Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Coronavirus seems to be the only thing that ANYBODY is talking about. With scary sounding statistics, worst case scenarios and a constant flood of the effects of the virus in other countries it has thrown many of us into a state of panic and chaos.
BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY
There has been a lot of fear surrounding COVID-19, a respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath and great difficulty breathing in severe cases. The virus spreads when someone uninfected comes into contact with droplets from an infected person. Symptoms range from mild to life-threatening. In it's most aggressive form the virus coats the lungs in a thick mucus starving the body of oxygen which can be fatal.
Due to the nature of this virus being a completely new and unseen mutation, medical consensus on how our body's immunity will respond is uncertain therefore we all need to take precautions NOW.
Young children, the elderly, those on certain medications, people who are immuno-compromised, pregnant or in poor health are the groups most at risk of potentially suffering serious life-threatening complications. If you are experiencing serious symptoms it is important that you call a designated clinic or hospital for advice on what course of action to take.
While concern is natural we also need to think logically and stop the current panic- driven dialogue. Today we are in a unique position. We have access to information which we can use to our advantage to protect our loved ones, ourselves and our community.
If you don't already know my story I'll keep it short. I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Ulcerative Colitis in 2001. Even with treatment I got so sick that I was literally bedridden for years - the strong medications prescribed worked for short periods of time before I would relapse again and it was only when I had my awakening in 2015, when doctors began talking about colon cancer and colon removal that I realised I needed to change the way I was living - and I went through a "cleansing" if you will, of my physical, mental and spiritual self. With the knowledge I gained along with patience and time I slowly nursed myself back to a state of health.
So good health and staying in good health means everything to me and I am passionate about finding optimal ways to better health.
SO HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF & OTHERS AS BEST I CAN?
Please note, nothing below should be taken as a substitute for medical advice, however these are the guidelines I am following to stay in a state of health during these uncertain times and I hope by sharing this valuable information, it helps you too.
Self isolation and social distancing is KEY to containing the virus from spreading.
Yes it is inconvenient but it is the number 1 way to stop this virus from infecting millions. If you have the opportunity to stay at home, work from home or keep your children away from school - now is the time to do it. In order to create a pandemic the virus needs to continually find new hosts, if those infected self-isolate the virus can die out quickly but if people freely roam in the population and don't know they are carrying the virus they WILL end up spreading it to others. New information coming to light suggests that even breathing the same air near an infected person can spread the virus.
This is why self-isolation NOW is essential.
Do not travel by plane or be in contact with anyone who has recently traveled by plane. Stay away from large groups. Keep your local travel to a minimum. Avoid going out unless it is essential. Common sense is your best friend right now. Try to stay 1.5 metres away from another person.
If you are really going stir crazy at home, perhaps do some gardening, read that book you've been meaning to, give a friend a call, get out some board games the whole family can enjoy, paint, sing, do some odd jobs around the house that have been ignored, discover a new hobby or catch up on that paperwork piling up on your desk and if you are not infected or displaying symptoms go for a walk around the block and just be sure to keep a safe distance from others.
Keep A Positive Mindset - Stop Panicking - Stop Watching/Reading Continuously About Coronavirus
The media LOVES using fear to get ratings. Stop being used to spread the fear. Stop watching the news or reading your Facebook feed on this topic (mute posts if necessary).
I know and am aware of what is happening however I also know what I give my attention to matters and I don't want to be a party to that. Without a shadow of a doubt I know how much stress, fear and negativity weakens the immune system so in all honesty this is a crucial piece advice. Constantly thinking and talking about the virus does not serve you. What you think about you attract - it's that simple.
Perspective is critical!
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the common flu (even with vaccines in place) kills between 290,000 to 650,000 people per year yet the world doesn't go into a stockpiling frenzy every flu season nor is it reported on the news or social media every 5 seconds!
If you practice proper hygiene, apply self-isolation and social distancing, avoid crowded places, try to stay at home as much as possible during this time, nourish your body with good food, proper hydration and supplements, rest and stay in a calm low-stress mental state then you are most likely going to ride this wave just fine.
