Protect Yourself From Viruses! Natural Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System

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Photo by Andrzej Pobiedziński from FreeImages

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:

 

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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:

Fever

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Cough

Shortness of breath

Breathing difficulties

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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!!

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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.

xo

The Gut Nerd

8 Replies to “Protect Yourself From Viruses! Natural Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System”

  1. A great article to be reading given the current circumstances! This is definitely something people should be reading at the moment and educating themselves on. Literally on the news today about how the hotel in Tenerife has been on lock down, and so much going on in Italy now too…. scary stuff and can only hope they contain it fully soon.

    These are some great tips – would literally never have known about too much sugar!! Oops, I can’t stop eating chocolate! Will definitely keep this in mind, and looking online as we speak to get some face masks just in case its spreads further.

    Thank you for touching on this topic, I just hope people pay attention!

    1. Kelly, thank you for your comment. Fyi, dark chocolate is good for your body! lol! But not in excess, of course. I wanted to fill people in but give them actionable steps they can take to help strengthen their bodies. Having a strong immune system may not 100% protect you from getting sick, but the symptoms related to the sickness can be drastically reduced! 

      I hope this article helps people to feel more in control and not panicked about this current virus.

      Anna

  2. Good tips here. I think people underestimate how effective simply washing your hands can be. People should be doing it regularly, but now even more so with the Coronavirus spreading. And sleeping and avoiding sugar is sensible advice. I think eating normal/healthy foods in general can help people fight off viruses. 

    1. Nate, you are absolutely right! eating healthy whole foods and avoiding over consumption of sugar can help to prevent many viruses! Thank you for taking the time to read this post and leave a helpful, thoughtful comment!

      Anna

  3. Hi

    You have raised such an important  issue as we have to prepare for this virus to become a pandemic and start infecting  more people and countries. It looks like it is quite a potent virus killing around  2% of those who become affected. We all need to strengthen  our immune system  and all the tips you have presented  in this article  will help in this regard. This will not only help with the Corona virus but with other infections such as flu and common cold. Most people do not realise  that 80% of people exposed  to the virus will not get seriously  sick or have life threatening  symptoms. In fact flu kills more than the Corona virus but any help is very much appreciated.  I also believe that practicing good hygiene  like washing hands is very important. 

    Do you think this virus will  become a pandemic  or not?

    Thanks

    Antonio 

    1. I am hoping it doesn’t, however based on the few news articles I’ve read, it is spreading to other countries. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Strengthening the immune system will definitely help to prevent or lessen the effects of the virus, and as you’ve stated good hygiene is key as well!

      Anna

  4. Hello Anna McGarvie,

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to comment on this article. First and foremost, Your page animation is totally amazing, I love it! The title, “The Gut Nerd” is really cool as well, I love the humor in it. 

    Thank you for filling your readers in on what Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-Cov) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-Cov) are, this is very informative education.

    I would also like to thank you for the warning about eating or drinking too much sugar, which impacts the immune system, and about keeping the sugars to the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables.

    Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to comment on this article.

    Blessing To You My Friend,
    Jerry

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