What you can do to resist infections such as Covid-19
Updated: May 28
Good health, including a robust immune system that protects us from infections and other diseases, does not just fall out of the sky. Good health comes from the constant and detailed attention to lifestyle, nutrition and hygiene. It is a lifelong pursuit. What you invest in your health today will reap great benefits tomorrow and 20 or 30 years from now - the best strategy for a long and healthy life is to anticipate and to keep well ahead of disease and ill-health.
Before anything else, an important message
While some vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other nutrients help to maintain a robust immune system, these do not replace social distancing, washing one's hands, self-isolation when necessary, or any other recommendations made by our health officials. Please remember that even if your immune system is strong, you may still carry and transmit the virus even while symptoms may be mild. While this pandemic is unfolding quickly, the prevalence of carriers in communities is currently not known and probably never will be.
Read the research and listen to the experts
What I'm doing in this article is supporting recommendations with the appropriate search strings so that you can read to your heart's content, the research and discussion for and against the measures that I'm recommending. Then you can make up your mind for yourself about what is best for you and your family. Write to me if you remain unsure about what to do.
The official advice about how to prepare for the Corona Virus Pandemic is generally along these lines:
Wash your hands.
Don't shake hands.
Avoid close contact with anyone who appears ill.
Keep away from crowds, including public transport.
Wear a face mask when out in public.
Stock up on essential groceries but be reasonable about it.
This is good advice but, for some people, the response has bordered on hysteria which is unhelpful and bear in mind that stress can weaken your immune system, thus making you more vulnerable to infections and less able to fight them.
The first defence against viruses such as Covid-19 has to be the minimising of risk of contact with the virus by way of secure borders, avoiding infected people if it gets hold here and practising good personal hygiene. Of that, I agree whole-heartedly. Of all the advice, much of it good, there is one glaring oversight, be this intentional or not. The oversight is the critical importance of our very own internal immune system for protecting us from the worst consequences of these pathogens.
We are under constant assault by pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, yeast, fungi and parasites - countless billions of bugs. We happily coexist with these bugs most of the time for the duration of our lives because our defences (immune system) protects us. While our immune system is incredibly complex, each year we understand better than ever how it works and we know more and more about what we can do to ensure that these defences are strong and resilient.
The immune-compromised, those on medications such as ACE Inhibitors and the elderly make up most of the deaths from Covid-19. This is a clear signal to us of that getting into the best of health will reduce the consequences of infection by this virus or any other kind of bug for that matter.
A healthy immune system may not mean that you do not get ill, but it can mean the difference between infection being a mere inconvenience or a life-threatening one.
When it comes to resisting the Covid-19, or any other bug, for that matter, my advice which is additional to the very good official advice, is to take measures to ensure your immune system is primed and ready to respond effectively. You need to start these measures right away because good health, including a robust immune system, comes about slowly. Get onto this well before the threat lands in force on our shores.
Please read this Daily Mail article about the use of vitamins in the treatment of Covid-19
Small, daily doses of the nutrients mentioned in the expert guidelines and in the Daily Mail article do support a healthy immune system. I still have all of this in-store, including activated B6 for delivery if you are interested.
What you can do right now to improve your immune health and health and resilience in general
While each of our needs is a little different there are some general guidelines that everyone would benefit from following. Caring for your immune system when there are viral infections around is important. The following are immune-supporting measures, some for free, easy to put in place - like going to bed at the same time every night:
Reduce stress where you can and get plenty of rest, including having naps during the day. Who isn't stressed and over-worked these days and we were never designed to be on the go for 12-18 hours a day without having a nap or midday siesta. Meditate, even if it is just for a few minutes at a time. How does stress affect the immune system? How does meditation affect the immune system?
Exercise daily. The best time is first thing in the morning but any time will do. The most important point is excessive exercise can depress your immune system. Make exercise invigorating rather than exhausting. How exercise affects the immune system
Practice Intermittent Fasting in conjunction with exercise. Read and follow these guidelines: https://www.garymoller.com/post/guide-to-intermittent-fasting
Have regular daily habits. Go to bed at the same time every day, including weekends. Get up at the same time, exercise at the same time, eat at the same time - all so that your circadian biorhythms synchronise perfectly. This is one reason why shift workers generally have poorer health. How do circadian rhythms affect immune health? How does regular sleep affect the immune system?
Take a cold dip in the ocean or river once a day, preferably first thing in the morning. How does acute cold-water immersion affect the immune system?
Have a Finnish sauna once a week. How to use a sauna to improve health. How does the Finnish Sauna affect the immune system?
Review your medications. If you are on medications that might be weakening your immune system, such as ACE Inhibitors for high blood pressure, please speak to your doctor about this. You may be able to switch to a more suitable medication for these unusual times. Be patient, your doctor is busy. How ACE Inhibitors affect the immune system Whatever you do, you must not arbitrarily stop your meds without first consulting your doctor!
Ensure you have around 500-1,000 mg of vitamin C daily (refer to my citrus drink recipe below which does the job). 500 mg per day is sufficient for most people and please do not confuse these daily doses with what might be given in megadoses DURING an infection. How does vitamin C affect the immune system?
