We are in unprecedented territory, at least for our lifetime. America and many other countries are locking down. Sports seasons are cancelled. Schools are closed. Large gatherings are prohibited. Grocery stores are running out of essential food and supplies.
While all of this is scary, it is truly in your best interests to prevent the spread of this novel virus we are facing.
While a majority of cases do present with mild symptoms, we just don’t know enough about how this virus works… and that will only come with more time and more data.
If you want a rundown of what the virus really means for us in our daily lives, check out this interview with Dr. Elisa Song.
With all these measures in place, we are looking long-term: how can we prevent the spread of COVID-19?
And this is exactly where our focus SHOULD be as a nation. The elderly, the immunocompromised, and those with other pre-existing medical concerns are at the highest risk from this novel threat. And as a society, it’s a beautiful thing for all of us to band together in order to give them and our hospitals the best shot at treating the most people.
But all this big-picture thinking may leave you wondering: What can you start implementing immediately to really get to the root of protecting your family?
The answer is boosting your immune system. This is truly your first and BEST line of defense to prevent sickness from spreading to yourself and your family.
Here’s a rundown of some of the immune-supporting practices and products we are using every single day to protect ourselves. The beauty of these is that they are not just for this virus. These principles will apply to any sickness you are facing!
Wash Your Hands and Keep Surfaces Clean!
We’ve been hearing this over and over again, and it truly is the best defense against spreading sickness. But antibacterial hand washes and chemical-filled products can disrupt your body’s balance and may not even be effective against viruses. You can check out some recipes to get you started making your own effective green cleaning products here or in my book, The Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils.
I get that feeling of being too busy to take the time to make your own products (even though it is quicker and simpler than you may think). If you’re looking for ready-to-go, toxin-free cleaning products, my go-to is Truly Free Green Cleaning and Hand Wash products. These are natural and powerful products that are effective and free of harsh toxins (plus, they’re in stock — unlike so many brands at grocery stores now!).
>> Click here to shop Truly Free products!
SUPPORT YOUR GUT HEALTH
Your immunity begins in your gut. Over 70% of your immune response originates in your gut, so you are really going to want to care for your microbiome and digestion. Nourishing your body with nutritious foods that support your gut health should be a priority all the time, but especially now with the threats we are facing. Here are some great immune-boosting foods:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fermented vegetables
- Sprouted foods
- Organic green juices
- Fresh herbs including rosemary, thyme, cilantro and oregano.
One of my favorite nourishing tools is Kettle & Fire Bone Broth, which is conveniently made with only the best ingredients and is AMAZING for supporting your gut!
>> Click here to shop Bone Broths and Soups!
Tip: You can make soups ahead of time with bone broth you either buy or make yourself. That way, it’s super simple to pull out and heat up as a nutritious meal for your family!
GET QUALITY PROBIOTICS
Probiotics help your immune system fight, beginning in your gut. High quality probiotic foods or supplements are an important way to support your microbiome so your body can defend itself. Some quality food sources are fermented vegetables (like sauerkraut, kimchi, and fermented pickles), coconut kefir, kombucha, and miso. During times like this where your body really needs extra support, it’s also a good idea to look into pure supplement forms that can support your gut. Don’t settle for store brands — you want to be sure you’re getting the best. Some brands I trust are Megaspore or Probiotic Synergy from Designs for Health.
SAY NO TO SUGAR
If there’s one nutrition tip I can recommend for you during this time, it’s this: SAY NO TO SUGAR. Sugar literally slows down your immune response and gives invaders the chance to get a hold in your body. One of the best tools to banish sugar cravings is my Crave Reset supplement! It is formulated with powerful ingredients to stabilize your blood sugar, help you feel full longer, and balance your neurotransmitters to help you set yourself up for success.
STAY HYDRATED AND GET POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants are vital for your cells’ health and to give your immune system the support it needs. They also give your liver a boost to help it detox your cells efficiently. One of my favorite antioxidant sources is Matcha green tea powder! Matcha has 10X the antioxidants of blueberries and it is proven to significantly boost your white blood cells. You can just add it into your daily smoothies or drink it with almond milk to support your cells, lungs, heart, and more.
>> Click here to get my favorite Matcha now!
