Understanding Corona Virus and How To Boost Immunity
WOW defines the month of March. What is going on in the world right now is wild. It is something that I thought was impossible, became possible. Our world has been flipped upside down. We are all adjusting to this transitional phase. Remember that it is just a phase. We don't know how long it will last, but we know that at some point it will come to an end. In the meantime, we need to applaud the medical professionals, send support and love to the people who are chronically ill in the hospital with this virus. We also need to send support and love to the family members of these patients. I could not imagine not being able to go see my family member during a time like now. Please keep all these people in your thoughts, hearts and send a lot of support. They need it!
In a few short days, we've learned a few things.
1. How vulnerable we are.
2. That we are all equal. No matter what race, sex, financial status.
3. Life can (& will) change within a blink of an eye.
4. The IMPORTANCE of your health. This can be taken away from you so quickly. Even
Bill Gates agrees. "It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have moved to neglect it through eating nutrient-poor manufactured food and drinking water that is contained with chemicals upon chemicals. If we don't look after our health, we will, of course, get sick."
I like to think of myself as a strong, optimistic person. But, I am also a realist. I will not deny that I've had a few bad days trying to wrap my head around what is going on, the effect it's had on my business (and most businesses), where this is going and for how long. The only way I was going to get some peace of mind with this is if I researched this virus to learn as much about it as I possibly could. I have a hard time trusting people, ESPECIALLY the media/press. So, I took this into my own hands and spent a few days completely "geeking" out.
I spent hours looking through research articles, listening to podcasts, and live videos hosted by smart trusted medical professionals. I even tapped into my spiritual side and listened to a well-known Astrologer. I absorbed a lot of educational and valuable information and wanted to share it with my viewers.
(Knowledge is power. The more you know, the more powerful you are.)
Note: I am not a Doctor, Scientist nor Clinical Researcher. I am a nutritionist who has an appetite to learn as much as I can so I can help everyone around me.
IDENTIFYING NAMES OF THE VIRUS:
1. Corona = Family name of the virus
2. SARS-COV-2 = The actual virus
SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
SARS-COV-1 = The outbreak in 2003.
3. COVID-19 = The Disease (once infected)
What scientists know is that SARS-COV-2 is 1,000x more infectious than SARS-COV-1. We also know that this virus is HEAVILY contagious which is why social distancing and staying home is the KEY to ending this phase.
HOW IT ENTERS YOUR BODY
Once the virus enters your body (through surfaces, touching your face, inhaling molecules from someone infected around you), the virus enters human cells with the help of ACE2 receptors ACE2 receptors are an enzyme that is attached to the outer surface of our cells in the lungs, arteries, heart, kidney, and intestines.
Scientists know that once the virus enters your cells, it replicates rapidly. This can cause tissue damage to the lungs and kick your immunity into overdrive causing what is called a "cytokine storm".
WHAT IS A CYTOKINE STORM
A cytokine storm is an overproduction of immune cells and their activating compounds (cytokines), which, in a flu infection, is often associated with a surge of activated immune cells into the lungs. The resulting lung inflammation and fluid buildup can lead to respiratory distress and can be contaminated by a secondary bacterial pneumonia. To simplify this, it is a dangerous immune response when our bodies overreact to an invasion.
When the virus enters your body, your immune system releases cytokines from white blood cells and T cells. These cells are sent to battle and kill the virus. Too many cytokines (cytokine storm) will overwhelm the body, which can end up in pneumonia (as noted above), and/or organ failure.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Here is where the never-ending lecture, from me, happens. TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH. I've observed people throwing their nutrition out the window, drinking lots of alcohol (refresher: What Really Happens to Your Body When You Consume Alcohol), eliminating a structure/routine, and not working out. If you are at home this is THE TIME to be doing the opposite of all the above. You should be utilizing this time to move your body, create healthy meals, and drink a TON of water (you all sitting right next to your bathrooms - no excuses!).
While researching the virus, I was looking for specific nutrients that are essential to building immunity (in addition to washing your hands, staying home, etc.). Here's what I found:
Zinc is one of the most important nutrients for your immune system. Why? Because zinc can block the virus from producing. That's all we need to know.
