Everywhere we turn, we hear alarming news about the spread of the coronavirus.
As a mind-body/holistic health coach and Emotion Code practitioner, I believe it’s a time for us to take necessary precautions as recommended by the CDC. And yet it’s also an opportunity for us to turn inward to review what we can do to fortify our health from both a physical body and mind perspective.
For truly, the steps we take to strengthen our health to prepare for an outbreak such as this are the same practices we should be incorporating into our daily lifestyle every day in order to live our best, most brilliant lives.
My belief is that the basics of nutrition, exercise, mastery of our thoughts and emotions, and connectedness with Oneness bring about a Wholeness and a true sense of happiness we were all created to enjoy.
Our bodies have the innate ability to heal and thrive when we nourish them properly. One of the best lines of defense in light of the spreading concern is to take steps to safeguard your health by boosting your immune system. Keep in mind, we are all exposed to hundreds of pathogens on a daily basis—viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and more. Exposure does not cause disease! If your immune system is healthy and strong, you’ll naturally fight off viruses, even outbreaks of new strains.
Keeping your immune system healthy is something you can be proactive about, so I’m sharing 30+ top tips to bolster your mind and body naturally.
RELAX & MANAGE YOUR STRESS – It’s estimated that 68% of Americans are already in a state of over-stress. When we are stressed, the sympathetic nervous system contributes to what we know as the “fight or flight” response. The body channels most of its energy to the functions required to run away from the threat, whether that’s perceived or real. The adrenals trigger hormones like adrenalin and cortisol that signal the body for danger, the heart beats faster, we breath shallow and fast, blood vessels in the arms and legs dilate, and the digestive process churns out more glucose (sugar energy) into the bloodstream to respond to the urgent need for survival.
Let’s just say that our miraculous bodies were designed to experience stress on occasion, not live there as we tend to do in our overly busy worlds.
Many of today’s illnesses and diseases are triggered by this state of chronic stress, which depresses the immune system and wreaks havoc on every organ in the body. Calming your nervous system and helping it reset to relaxation response will give your immune system a boost and optimize your chance to fight off any infection, should you be exposed to it. Now more than ever it’s a time to prioritize relaxation in whatever way you like. Get a massage. Meditate. Pray. Dance. Chant. Make art. Have great sex. Do yoga. Get out in nature. Limit the time you listen to the news.
AVOID PROCESSED SUGAR – Refined sugar hits our system hard, increasing inflammation, and can damage cells throughout the body. Sugar also suppresses the immune system, damages both mitochondrial function and energy production, which in turn triggers cell mutations that are then fed by continued sugar consumption. Read your labels. Processed sugar is hidden in 75% of the foods on our grocery shelves, and it’s found to be 8x more addictive than cocaine! If you need support in breaking a sugar habit, I can help you kick the habit in 7 days!
(btw – Natural sugars from fruits and vegetables balance sugar with fiber, water, vitamins, and minerals, so your body processes these naturally. Eat more of those and avoid the processed stuff.)
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER – Every system of your body depends on water. It’s fundamental to digestion, it flushes out toxins, and carries nutrients to the cells. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of filtered water every day. If you are sick, drink even more. Consider adding lemon to your water which helps to alkalize your system. Adding ginger helps with digestive function. Adding cucumber helps to detox.
LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE – a balanced diet is the best way to get your essential nutrients for the production and maintenance of key germ-fighting cells in the immune system. Here are a few examples:
- Vitamin A boosts immunity, lowers your risk of infection and supports wound healing through collagen strength. Snack on carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, wild-caught Alaskan salmon, organic pastured eggs and grass-fed beef.
- Vitamin D plays a big part in immune health and can be found in limited quantities in raw grass fed milk, wild-caught Alaskan salmon and organic pastured eggs. Better yet, get outside!
- Some of the most vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, from tangerines to limes, along with leafy greens, bell peppers and broccoli. Berries are another great source, and also contain potent antioxidants which support your immune response and help to rebuild collagen.
- Garlic contains powerful sulfur compounds with antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Spice up your meals and your immune system at the same time. You can add it to your recipes or you can mince it up, mix it in warm water, and drink it like tea for a huge immunity boost.
- Eating lots of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale may help to stop viruses from reproducing due to a naturally high amount of a compound called indole-3-carbinol (I3C).
- Zinc found in pumpkin seeds may help prevent and cut short the duration of many colds. Spinach, nuts, beans, mushrooms, and dark chocolate are good sources of zinc too.
- Cinnamon warms the body and has antibiotic and antiviral properties that make it a great addition to your defenses. Cinnamon tea is an excellent way to keep your immune system warmed up and ready each morning.
- Top ways to detox from heavy metals and other toxins in our system come from spirulina, chlorella and red algae.
- NOTE: it’s best to avoid the seven foods most commonly causing food sensitivities – sugar, gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts, corn and soy.
