As our situation with COVID-19 continues and we learn more about it, I will continue to be a stable source of the EXTRA positive steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.
Western medicine, through the CDC and NIH, has given us valuable guidelines on proper hygiene and social distancing, along with providing ER care to those who become critically ill with the virus.
As a Naturopath, I will add to that information about what makes a person more vulnerable OR resistant to succumbing to the virus. My goal is to help you to prevent exposure but if you do contract it, I want to be sure that you are strong enough to have the milder case that so many people have reported. I’m doing that by helping you understand how to make lifestyle adjustments and use vitamin and herbal protocols to shore up your immune system. Today I’m going to educate you about the Big Whys- the main factors that make you either resistant or vulnerable. I’m going to give you easy and more advanced, tougher steps you can take to correct problems in the Big Whys. Remember, ANYthing you do will help! Here we go:
Big Why #1- a poor gut ecology
The strength of your immune system is greatly influenced by the balance of friendly and unfriendly microbes in your gut. A healthy gut ecology helps you in other ways, too, but today we’re focusing on the immune system.
Many people are surprised to learn that your gut health is influenced by years of dietary, toxic and Rx medicine influences. If you need a Rx medicine, you need it. But don’t assume that your gut just recovers when you’re done with the medicine. Just taking a probiotic doesn’t cut it, because once the balance is off, the “good guys” in a probiotic have a difficult time getting established. Here are the Easy and Tougher things you can do to restore your gut.
- Add fiber to your diet. A Tbsp of ground flax seed is a simple way to do this. Pay attention to the fiber in the foods you eat and realize that the more processed they are, the less fiber they will have.
- Go organic with the foods you eat. Pesticide residues on your foods work against your friendly microbes in the gut.
- Direct contact with Mother Earth is very helpful. Dig in the dirt or go barefoot a bit, but only if you do not use chemicals on your ground. The soil microbes are helpful for us, too!
- Eliminate gluten (lots of great online resources to adapt to a gluten free diet), sugar (which feeds all the “bad guys” microbes, and dairy (which creates mucous, which is a great growing environment for the “bad guys”.)
- Start a little chemical-free backyard garden. The soil microbes that occur and are passed on to you when you eat your fresh-grown foods are very helpful! Sorry, but hydroponic gardens do not supply these soil microbes, but if that gets you eating more veggies, I’m in favor!
- The toughest of all for some is to eliminate all yard chemicals. Roundup and other weed killers are gut destroyers. Read the research of Dr Stephanie Seneff for detailed info.
Big Why #2- an acidic body pH
An acidic pH is irritating to your nervous system and will also make you vulnerable to a host of illnesses, including cancer. What makes you acidic? Too much sugar, too many grains, not enough alkalizing veggies and ongoing stress are the major factors. Here’s how to help alkalize yourself.
Easy (all of these are pretty easy):
- Eat more veggies- 5 servings a day is the current recommendation.
- Add Chlorophyll to your vitamin program, which I also recommend specifically for COVID-19 recovery, because it helps your blood cells deliver oxygen more efficiently.
- Work on stress relief by exercising regularly, listening to good music, using essential oils, and having a good laugh. The social isolation we’re currently experiencing is an added stress, so be sure you pay good attention to getting enough stress relief.
Big Why #3- an inability to eliminate toxins well
Stored toxic loads make you vulnerable to any illness. Some people have genetic mutations that compromise your ability to detox.
- Drink adequate, good quality water. Divide your weight by 2 and that is roughly how many ounces you need each day.
- Keep your bowels moving, which should happen at least once a day and preferably twice. Following the gut ecology recommendations will help, and if you need additional help you can add some Natural Calm magnesium drink. Most folks do well on 1-2 tsp per day.
- Sauna 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes per session. Work into your sessions and pay attention to how you feel. You should feel energized rather than wiped out.
- Intermittent Fasting increases autophagy, which literally means “self eating”. Sounds extreme, but this is one of your body’s tools to get rid of cellular debris or damaged cells. If you are new to intermittent fasting, start with an 8-10 hour eating window where all of your food consumption is within this window. If you want to go with smaller than an 8 hour eating window, check with your practitioner to be sure it’s ok for you.
If you missed my earlier blog on vitamin protocols to help your immune system, you can access it here.