Practice Proper Personal Hygiene
Yes it sounds obvious but I am going to say it anyway. The number 1 most effective way to prevent bugs and virus' getting into your system is to WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP AND WATER REGULARLY and AVOID touching your eyes, nose and mouth which are the major pathways that bacteria and virus' enter the body.
The virus stays active on the skin for a short periods time so you can see why washing regularly makes a lot of sense at keeping the virus from entering the body. And look, it doesn't need to be anti-bacterial, any will do. I am partial to natural ones but regardless wash, wash, wash!
Hand sanitiser will also help when you don't have access to soap and water.
Proper personal hygiene is even more important if you've been out in public spaces. Ensure you wash your hands first thing before going for that snack, hugging your kids or partner, patting the dog and cat, touching your computer keyboard or your remote control to binge watch Netflix.
Sanitise Your Phone Regularly
This can be so easily overlooked, yet we are constantly using our cell/mobile phones. It goes with us everywhere and even without the coronavirus situation we should all be regularly sanitising our phones to keep them clean and contaminant free. When you think about the fact that our phones are in constant contact with our hands and face, you can quickly see how it can become an issue. Wipe your phone down regularly with hand sanitiser or a cleaning alcohol to keep it germ-free.
The same applies to things like your computer keypad and mouse, iPad, car keys, wallet, credit cards and handbags - we are in contact with many of these things often so give them a good clean regularly too.
Think before you touch - BE AWARE
How many people do you think use your local petrol pump, elevator touch screen, escalator rails, shopping trolley, public bathroom, door handles or an ATM pin pad on any given day - do you think it all gets regularly sanitised between users and is germ-free? (The answer is HELL NO)! I can't even begin to imagine the amount of germs and viruses lurking in public places so be sure thoroughly wash or sanitise your hands IMMEDIATELY after touching any public facilities.
Take Off Your Clothes
Haha, not quite as naughty as it sounds! If you have been out and about, as soon as you enter your home take off your clothes and put them in the washing machine. Why? Because the virus can survive on your clothes for hours and before you know it you might be sitting on your couch, at the dining table or lying on your bed and inadvertently be spreading the virus throughout your home. Better still, head for a nice warm shower and ensure you are squeaky clean!
I would also suggest using separate hand towels replaced daily for each member of the family.
Wear A Mask
If you are coughing, live with others or are in an unavoidable environment where others many be coughing, be sure to wear a mask to prevent breathing in the virus. You can find these online or at your local pharmacy.
Keep Your Home & Belongings Clean
Again this might sound obvious but it's worth noting that the virus rapidly spreads via droplets from sneezing and coughing that can sit on impervious surfaces like door handles, car handles, counter tops, TV remote, hand rails, floors and kids toys for days. Steam cleaning is one of the most effective and natural ways to keep the surfaces of your home germ-free. Disinfect and clean your surfaces and home regularly to keep everyone safe. Another thing, if you keep your toothbrushes in a communal cup, now would be a good time to keep everything separate. Don't forget to clean your mailbox too as it something probably multiple people handle every week.
The latest research reveals that even breathing the same air as an infected person can potentially spread the virus. This is where sanitising the air becomes important In order to protect and cleanse your home White Sage Smudge Sticks are an amazingly effective way to purify the air in your home (and even your car). Scientists have confirmed that smudging your home with white sage smoke has the ability to clear up to 94 percent of airborne bacteria and disinfect the air for up to 24 hours. Additionally when sage is burned, it releases negative ions, which is linked to a positive mood which at a critical like this - with emotions running high - can be quite helpful!
Look After Your Gut Health - THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT!
I cannot stress enough how much gut health affects the immune system. Poor gut microbiome means you have more bad than good bacteria in your gut making your immune system weak while a good microbiome balance means your body will be equipped to effectively fight off bacteria and virus' so even in the unfortunate event you are exposed to something nasty your body should be in a position to fight the infection, have milder symptoms and recover faster.
