With the effects of the Coronavirus now starting to take hold almost everywhere in the world, a recurring question I am being asked is “what do you do to boost your and your family's immune system?”
I love this topic and I actually realize how much we do on a daily basis to keep us healthy. But before I get into my “top 10” it’s important to note that THE most important and absolute top of my list things is to keep stress levels down. “Keep calm and carry on” as they say – but it’s true. Chronic stress and worry makes you more susceptible to viruses, illnesses and issues in your body. Increased stress is also associated with a decreased immune response system. So try not to buy into the panic. By practicing my top ten immune-boosting tips below and introducing some stress-reducing activities you can keep your body strong and resilient – and hopefully keep yourself safe from whatever this Coronavirus epidemic ends up being.
So please dive into my top 10 tips below. They’re all things that you can start doing today, that will help you and your family during this scary time. And no – stockpiling toilet paper is not one of them!
1. Take Colloidal Silver
Bio-active Silver has been used for over 2000 years to help human health. It is a natural element that can also be found in whole grains. However, I like to take the fine mist spray, Sovereign Silver is one of my go-to brands. Colloidal silver is a solution of tiny silver particles suspended in a liquid base, used as a cure-all for everything from tuberculosis and arthritis to herpes and cancer. Many alternative practitioners believe that colloidal silver offers great health benefits by “boosting” immune systems and preventing or treating infections.
2. Add a Probiotic
I recommend taking a probiotic as the families of bacteria that live in our gut from birth have a positive effect on our immunity. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of these. Look for one that has at least 30 to 50 billion colonies and at least eight strains of bacteria. Double this dose if you feel like a cold is coming, or if you are taking antibiotics. I believe in spending a little more to get a good-quality brand. My good friends at MindBodyGreen have just come out with a fantastic probiotic. Another way to get an extra dose of good bacteria is adding fermented foods into your diet – things like sauerkraut, naturally fermented pickles, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, kimchi, miso, and kombucha.
3. More Sunshine – Vitamin D
Natural sunlight is the best source of vitamin D and although you can get vitamin D
through some fortified foods, our modern lifestyle doesn’t always allow for much time outdoors, and many adults don’t get the levels of vitamin D required for healthy immunity. With all the travel warnings at the moment, it might be hard to book a vacation to a warm sunny beach somewhere, so I recommend taking a good vitamin with plenty of Vitamin D – Rainbow Light makes a great adult vitamin (they also make this in a kids version)
4. Vitamin C
Although Vitamin C can be found in a huge part of our foods, during times when you want to boost your immune system, take 1,500 mg daily in powder form. Vitamin C is a powerhouse for immunity. Citrus fruits, kiwi, red peppers, tomatoes, tomato juice, and are major contributors of vitamin C and I love a sweet potato which is 65% of our daily value! Follow my instagram for my sweet potato fries recipe coming later this week! You can also find added Vitamin C in immune-supporting gummies such as the Natural Elderberry Immune Support Gummies with Vitamin C and Zinc which I give my girls daily.
5. Bone Broth
Here it is again, but YES Bone Broth is the answer! I’m a HUGE fan – the benefits of drinking and cooking bone broth, without doubt, have a major boost on the immune system. Not just in supporting the gut but bone broth (although recently trendy) is actually an ancient remedy that’s been used to fight aging and boost beauty? This soup is rich in minerals and amino acids and helps support your immune system, digestive health, and joints, as well as helping to produce that all-important collagen – which I mention more of in number 8 on the list!
One of the best and easy ways to build your immune strength daily is through a few key superfoods. In my work I refer to these as ‘Fascia Foods’. That is whole, real foods that help to heal, restore, revitalize, and beautify your body – especially your skin and fascia. They also contain vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C and Zinc that help your body produce collagen which is essential for skin, connective tissue and immunity. Fascia Foods are also good for gut health, which helps you better absorb the nutrients that are key to producing collagen. Collagen is not only good for the skin and preventing aging, but it’s incredibly beneficial for the gut, as it reduces inflammation, repairs the digestive tract and improves digestion. Our gut is said to be the second brain of our body, as 70% of our immune system is produced in the gut lining, therefore, making sure we have a healthy gut, is not only vital for our digestion, but also for our immunity, mood and energy levels. Below are some added extras you can place into your diet to also boost immunity as well as adding more collagen!
