Studies are showing that "excessive inflammation, depressed immune system, and an activate cytokine storm substantially contribute to the pathogenesis of COVID-19". In other words: it's not so much the virus but the host that determines how sick a person will get from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Other than social distancing and hand washing there is not much we can do about the virus itself. But what we can do is take steps to decrease our body's inflammation and support our immune system. To help you stay healthy during COVID-19, we have shared 4 tips you can start doing today to help to lower Inflammation and support your immune system. #1 Dump the Junk in Your Diet Reduce your consumption of the following foods that cause higher levels of inflammation:
Sugar and refined grains. Cookies, candy bars, breads and pasta are all high in carbs and cause inflammation.
Processed Foods- if it has a label with more than a couple ingredients it is processed. Stay away from preservatives, artificial coloring and other chemicals in your foods.
Poor Quality Animal Products. Get more protein from nuts, legumes (if tolerated) and vegetables and eat less meat and dairy. If you do eat animal products, they should be high quality (grass fed, organic)
#2 Eat More Plant Foods
A few guidelines to help you eat plant foods that will keep you healthy are:
Fresh and organic if possible
Make sure you are getting all the colors of the rainbow in your fruits and vegetables daily
Aim for at least 7 servings a day
Make smoothies- you can pack a lot of servings of fruits in vegetables in a smoothie and they taste great!
#3 Deal with Your Stress Stress is known to cause inflammation. Here are some strategies to minimize your body's harmful response to stress:
Deep breathing, yoga, Qi gong; whatever works for you to relax and engage your parasympathetic system
Meditation - you can download Free Guided Meditations from Insight Timer
Spend some of your time at home learning a new skill - it’s all available online!
When was the last time you sang? Singing or humming stimulates the vagus nerve which can decrease your stress response
#4 Get Enough Sleep If getting enough sleep is an issue for you, below are a few tips to help.
It's easy to stay up late going down rabbit holes in the internet...Don't do it! Shut down your screens at least one hour before bed.
Listen to relaxing music or a meditation instead.
Soak in the tub with Epsom salts.
Melatonin 5mg is a safe aid to sleep and has other health benefits
The most effective viral infection prevention technique varies from person to person so if you want to learn more about how to optimize your unique immune system, schedule a consultation with Dr. Brunk today.