Things that POSITIVELY impact your gut health/microbiome and immunity:
- A daily probiotic - this is very important
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Fermented foods - e.g. Kefir/Kimchi/Sauerkraut/Miso/Apple Cider Vinegar
- Traditionally made sourdough bread (one of the few breads you can enjoy guilt-free)
- Certain dairy products e.g. yogurt, good quality Parmesan, Camembert Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Jarlsberg and Emmenthal
- Healthy fats
- Spelt flour (an ancient grain) and most wheat-free flours
- Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa minimum)
- Pomegranate juice
- Red wine & beer (in small amounts)
- Seeds & nuts
- Herbs & spices
- Green, white, black, oolong & herbal teas
- Fibre & resistant starch
- Bone broth
- Getting proper rest/sleep
- Intermittent fasting
- Exercise (even walking counts)
- Positive mindset/thinking/prayer
Things that NEGATIVELY impact your gut/health microbiome and immunity:
- Sugar (highly inflammatory/disease inducing agent to the body)
- Too much/wrong types of dairy (which can increase mucus & inflammation)
- Refined and processed foods (e.g. packaged/ready made foods)
- Junk food
- Soft drinks and diet soft drink
- Artificial sweeteners e.g. aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame, saccharin
- Certain medications
- White flour products (highly inflammatory)
- Poor sleeping patterns
- Negative mindset/thinking/anger/fear
Try to keep your intake of refined sugar and white flour to an absolute minimum to be enjoyed as treat, not a daily thing. The reason I mention these is that we all know junk and refined food are bad but many do not realise all the sources of hidden sugars and white flour in our diets which weaken our immune system and damage the gut microbiome. A healthy diet is a powerful weapon against disease.
Also worth noting is the importance of proper rest - crucial for good health as well as meditation and a positive mindset. How we think and what we think matters. Even a short meditation practice of 10 mins can have positive effects. Once you become aware of your internal dialogue is, you'll quickly see what kind of mindset you have- remember your thoughts become things - so think positively! While we all have our own way with connecting to our higher selves, prayer is an important part, whatever prayer means to you in coping with life - faith can move mountains.
As for exercise we all know it is a crucial factor in good health so do what you love - but doing it REGULARLY is the key. For me walking my dog and yoga are my favorite forms of exercise at the moment but I also enjoy Tae-bo from time to time. I really love this YouTube channel - YogaTX for well-explained yoga workouts you can do at home which is very convenient at this time.
Boost Your Natural Immunity with Supplementation
Looking after your body with supplements can assist in giving your body better health. While many doctors say supplementation is unnecessary, for me supplementation has played an essential part in achieving and maintaining good health and at the moment I am taking quite a few to up my antioxidant levels, boost my immunity and keep my inflammation response as low as possible.
PLEASE NOTE: None of the supplements I list below are sponsored. I buy these to maintain my health and am simply sharing them with you. Please consult your health care professional before taking supplements you are not familiar with.
What I take daily:
- Probiotics (supports good gut health and good overall health)
- MSM (anti-inflammatory, cellular repair, immune booster)
- Apple Cider Vinegar (gut health, antimicrobial, antioxidant)
- Omega-3 (powerful anti-inflammatory)
- CoQ1o (powerful antioxidant)
- Vitamin C (powerful antioxidant)
- EGCG (potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory)
- Ginger root (powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory)
- A multivitamin (for general well being)
Probiotics tops my list because their importance cannot be understated. Scientists are now realising how critical good gut health and the right balance of gut bacteria are in creating an strong immune system and good health. Please keep in mind, you will not gain the real benefits from a probiotic supplement if you are continually feeding your body poor food and drink choices. They are living organisms that need healthy food sources to thrive and boost your health.
Here's where I get my current probiotic from - iherb.com.au
This is a supplement I swear by and have been taking for years. MSM is short for Methylsulfonylmethane which basically means organic sulfur. It's powerful anti- inflammatory and immune boosting action has the ability to repair cellular damage, reduce joint pain and cartilage damage, reduce allergy symptoms, improve the quality of your hair and skin and so much more.
I am so passionate about what MSM has done for me. Here is my video: watch here
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar is great for gut health and also has antimicrobial and antioxidant effects on the body. It is also helpful in regulating blood sugar levels. You don't need much to get the benefits but consistency is key. I one capful in a glass of warm water daily along with my MSM.
