Let Food Be Your Medicine!
- Eat nutrient-dense real food. Death from infections is often not due to the infection itself but the body’s inability to fight it. Since more than 90% of Americans are deficient in one or more nutrients, we all need to focus on improving the quality of our diet. This would include meat, fish, chicken, shellfish, organ meats, eggs, berries, green leafy vegetables, nuts and healthy fats like butter, ghee, high fat dairy.
- Try Low Carb. Since diabetics are more likely to die from COVID-19 and one in two Americans is pre-diabetic or diabetic this is a great opportunity to start cutting sugar and starch which suppress the immune system. Now has never been a better time to reduce or eliminate sugar, processed carbohydrates, starches and junk food from our diet. Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after ingesting.
- Adequate protein intake. While most Americans eat adequate amounts of protein, some do not such as the elderly and vegan populations. Protein is critical for immune function and protein malnutrition is a big risk factor for death from infections.
- Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices to your meals! Add these to your soups and vegetable dishes, providing antimicrobial benefits.
- Eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables Eat sources high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes. Avoid high sugar fruits, especially if pre-diabetic or diabetic.
- Eat fermented foods to support your microbiome and immunity. Eat sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, unsweetened yogurt, kefir.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Consuming adequate fluids, including water, tea, homemade soups and broth, supports the immune system. Avoid fruit juices and sweetened beverages, as the sugar content is harmful for immunity.
- Get enough sleep! Sleep restores and heals the body. Without adequate sleep, optimal immune function is next to impossible!
- Get exercise. Mild to moderate exercise helps boost the immune system. If you are able to exercise outside in less populated areas, even better! If not, find workouts and yoga classes online.
- Practice meditation and yoga. Increased levels of stress increase susceptibility to viral infections. Now is a great time to learn online.
- Plant a garden. If you live in an area with a lawn or some access to land, grow some of your own food.
If we all stay calm, avoid contagious fear, and take care of ourselves and our families, we can get through this together, and dramatically reduce sickness and death.
Note: This article is not intended to provide medical advice and any changes should be done in consultation with your healthcare provider.
For more personalized assistance and nutritional guidance please (contact me) Amy Love
Resources and information provided in part by Dr. Mark Hyman. How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19: Supporting Your Immune System When You May Need it Most