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FOOD AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

So much news and fear the past while around the coronavirus with the information growing each day, it all feels overwhelming.  I debated on writing on this but felt since it was more about empowering and improving your health, that this may be a welcome tidbit regarding this area.

I am not a doctor.  I am not diagnosing, prescribing, making promises or doing anything other than talking about food and lifestyle here.

Here’s what we do know, while we wait to see what is happening locally and if it will affect us here.

First, being educated on what the facts can help to lessen panic greatly.  The headlines in the news often do not have all of the details and are created for getting attention.

What has been shown in well-documented research, is that it is mostly elders over the age of 80 who are worst affected, along with those with lower immune systems.  Not that anyone deserves to be sick, but it is not something that affects everyone equally, which is what the panic seemed to be creating. There are a few online reports right from the China CDC that go into detail if you are interested.  Note that they show that no deaths of those ages 0 to 9 years old and those who are 10 to 50 it is very low.  Over 80% of those with the virus have mild symptoms.

Keep in mind that most of the symptoms you feel when you are sick – fever, achy, vomiting, diarrhea, etc, are happening due to your immune system trying to attack and kill off the invaders.

 I have read a few well researched articles, and it greatly helped me to understand what the risk is and the main groups affected and what may be helpful within our own power.

 Here are some things that are all around good to do regardless, but especially in these current viral events that are happening.

1.) If you feel unwell, stay home.  You will get the best rest and be able to support your own immune system easier by limiting your access to the outside and vice versa.  Get better quicker at home, using foods listed below.

2.) Prevent germs by washing hands.  Wash often and for 25 seconds by taking time to do front and back of hands, thumbs, wrists and nails – suds up all of those areas.  Use hand sanitizer often to help limit germs getting on your hands and into your mouth, eyes, nose, etc.  Also, helpful to often clean your phones, devices, and keyboards with disinfectant wipes.  those areas are germ catchers.

3.) Less stress :).  With all of the news and images, it is common these days to feel stressed about the current virus status, plus on top of everyday life.  It’s easy to say, but we need to reduce stress to keep our nervous system in check.  Stress shuts down many important processes in our bodies, the immune system being just 1 of them, but a very important one.

4.) Whole Foods!  Some of the nutrients that have been shown to be very helpful in past viral epidemics were ones such as Quercetin and Vitamin C.

Foods high in these nutrients include:

Quercetin: Onions, Apples, Grapes, Berries, Broccoli, Citrus fruit, Watermelon, Green peppers, Red Leaf lettuce, Asparagus, Beans and Tomatoes.

Vitamin C: Papaya, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Pineapple, Oranges, Kiwi, Cantaloupe, and Cauliflower.

Also Vitamin D: Fish oil, Salmon, Sardines, Eggs, and Mushrooms.  Also sunshine outside.  

Special Flu Virus fighting compounds include: caffeic acid (not caffine) which can be found in foods and spices such as Turmeric, Basil, Oregano, Sage, Cabbage, Apples, Strawberries, Cantaloupe, Radishes, Mushrooms, Kale, Pears, and Olive Oil.

Probiotics in the way of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kim chi, real pickles, kombucha, kefir, etc,  are always a bonus immune support food.

Bone Broth, water and green tea are great things to drink when needing to boost immune systems.

Lastly, to reduce the impact on immune function, limit processed foods, refined sugars and junk food in general.

These really are all the same suggestions for all illnesses, but really focused on here again to keep the immune system strong and add in anti-viral support in the way of foods and lifestyle with less stress and quality sleep.

Hoping this info helps you to worry less about what is going on by feeling prepared and creating strong immune function.  Breathe deep and find ways to ground yourself in where you are and what is happening in your 4 walls.

Keep smiling and eating whole foods!

Author: Lisa Aschenbrenner

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