An Omega-3 supplement is the easiest way to get your omega-3's but it is also found in fatty fish (e.g. salmon and sardines), walnuts and flaxseeds. It's anti-inflammatory effect is very powerful on many of the body's primary systems, the lungs, heart, eyes, skin, digestion and colon to name a few.
The omega-3 I use at the moment is Melrose Omega DHA and MCT Oil
This powerful compound found in green tea protects the body from cellular damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, research suggests that catechins like EGCG may reduce inflammation and prevent certain conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. While I prefer my daily dose as organic green tea it is also found in white, oolong, and black teas as well as cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwis, cherries, pears, peaches, apples, avocados, pecans, pistachios, and hazelnuts.
I'm a bit fan of the organic Nerada Tea Range available at most grocery stores but any organic brand is perfect.
CoQ10 & VITAMIN C
Both of these powerful antioxidants have a host of health benefits.
Antioxidants are chemicals that help stop or limit damage caused by free radicals which can contribute to the aging and damage of certain processes in the body by helping to maintain heart health, blood sugar regulation, assist in the prevention and treatment of cancer and reduce the frequency of migraines. They can also reduce oxidative stress that leads to muscle fatigue, skin damage as well as brain and lung diseases. CoQ10 is a fat soluble supplement best taken with food that contains healthy fats otherwise your body cannot absorb the benefits of the supplement.
Vitamin C has long been recognised for its ability to heal and boost the immune system. There are some schools of thought that suggest there is not a single disease the right dosage of Vitamin C cannot cure. Vitamin C is water soluble and can be taken without fats however some people find it gentler on the stomach when taken with food. Try to find a vitamin C that has ascorbate and not just ascorbic acid. Natural sources of vitamin C like oranges and lemons are also great to cut and infuse into water. Hot water and lemon is also a great option.
Ginger has long been well regarded for easing and healing many health conditions. It's powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions are continually being studied for their positive effect on digestion, brain health and pain relief as well as it's ability to fight infections, it's blood sugar lowering capabilities, it's cancer preventive properties and so much more.
Here is the Ginger Root supplement I take daily.
Because COVID-19 gets into the lungs in severe cases, it stands to reason that anything that can keep the lungs healthy while reducing inflammation would be advantageous at this time and anything we can do to strengthen our immunity is a no-brainer.
Other supplements that have been recommended by wellness experts to increase immunity are:
- Black Elderberry
- Reishi Mushroom
- Olive Leaf Extract
Reduce or Avoid Mucus Producing Foods
COVID-19 in it's most sinister form coats the lungs with mucus making breathing very difficult. You can help your body stay in a low-mucus state by avoiding certain foods. The biggest culprits are dairy, sugar and white flour based products. Most likely it is acidic foods that contribute to mucus production in the body. If you are well and generally enjoy a healthy diet you probably don't need to change things up too much but if you experiencing symptoms then it makes sense to immediately modify your diet to keep mucus production as low as possible.
Here is a handy guide:
If you are experiencing mild symptoms coronavirus symptoms please discuss with your doctor regarding treatment as preliminary findings are suggesting that those taking Ibuprofen for symptom relief may aggravate their symptoms of the virus. Paracetamol may be a safer options but check with your health care professional first.
Stay Well Hydrated
This should be something we all do regardless but please keep your fluids up. Your body needs water/fluids to work effectively and remove harmful toxins from your body. Get your fluids from filtered water and lots of hot of green and herbal teas as well as soups which will help keep your throat moist and thin mucus.
And last but not least...
Please remember this is a COMMUNITY issue, we need to remember that our actions affect others. Suddenly my biggest priority isn't my latest Instagram or Facebook post but knowing that my family and friends are healthy and safe. This situation has really made me look at life in a different way. We often take so many things for granted that are actually very fragile and precious.
So please stay safe and TAKE PREVENTATIVE ACTION NOW before it's too late.
I pray you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe.
Eat To Beat Disease by Dr William Li