last place it leaves.
- glutathione – lung protective and a fab antioxidant as well. If you suffer asthma and it's especially worse in the cold, try some liposomal glutathione and I'm sure you'll notice a difference.
- vitamin C
- vitamin D
- nasal breathing at all times. Unless you're talking or eating, your mouth should always be closed.
Immune boosting & antiviral:
- zinc – and all minerals in general – selenium, calcium, magnesium, manganese and iron.
- vitamin C – if you're not sick take vitamin C daily in low doses ie 250mg but when you are sick take in higher doses – 1000mg a few times a day.
- herbs are great for fighting infection and some good antiviral herbs are:
- licorice root
- astragalis – although don't take this if you are acutely sick, better as a preventative
- medicinal mushrooms – reishi, shitake
- lemon balm
- olive leaf extract
Diet – food that supports and nourishes is our friend at all times of the year!
- avoid sugar and wheat – this really lowers our immune system
- eat a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – plenty of fruits and vegetables
- eat fresh unprocessed foods
- homemade soups are a great way to get a lot of vegetables in at once. Use onion, garlic and ginger too as these are great for the lungs, circulation and immuntiy.
- fiber rich vegetables
Avoid stress – stress really lowers the immune system. There are many ways to help your body best handle stress but a few basics are
- a good B vitamin
- vitamin C
We all have different stresses in our lives and the key is how we handle them, how we view the situation and how we choose to react and respond. Remember that nothing improves by worrying, in fact it usually makes it worse. If you've tried the above but still feel stressed, perhaps you need extra and more specific support both physically and mentally. I use a method of testing that indicates the body parts under the most stress which helps determine the supplements that best suit you at this time. Contact us here for help.
So that should get you started and hopefully covered for ALL viruses going round.
If you'd like further help and clarity for a personalised taylored assessment and treatment, contact us here.