Another great source of antioxidants is Lemon essential oil. Staying hydrated and adding a drop of Lemon is an immune-boosting hack I use all year long! When you drink enough water, your body is able to flush out the things that are making you sick and cleanse itself naturally. Adding Lemon not only adds a delicious zing, but it also packs a punch for your immune health.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP AND CUT YOUR STRESS
Lack of sleep and staying stressed out puts more work on your body and can slow down your immune system. Here are some fantastic ways to support rest and calm in your body so you can give your body the best shot at fighting off any threats:
- Stick to your rituals (or make new ones). Self-care is a cornerstone to maintaining your physical health, so be sure you’re setting aside dedicated time to reset, recharge, and refocus on what really matters. Get your favorite calming essential oils and breathe — you will make it through this!
- Set boundaries. It’s ok if you feel like you need to say no to certain people or commitments right now. Protecting your energy should be your #1 priority!
- Set yourself up for sleep success. Dim your lights, turn off your phone, and diffuse calming oils like Lavender or Roman Chamomile to get yourself ready to sleep well.
- Take supplements. I have formulated a line of supplements designed to naturally and effectively support healthy sleep and stress patterns. Zen Sleep is naturally formulated with herbs that enhance your ability to get a full night’s rest — without any next-day grogginess. Stress Reset is perfect for calming your mind and body by regulating your stress response so you can peacefully face your day ahead!
MOVE YOUR BODY
With all the restrictions in place and the kids stuck at home, it may seem harder to work in your daily exercise. But now is as important a time as ever to stick with it! Moving your body allows your lymphatic system and blood vessels to circulate appropriately, getting your cells the nutrients and oxygen they need while draining and clearing out the junk that drags you down.
This doesn’t have to be anything big… a couple 4-minute Tabata sequences, a walk around the block, an at-home yoga flow, or a hike in fresh air are all great options to get your blood flowing to keep your body cleansed and happy!
SUPPORT YOUR BODY WITH SUPPLEMENTS
Supplements are a crucial way you can support your body’s overall health at this, and any, time of the year. Your immune system interacts with every other system in your body, so you will want to be doing everything you can to give your body what it needs. In particular, selenium, magnesium, iron, B vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin E all play an important part in keeping your body thriving. You can find these in a quality multivitamin!
IMMUNE POWERHOUSES: VITAMIN C, VITAMIN D, AND ZINC!
Vitamins C, D and Zinc are some of the most powerful immune-support supplements you can get.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the most important vitamins your body needs when wanting to boost immunity and neutralize dangerous free radicals. It acts as an antioxidant and co-factor that your body relies on to create the white blood cells that fend off sickness. I suggest 1,000-3000 mg daily of vitamin C. If you’ve been exposed to something or feel the sickness fog settling in, take 1,000-2,000 mg every 4 hours (be mindful of bowel tolerance) for 2 to 3 days.
We naturally get vitamin D from the sun, but most of us are deficient — especially this time of year. Every cell in your body relies on vitamin D, so supplementing with this vitamin should be part of your wellness routine. Vitamin D helps your immune system stay balanced during the cold and flu season by binding to receptors and activating enzymes on the surfaces of all white blood cells.
Sufficient levels of vitamin D reduce your risk of infectious disease by strengthening your body’s immune system. I recommend a dosage of 5,000-10,000 IU each day, and if you are concerned about a particular exposure, I recommend stepping up your dosage to 10,000 IU of vitamin D (with K2-MK7) 2 times a day for 2-3 days.
Zinc is known to play a key role in the immune system. If you are zinc-deficient, you may experience increased susceptibility to a variety of external pathogens. Zinc is crucial for normal development and function of cells, especially the ones that attack intruders. Zinc has two standard dosages. The low dosage is 5-15mg, while the high dosage is 25-45mg. The low dose is effective for daily prevention, while the high dosage should be taken by anyone at risk for a zinc deficiency or is fighting an acute infection.
TAKE THE POWER BACK INTO YOUR HANDS
In times like this, it is easy to feel out of control. Lost. Confused.
While we can’t guarantee what tomorrow holds, we can take steps to defend ourselves and our families through these methods. Your immune system is designed to ward off invaders and recover. All the power to protect yourself and heal lies within you!
These tools are the best way to support this natural power and take back control of your health.