Manuka honey is a natural immune booster with natural anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial agents. Manuka honey also holds substances that can kill bacteria.
Raw garlic – with strong antimicrobial and antiviral properties, the potent sulfur compound allicin found in garlic is known to treat serious GI infections and kill parasites and yeast infections. At the first sign of an infection, start taking one raw garlic clove daily, or use concentrated allicin extract.
Oregano oil has a history of being used for antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal conditions. Side note, it can also be used topically to treat antibiotic-resistant staph infections of the skin, as well as taken internally to combat yeast infections.
Shiitake Mushrooms – the delicious mushroom easily found in grocery stores contains substances called beta-glucans, which stimulate the immune system and strengthen our white blood cells.
7. Take a break – Sleep
You’ve heard me say it before but sleep really is the best medicine. Lack of sleep and chronic sleep deprivation causes our immune response system to become inflamed.
If we don’t get enough sleep we decrease the activity of T-cells (a crucial type of immune cell) and weakens our immune response to vaccines. Seven to eight hours of sleep are ideal. If you haven’t read it already, check out my go-to practices for a better night’s sleep.
Although CoronaVirus is super serious, I do believe that to keep stress levels down we need to not take things so incredibly seriously in life. You’ve heard me say laughter is the best core workout BUT a good belly laugh also strengthens the immune system by diminishing stress and bringing the mind and body into balance. Laughing decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, therefore improving your resistance to disease.
9. Thyme Tea
Thyme is a super herb that helps to ease sore throats, especially when it comes with a thick white coating on the tongue, congested mucus in the lungs, and coughing. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and aids respiratory ailments so it’s amazing to drink before and after flying. It’s also a mood enhancer that fights depression and improves digestion and mental clarity. Plus Thyme is a culinary staple with incredible medicinal qualities – to treating high blood pressure, urinary tract health and acne because of its antibacterial properties. I absolutely love putting it into both our bone broths and mineral broths as well! Thyme is packed with vitamin C and A and an amazing source of copper, fiber, iron and magnesium. Thyme not only smells good, it also holds antiseptic and antifungal properties. If you needed more convincing at how amazing Thyme is just look at the wonderful flavor it adds to dishes, particularly Mediterranean, Italian and French derived.
To make this powerful Thyme Tea healing drink, infuse fresh thyme leaves or dried thyme in hot water and allow to steep for 15 – 20 minutes then add some Manuka honey. Or you can buy Thyme Tea from Amazon. The easiest solution to boosting that immune system right away!
10. Tea Tree Oil
Lastly and one we wouldn’t often think of is tea tree oil. Essential oils can help to soothe the throat, reduce inflammation, and clear away mucus. Tea tree oil in particular can inhibit the growth of bad bacteria that cause sinus infections and respiratory issues. Again, when you look at other cultures and our ancestors we can see that crushed tea tree leaves have been inhaled by Australian Aborigines to treat coughs and colds. So, let’s take it back to Mother Earth, foraging and finding natural herbs, plants and spices to support us in every way!
I hope this post brings you some easy and go-to solutions that you can implement at home and recommend to friends, particularly during this flu and virus season.
Oh and there’s one more bonus tip! You know how I love to move – I don’t call it ‘movement medicine’ for nothing! And a good BELLY ROLLING session using the oh so yummy Body Sphere is incredible to support gut health and to boost immunity.
So please take care, stay healthy and roll on summertime warmth to kill away all the germs in the air!
PS If you do feel sick, please make sure you observe all the recommendations to stay away from others and seek medical advice!