Protect Yourself From Viruses! Natural Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System
A new virus has gotten the attention of all of us this 2020. Well maybe not everyone, but unless you are living under a rock or out in the wilderness with zero internet connection, you have more than likely heard about the newest coronavirus!
The newest Coronavirus has a lot of people worried and scared as there is very limited information about this current virus, and to top it off, the amount of people affected has risen.
As worrisome as new viruses can be, one good thing to note is that there are always natural ways to strengthen your immune system and help prevent or slow down the spread of a virus or bacteria.
What Is The Coronavirus?
What exactly IS the coronavirus? The coronavirus is a large family of viruses. They are zoonotic meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. These types of viruses can range from the common cold to more severe viruses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-Cov) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-Cov).
SARS-Cov was transmitted from civet cats to humans. MER-Cov was transmitted from camels to humans.
The current coronavirus is COVID-19. Not much yet is known about this newest virus. However, current knowledge about how this virus (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses (SARS-Cov).
How Is This Current Coronavirus – COVID-19 Spread?
Person to person:
This virus is most often spread when in close contact with someone (about 6 feet).
The virus is spread mainly when the infected person coughs or sneezes. Respiratory droplets from the infected person comes into contact with another person.
These respiratory droplets can land on the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Infected Surfaces or Objects
While it is possible to get the COVID-19 virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching your own mouth, eyes and nose, this is not thought to be the MAIN way the virus spreads.
What Are The Symptoms?
First of all, keep in mind that this virus has a limited geographic spread. So if you are living here in Canada, you are fairly safe from contracting this virus.
However, there are symptoms to look out for with regard to this virus:
Shortness of breath
Severe cases end up with pneumonia, kidney failure and even death.
But keep in mind, this virus, so far has been limited in its spread.
What You Can Do To Prevent Infection
You have been filled in on all the scary bits and the possible symptoms to look out for when dealing with this new coronavirus.
Now let’s focus on ways to prevent you from becoming infected:
1: wash your hands regularly. Good ol’ soap and water will work.
2: cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
3: make sure the food you eat is thoroughly cooked
4: avoid contact with a person who shows symptoms of a respiratory illness – eg. coughing and sneezing.
Natural Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System
The best defence in preventing illnesses and infectious diseases is to build a strong immune system. There are many ways to naturally support and build up your immune system.
SLEEP: make sure you are getting enough sleep. Lack of the proper amount of sleep can directly affect the health of your immune system.
AVOID SUGAR: eating or drinking too much sugar impacts the immune system, so keep the sugars to the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables.
VITAMIN AND HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS: help support your immune system with vitamins and herbal supplements. Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc are three top vitamins to take to help strengthen the immune system. These vitamins are also ones you should take daily when you feel like you are coming down with a cold.
Herbal supplementation is also a great idea to strengthen the immune system. According to Dr. Axe (author of Eat Dirt), bacteria and viruses in the intestines LOVE dampness and moisture. In order to change this, taking herbal supplements that warm the body, can help to kill off the bacteria and viruses. Bacteria and viruses cannot thrive in a warm and dry environment.
Some herbs to help fight off viruses and bacteria are echinacea, oil of oregano and andrographis. Herbs like astragalus, licorice root and ginger help to strengthen the immune system.
DRINK LESS ALCOHOL: excessive intake of alcohol weakens the immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight off infections.
EAT PLENTY OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS AND SEEDS: these foods contain nutrients that are essential for our body and help to keep our immune system strong. Plus eating foods high in fibre will help to feed and nourish the good bacteria in your intestines. Good bacteria LOVE fibre!!
STOP SMOKING: not only does smoking increase the risk of heart disease and cancer, smoking impairs the immune system. The effectiveness of the immune system is greatly reduced in those who smoke, leaving them more susceptible to pathogens (viruses and bacteria).
EAT FERMENTED FOODS: as I have stated in many blog posts, fermented foods are a great way to get beneficial bacteria into your body, and eating these foods can help to strengthen the immune system. Some examples of fermented foods are: sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and kefir.
PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT: if the thought of eating fermented foods is something you just can’t stomach, then look into taking a high quality probiotic. A high quality probiotic taken daily will help to strengthen and grow the beneficial bacteria colonies in your gut and in turn, strengthen your immune system.
YOU HAVE THE TOOLS
While you can’t 100% prevent sickness and infection, you CAN give your body a fighting chance by following the natural remedies above. Most of the natural remedy suggestions can be applied right away and do not cost a lot of money.
What about you? Do you have use any other natural remedies or suggestions to help strengthen the immune system?
If you do, comment below! I’d love to hear your suggestions.
The Gut Nerd