2020 has put a spotlight on immune health. With the spread of COVID-19, we are taxing the health systems at an alarmingly high rate. We have shown just how sick our population is and the need for an overhaul of our diets and nutrient statuses. The positive news is you are not powerless. The Immunity Fix provides a usable plan to boost your immune system and take control of your health in these uncertain times.
5 strategies to help support the immune system from The Immunity Fix:
Cut out the Refined Sugar
A diet high in sugar can lead to metabolic syndrome, which is having 3 or more of the 5 following risk factors, 1.) High blood glucose, 2.) High blood pressure, 3.) High triglycerides, 4.) High waist circumference and 5.) Low HDL. Metabolic syndrome has been shown to increase the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19 by 4.5-fold and dying from COVID-19 by 3.5 fold. Luckily, a diet low in sugar has been shown to reduce blood glucose, blood pressure, triglycerides, waist circumference and improve HDL in just a few weeks!
Exercise is important, however, the dose makes the difference between hurting your immune system and improving it. Indeed, intense exercise of over an hour multiple times per week can increase the risk of getting an upper respiratory tract infection by 2-6-fold! However, moderate exercise at 4-5 times per week is associated with a 40% reduction in upper respiratory tract infections. Exercise has been shown to stimulate the production of immune cells and their ability to kill viruses.
Eat a nutrient-dense diet
Most people suffering from poor COVID-19 outcomes have a lower nutrient status. Importantly, food from non-regenerative farms is now lower in many vitamins and minerals compared to just 50 years ago! Thus, sourcing foods from local farms, regenerative farms and organic farms is extremely important to get nutrient dense foods. Eating whole foods that are nutrient dense, such as pastured meat, pastured eggs, organs, dark greens, berries, citrus fruits and nuts are a great way to help get the nutrients that are lacking in the standard American diet.
Ensure Good Nutrient Status
Nutrients that have been shown to be low in patients suffering from poor COVID-19 outcomes include vitamin D, vitamin C, selenium and zinc. Many of these nutrients have also been shown to reduce the incidence, severity and/or the duration of the common cold or upper respiratory tract infections. Importantly, a deficiency in any nutrient could potentially make COVID-19 more virulent. Asking your doctor to check your vitamin and mineral levels and ensuring adequate nutrient status is a great way to support the immune system.
Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep/Night
Sleep is vital for maintaining a healthy immune system. A lack of sleep can worsen insulin resistance and dampen the immune response to infections. Tips to improve sleep including avoiding bright light at night, ensure your bedroom is dark, utilizing white noise, keep the room cooler, avoiding excessive alcohol intake, and cutting out the caffeine around 11AM. Sleep allows us to recover from all the damage that occurred during the day so it’s important that you try and get around 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
There are many supplements that have been shown to reduce the duration, severity, or incidence of the common cold, flu or upper respiratory tract infections. Here are some supplements that are covered in the book.
Black Elderberry – A black elderberry extract (standardized to 12-15% anthocyanins) at a dose of 600-1500 mg has been shown in studies to reduce the duration of the cold or flu by 2 to 4 days.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) – This supplement helps to increase glutathione levels and helps to break up mucus. NAC at 600 mg twice daily has been shown to reduce the severity and incidence of influenza-like illness.
AP-Bio® – This supplement is called Andrographis and it is standardized to > 30% andrographalides, which is the main active component. AP-Bio® has been shown to reduce the severity and the duration of the common cold. It is thought that this herb helps to increase how well the immune cells function and may have direct antiviral effects.
Melatonin – Melatonin is typically thought of as a sleep supplement. However, recent data suggests that it may have benefits in viral infections as it also is a master antioxidant. Melatonin can directly scavenge free radicals and increase our body’s own natural antioxidant enzymes.
To learn about all the ways that you can support your immune system, pick up a copy of The Immunity Fix today. The Immunity Fix is timely, well researched and based on science with nearly 2,500 references, leaving no stone unturned in the best practices to boost immunity.