GET YOUR OMEGA 3s – These omega fatty acids are good fats that decrease inflammation and increase the activity of phagocytes, cells that literally eat the bad guys. Unfortunately today’s Standard American Diet (SAD) contains an unhealthy amount of Omega 6’s, up to a ratio of 25:1! Counter that balance by adding flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and purslane, all of which are good vegan options. Wild salmon is one of the best sources for any of our non-vegan readers.
CHOOSE ORGANIC VEGETABLES – Pesticides, herbicides and other agricultural chemicals like glyphosate have similar actions to antibiotics. After all, they are applied to kill bugs that attack plants, and likewise they kill the good bacteria bugs in our gut as well. They are now being found to be cancer causing, others are neurotoxins. Having plenty of dark green leafy vegetables is essential to keeping your body at a health pH level, but make sure to choose organic whenever possible.
Can’t always afford organic? The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit who publishes a list each year of the “Dirty Dozen” for those foods that are tested and show to have the highest concentration of chemicals – and the “Clean 15” for those that might be safer to purchase conventional farming. This year’s Dirty Dozen – strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery & potatoes. (Multiple samples of kale showed 18 different pesticides!)
The “Clean 15” that are ok to buy conventional (not organic) include avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, sweet peas (frozen), onions, papayas, eggplants, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms and honeydew melons.
EAT FIBER-RICH FOODS — Not only does fiber help balance your gut microbiome, it, too, helps improve your immune system, as resistant starches act as prebiotics to feed healthy bacteria in your gut. As a result, it promotes bowel movements and keeps waste moving smoothly through your colon, while at the same time benefiting your heart health and controlling your blood sugar.
EAT FERMENTED VEGETABLES — One of the easiest and quickest ways to balance the bacteria in your gut, the home of your immune system, about 80 percent of which resides in your gastrointestinal tract. Something as simple as taking one tablespoon of sauerkraut a day can improve your gut health.
Other sources include kombucha, kefir, natto, kimchi, pickles, miso, tempeh and raw grass-fed yogurt. Make sure you watch out for added sugar in most commercial varieties.
FAST INTERMITTENTLY – Studies at USC showed that fasting lowers white blood cell counts, which triggers stem-cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells, which not only boosts your immunity but also plays a role in longevity. Whereas it once was believed to take three days of fasting to see results, new studies show “time restricted” fasting of 12 – 16 hours is enough. Try this: Finish eating your last meal of the day by 8 pm and wait until noon the next day to have your first meal. That’s a simple way to get in 16 hours of fasting!
GO MODERATE ON ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION — Alcohol is a depressant that affects the body and the brain in some interesting and sometimes fun ways. Unfortunately, it also dulls the immune system. You are more likely to get sick after some heavy drinking, so take it easy out there.
DRINK SOME TEA – Warm drinks soften mucus and help your body remove captured invaders. The antioxidants in teas help rejuvenate cells and prepare them to resist illness. Many of the herbs that go into teas also have their own immune boosting benefits. I just got turned on to a new Tazo Tea — Turmeric Bliss. It has Licorice root (an adaptogen) and turmeric with a touch of ginger, all which support your immune system and lower inflammation. Green tea is another great choice, full of antioxidants.
GET GOOD SLEEP – Sleep is when our bodies and our brains release toxins and repair. Cutting just one hour of sleep a night increases the expression of genes associated with inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer risk and stress. Consistently sleeping less than six hours a night increases your risk for numerous psychological and physical effects. The upshot is, lack of sleep quickly decreases your immune function, leaving your system wide-open for environmental influences, including viruses like colds and flu. If you need some help sleeping, schedule an Emotion Code Session with me and I will throw in my free guide my top tips to improve your sleep.
SUPPLEMENT YOUR NUTRITION — It is not possible to get all the nutrition your immune system needs from food, and it’s been show that micronutrient deficiencies can suppress immunity. Our soil has become so depleted of nutrients that our food does not supply us with nearly as much nutrition as it did 50-100 years ago.
TAKE A QUALITY PRO-BIOTIC – Probiotics have been shown to enhance the immune system, protect the body against viruses, bacteria and fungi, improve digestion and improve nutrient absorption.
COLLOIDAL SILVER — Silver is effective against strong invaders such as Bacillus Anthracis (Anthrax), Candida (Yeast), Bubonic Plague, MRSA (Resistant Staph infections), Tuberculosis, Salmonella, Fungal and bacterial infections of the skin, and more. It’s a liquid you can take internally. I also have Norwex earth-friendling cleaning towels that are woven with colloidal silver and remove up to 99% of the bacteria from your surfaces.
TRY OIL PULLING – swishing coconut oil in the mouth has been shown to help due to the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of the lauric acid in the oil, and it supports good dental hygiene.
GET YOUR EXERCISE — Your body relies on movement to circulate oxygen and nutrients, help detoxify tissues, remove cellular waste, and even transport immune cells where they are needed. That’s right, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump like the heart to do it all, so our activity levels matter more than you know. Exercise also improves heart health and blood circulation to keep cells nourished.