Foods high in zinc: Oysters, Crab, Lobster, Beef, Chicken Thigh/Leg, Pumpkin Seeds, Spinach, Mushrooms, Garlic, Legumes, Oats, & 85% or above Dark Chocolate.
Recommended daily intake: 25mg
BUT (here's the kicker), you must have polyphenols in your diet for zinc to be absorbed into the cells. What are polyphenols? See below.
Polyphenols are powerful compounds found in your fruits and vegetables. They are what give your fruits and vegetables their color.
More research is needed BUT polyphenols are being researched to show that they can block the virus more than the anti-HIV drug they are trialing right now. (Helllllo, this is one of the billion reasons why you need to eat the rainbow!).
They are antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal.
Needed for zinc absorption.
Daily recommended intake: EAT THE RAINBOW
#3 VITAMIN C
Vitamin C blocks what's called NPLP, which is an inflammasome. The inflammasome is what turns on cytokine storm (mentioned above).
China is more open to natural medicine than we are. They are using Vitamin C as a treatment against the virus with infected patients.
Foods high in Vitamin C: Guava, Bell Peppers, Kiwi, Strawberry, Orange, Papaya, Broccoli, Tomatoes, Kale, Snow Peas.
Recommended daily intake: 500-1,000mg.
Note: 1 large orange = 97mg
If supplementing, start with 500 and spread this out throughout the day. Your digestive system may reject this and cause diarrhea if taken all at once. Especially 1,000mg.
#4. VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Meaning, you need healthy fats in your diet for your body to absorb Vitamin D.
Essential for immune function.
If you have low levels of Vitamin D, you are at a higher risk of infection.
Foods high in Vitamin D: Fatty Fish (Salmon, Tuna), Egg Yolks, Cod Liver Oil. Non-food: The sun.
Daily recommended intake: 1,000 IU's
Phytosterols are plant molecules that look like cholesterol.
They are found in all fruits and vegetables.
Research shows that phytosterols can stick to ACE-2 receptors (remember this was mentioned above), meaning that the virus will have no place to attach.
Foods high in phytosterols: Olive Oil, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes, Asparagus, Grapefruit, Strawberry, Sesame Seeds, Wheat Germ, Edamame, Brussel Sprouts, Natural Peanut Butter, Avocado.
Daily recommended intake: EAT THE RAINBOW
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle.
It's a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative molecules.
Research is showing that melatonin is effective in patients because it reduces anxiety and improves sleep quality (your body heals best while sleeping).
Kids naturally have higher levels of melatonin, which is why researchers are guessing why kids are not getting this virus as frequently as adults.
More research is needed to identify this but, FUN FACT!
#7. FIBER (GUT HEALTH)
Resistant starches help your gut bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids, which are the building blocks to strong intestines and colon.
Protects your gut from leaky gut syndrome.
Daily recommended intake: Women: 25g / Men: 35g
WHO'S AT HIGH RISK
To be fair, we ALL are at risk of catching this virus. However, people with the below conditions need to be even more careful.
Gut Health Issues (SIBO, Chron's Disease, Diverticulitis, etc.)
70% of your immune system is in your gut. Without a healthy gut, your immune system is at risk due to the absorption of nutrients.
Immunocompromised (Auto-Immune, Cancer, etc.)
Respiratory Issues (Smokers, Asthma, etc.)
We need to reflect and learn from this experience. Some, of the many, things I've learned are mentioned above, but specifically the importance of your HEALTH. Sometimes I sound like broken record writing this in my newsletter so I apologize, but it's important to recognize and take action. This virus is not a joke, nor is it how you treat your body. Please, eat the rainbow every single day! What does this mean? Add color to all your meals by incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Do not pay too much attention to the press, social media, the emails flooding your inbox. The only people you should be listening to are the CDC, WHO, medical professionals that are in charge and our government rules/restrictions. You can't change this situation, I can't change this situation, your 2nd cousin can't change this situation. It is completely out of our control. What is IN your control is how you react and how you treat your body.
Stay home. Stay safe. Stay healthy. We are in this together. I love you all! We got this!!