by Buck Reed
Boosting Your Immunity
Given the state of the world today and the unusual circumstances our health is going through—not just here, but all over the world—I think it is important to remember that there is more we can do as individuals to keep ourselves and those around us safe than the government will ever be able to do. To avoid this current health threat, and any other pandemically inclined virus, we can help keep it in check by avoiding groups, washing our hands, covering our cough, and stop licking doorknobs. Also, it might help if you strengthen your immune system with a change in diet.
First of all, I am not a doctor. So, any information put out here should be backed up with a doctor’s consultation. Always defer to a doctor over a chef-turned-food-writer.
When building a good immune system, we want to look at vitamins. Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system, followed by vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. But, the king is vitamin C, which is one of the biggest immune-system boosters of all. In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick. Getting these vitamins into your diet may well help you keep fit and give you peace of mind as those around you lose theirs.
Getting enough vitamin D is also important. Getting regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get enough vitamin D. And, as all good dieticians will tell you, you should limit your sugar intake. Too much sugar is an immunity destroyer.
Another good habit we can incorporate into our daily routine is to get enough sleep—six to eight hours, minimum—will help your immune system.
As far as foods, try incorporating medicinal mushrooms into your diet. Studies show that shiitake, Cordyceps, reishi, and maitake mushrooms are known for possessing some of the most powerful immune-supporting compounds in nature.
Yogurt is good for replenishing probiotics. Look for a label that says “live and active cultures.”
Garlic is an easy way to add an immunity booster into your cooking. Garlic contains allicin, which is known to combat viruses and bacteria.
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which our body cannot produce on our own. A daily dose of vitamin C helps to produce white blood cells that are responsible for fighting infection.
Shellfish is high in zinc and helps produce white blood cells. It’s recommended that we get two servings a week; however, too much can lead to problems within the immune system.
Being aware of what we eat and how we take care of ourselves may not help us in the current crisis; it takes time to build an immunity system. But, perhaps we can start today, so we are ready for the next one.