AVOID OVER-USE OF ANTI-BIOTICS – From a young age, most of us are given antibiotic medication to address infections, but they adversely affect the balance of bacteria in our microbiome. While antibiotics are designed to attack pathogenic (bad) bacteria, they indiscriminately wipe out our good bacteria too.
USE ESSENTIAL OILS – I love essential oils. Clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, oregano, myrrh, lavender and other EO’s help kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Just a few drops behind the neck, on your belly or on your feet will allow them to enter your bloodstream quickly. Dilute them in coconut oil and rub them on your hands as a safe sanitizer. Mist them in your room to soothe and calm sore throats and sinus issues. Adding lemon oil to water is a great anti-bacterial cleaner.
SUPPORT YOUR LIVER – The liver’s job is to detoxify the body. And do you know the best way to support an under-performing liver? Deep breathing! You can also consider doing a juice cleanse for a few days to give your liver a chance to clear out excessive toxins and restore itself.
GET YOUR VITAMIN D – Vitamin D is part of creating cathelicidin, a protein that kills viruses, and it may be how many immune cells communicate with one another. About 42% of Americans are deficient. The best source of Vitamin D is sunshine, and just twenty minutes a day will do it.
RELAX & DETOX IN THE BATH — bathe each night using detoxing epson salts to remove toxins from body through skin. Add essential oils for relaxation too. If you really want to take it to a new level try a lymphatic brush first to loosen everything.
LIGHTEN YOUR TOXIC BURDEN — Eat fewer pre-packaged meals and processed foods which often contain preservatives and chemical additives. Run your tap water through a reverse osmosis filter. Use natural cosmetics, creams and cleansers that are free of harmful chemicals and xenoestrogens. Avoid artificial fragrances. Avoid the use of stain repellants on clothing, bedding or upholstery. Opt for natural cleaning products. Avoid gasoline fumes when you’re filling your car.
TRY SOME ADAPTOGENS — There are many herbs that help the body deal with stress and adapt to changes. Astragalus and ginseng are two that are especially good at boosting immune function, by increasing white blood cells and interleukins.
CLEAN AND DISINFECT SURFACES — Viruses can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours. Washing and disinfecting surfaces that you regularly use can help block the spread of germs to prevent infection. Replace your kitchen sponges regularly. Use anti-bacterial cleaners or cloths with colloidal silver which require no detergent at all.
BEWARE THE GERMIEST PLACES – These include laundry rooms, bath tubs, grocery store handles and grocery carts, airplane restrooms, ATM buttons, playgrounds, handbags, public drinking fountains, and your kitchen sponge!
RELEASE THE EMOTIONAL BURDEN – The beliefs you hold about yourself and the world, your emotions, your memories, and your habits all influence mental and physical health. As I mentioned earlier, your perception of the world and whether it’s a safe place or a place filled with fear holds
If you’ve ever judged yourself, felt unworthy, unlovable, depressed or just not “enough”, these are hampering your body’s defense system and weighing you down. The added emotional burden from the stress of the spread of the virus only adds to the load. Schedule an Emotion Code Session with me to release those quickly and easily.
AVOID NEGATIVE THOUGHTS – Every thought you have releases chemicals in the brain and body. Hopeful thoughts release chemicals that help you feel happy and calm. Negative, fearful thoughts release chemicals that make you feel stressed and sad. You have power over where you focus your mind and can choose to think positive thoughts. Practice a few of the immune-boosting tips I shared here, and you’ll be able to buy into the same powerful self-talk I have “I have an immune system of steel! I never get sick.”
DON’T DISCOUNT THE PLACEBO EFFECT — Science has fully established that a minimum of one third, and up to two thirds, of all positive medical interventions are due to the Placebo Effect – just a positive belief that a pill or therapy will work, sugar pill or not, can produce the desired healing experience. What placebo can you use to fortify your belief that your health can withstand any viral attack? For me I turn to Airborne, the simple mineral supplement whenever I feel the signs of a cold approaching and allow that to mentally boost my belief that I am healthy. Find your placebo and indulge! Chicken soup, an ointment, a healing bath, a prayer.
CONNECT WITH LOVED ONES – especially the happy ones! Surround yourself with people you love and trust and you will boost your levels of endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, and other healing hormones that can help you fend off viruses naturally. Bonus points for random acts of kindness that will positively uplift you and the happy recipients of your kindness. Remember always, love heals.
By Kathy Basel, holistic wellness coach & Emotion Code practitioner. I teach that the basics of nutrition, exercise, mastery of your thoughts and emotions, and connectedness with Oneness bring about a Wholeness and a true sense of happiness we were all created to enjoy. If you’d like help implementing any of these strategies – cutting out sugar, doing a cleanse, releasing trapped emotions and limiting beliefs, and living a healthy lifestyle you love – I am here for you! Schedule a session today at www.thevitalitycode.com or 720-217-5692.