Coronavirus and a healthy immune system
With Coronavirus all around us and we don’t see anything else on tv, I definitely don’t want to write another thing on this topic.
For me health is the most important thing in the world. And I don’t refer to health as the absence of sickness, as many people do. For me health is the optimal state in which the body thrives and in which we’re able to do whatever we propose ourselves to do.
In relation to viruses, it is taking care of your immune system and to be sure to have a diverse microbiome. In a healthy state, you will have a strong immune system and an optimal microbiome.
To get to this state you have to take care of your body in many aspects. Nutrition obviously is a big thing. Try to eat as natural and diverse as you possibly can. Loads of fresh veggies to get different types of bacteria in your gut.
Please steer away from processed food because that will kill of healthy bacteria.
Make sure that half of your plate consists of vegetables.
The rest should be as natural as possible too. Some fruits (don’t overdo it either because the sugar in the fruit, although natural, could harm your microbiome too), legumes, organic eggs, natural nuts and seeds and if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, grass-fed meat and wild caught fish (no farm raised fish please!)
Then move. And I’m not talking about going to the gym three times a week.
I’m talking about standing up, sitting in different positions, walk, lift etc. Make your body move because we’re way too sedentary and our bodies were made for movement.
If you have a desk job than this is extremely important to be aware of. I’m trying each and every day to be conscious about it. At the office, I walk up the corridor every time I go for a wee, I take the stairs, stand up at my desk and stretch whenever I feel like it.
If you’re not conscious about it, time will go by easily, especially when you have got a lot of work to do. Set a timer if necessary!
For a healthy immune system we also need to lower stress levels.
When you are stressed, your immune system shuts down. When you’re stressed, your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) gets turned on and and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) gets turned off.
This means all hands on deck to take off running and the immune system is switched off. When this is a short period of time, there’s nothing wrong. But nowadays we’re in this constant fight or flight mode and therefore we don’t digest properly and the immune system gets weaker and weaker. So definitely look at your stress levels and make sure you have got tools to bring it down to safe levels.
An easy thing to do and will influence your stress levels, is to take consciously deep breaths during your day and I know this is easier said than done. So, to set yourself up for success, put a timer on your phone that will go off a couple of times per day and just focus on deep breathing. Deep belly breathing preferably.
The last thing I want to talk about is sleep. So overlooked and so important.
When sleeping, all kinds of cleaning and repairing processes are done throughout the body and in a recent study in Germany, scientist have found that a good night’s sleep can boost certain immune cells (T cells). So an increase in these cells will mean a healthier and stronger immune system.
Apart from this, sleep deprivation also leads to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
And who wants this? 😉
A small recap, things to consider to improve your immune system:
- Eat healthy and whole foods
- Sleep a proper amount and aim for quality sleep
- Breathe and destress
I know the Coronavirus is a big and global issue now and we all have to obey to the measures that are taken.
But I also think it’s worthwhile to have a strong and healthy immune system ALWAYS, to be sure you’re able to fight of any kind of pathogen that comes along.
Practice prevention and don’t wait till something bad comes your way.
You only have one body and one life, so you’d better take good care of it 😉
Stay safe, stay healthy!! <3
With love and health,