Take 200 mg of high-quality magnesium. Yes - most do not realise this - magnesium is essential for immune health and, along with zinc and selenium, most people are lacking in this mineral. Just 200 mg per day is sufficient. Most New Zealanders need more magnesium, especially during times of stress. How does magnesium affect the immune system?
Have 50-150 Mcg of supplementary selenium daily. Zinc and selenium are essential for immune health, especially for resisting yeast, viral and fungal infections, and for reducing inflammation and quick tissue healing. Like zinc, selenium is very low in our soils and in our food. How does selenium affect the immune system? Please do not overdose on supplements such as zinc and selenium. The key to healthy supplementation is to take one or two small daily doses that fulfil your daily needs and allow a little to be placed in storage for a rainy day.
Ensure your diet includes a rich supply of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K - eggs, silver top milk and liver are good sources of these vitamins), animal and vegetable protein and a wide range of fresh fats, and oils including, olive, coconut and organic NZ flax oil. How do the fat-soluble vitamins affect the immune system? Lambs fry (liver) once a week, plus a couple of eggs most days will ensure a good supply of the fat-soluble vitamins. If not lambs fry then this multivitamin will do the job for adults or these for children, here. If you are not a regular consumer of animal products, you must be extra vigilant with your food choices to ensure that you are getting the fullest range of nutrients, including the fat-soluble vitamins.
Get a light suntan over most of your body during Summer for immune-boosting vitamin D and get more from lambs fry and free-range egg yolk. During Winter, take about 1,000 iu of supplementary vitamin D (you probably do not need more than this if your diet has some vitamin D in it such as from eating liver once a week, and if you got some sunlight over Summer). How does vitamin D affect the immune system? Note: fat-soluble vitamins. If your diet is fat-free, low cholesterol, plant-based, or along these lines then where are you getting the fat-soluble vitamins from? Even if they are in a vitamin pill, just how well are you absorbing them into your bloodstream and cells if there is no fat to transport them?
Do not fear sunlight: the sun assists good mental and physical health. The thing to avoid is sunburn which can cause disease.
Eat brightly coloured vegetables and cold spices daily. The deeper and brighter the colour, the better (think of the colours of broccoli, turmeric, paprika, think of peppers and blackcurrants). How do vegetables affect the immune system?
Have a little Dunaliella salina daily. This remarkable single-cell organism packs a mighty punch and I have it on my shelf. It trumps the likes of chlorella and spirulina. How does Dunaliella salina affect the immune system Side effects include increased energy, sunburn resistance and beautiful hair, skin and nails.
Reduce to a minimum all carbohydrates and sugars and foods with preservatives, colourings and emulsifiers. Soft drinks and fruit juices among the worst. This basically means most processed foods. Isn't it crazy: people are panic-buying the very foods that are immune-suppressors while the fresh fruit and veggie sections of the supermarkets are quiet! Go back to home-made foods the way Grandma made a meal. How do processed foods affect the immune system? How does sugar affect the immune system?
If you are thinking of purchasing any of these products, drop me an email first and I'll help you to work out what is best for you and your family. This will ensure that you get the biggest bang for your bucks. Just another point: some of the items I am recommending are fast running out and might be for a while but do not worry, we have alternatives for your consideration. Talk to me. We will work something out.
My email: email@example.com
A simple citrus drink recipe for supporting immune health
Add half a sliced lemon to a jug of water which you keep in the fridge.
Add a couple of dandelion and milk thistle herbal teabags as well. These herbs assist liver detoxification processes. Healtheries make a "detox" tea bag that has dandelion and milk thistle in it. You can add other herbal tea bags as well if you like. I like adding a couple of ginger and lemon tea bags as well.
Add a generous dash of NZ Fulvic to the jug of water.
Drink this whenever you feel the need. I add it to my drink bottle when exercising. It is refreshing to guzzle down when hot and thirsty.
Eat a slice or two of the lemon now and then each day. (Soaking the slices for a day or two removes some of the bitterness).
This drink is acidic, so please do not sip it as it could erode tooth enamel. Guzzle down a few times a day. Enamel can and does remineralise if given the right environment. Brush your teeth twice a day. Use an alkalising toothpaste such as one with baking soda in it. Ensure your diet includes calcium and other minerals so that there is plenty of calcium and other minerals in your saliva even when sleeping. If you want to be sure of your true mineral status get this test done.
Read about some of the astonishing health benefits of citrus peel here. Why aren't you told about this cheap universal health measure? Why isn't this delicious drink served to every hospital patient? Why is it not served to the elderly in the rest homes?
Do not allow your life to be ruled by others who may seek to profit from disruption and fear. The threats this virus pose are serious, to your health and the economies of the world but do not allow yourself to be disempowered. Take action that empowers you. Take action that you know really does put the odds more in your favour if you were to come into contact with the virus, as is likely to happen. Take positive action for you and your loved ones now!
It is time for me to go for a run into the isolated hills above Wellington City!
This detailed New Scientist Magazine article which has just come out supports what I am recommending in this article. Have a look but bear in mind you will have to subscribe to read the entire article.https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24532754-000-how-to-fight-infection-by-turning-back-your-immune-systems-clock/